Friday, June 22, 2012

Subban Will Be Wearing The Black and Gold...No, Not That Subban

What a night it was for the NHL. 

Several players will be skating in new homes come October as trades were the story of the night. Jordan Staal will be playing with his brother, Eric, in Carolina with the Hurricanes and Mike Ribeiro will be playing for the Washington Capitals.  

We also saw Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings. Teams are clearly eager to get a bulk of their priorities taking care of before free agency begins on July 1st. 

Those were just some brief stories around the league. So, what exactly were the Boston Bruins up to on the  night of the NHL Entry Draft? 

Prior to the event, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that goaltender Tim Thomas will waive his no-trade clause. This will likely open up some possibilities for the Bruins on the second day of the draft. Plus, it will free up the space that had been occupied by Thomas' cap hit. Let's just say that they have five million reasons why they would want to trade the veteran netminder. 

The B's had the 24th overall pick in the first round of the draft. With that pick, they selected Malcolm Subban, the brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. While P.K. has proven to be a thorn in the side of Bruins fans, Malcolm will be embraced by the city.

Malcolm, a goaltender, registered a .923 save percentage with three shutouts in 39 games with the OHL's Belleville Bulls in 2011-12. He will mostly likely play in Providence this upcoming season.

He showed enthusiasm when he accepted the black and gold sweater on stage as he shook hands with several management figures from the B's. According to Chiarelli, "he will fulfill a need and bring exuberance." 

As if we did not need another spark in the fire known as the Boston-Montreal rivalry, something like this happens. You have got to love the sport of hockey for moments like this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bergeron Takes Home Selke, Chara Snubbed at NHL Awards

Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron has always been considered one of the top two-way players in the NHL. He has had the reputation of playing like a veteran, even though he is only 26 years of age. With his youth came great poise, leadership, and a Stanley Cup championship.

On Wednesday night, Bergeron added another piece of hardware to his repertoire. He was crowned as the Frank J. Selke Award winner for being the best defensive forward in the league. The other nominees for the award were David Backes of the St. Louis Blues and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, who had won three straight Selke Trophies from 2008-2010.

Bergeron led the league in plus/minus with +36. He also led the Bruins in assists with 42 and finished second in points with 64. Bergeron possesses a knack for winning face-offs as he has become one of the most prolific face-off winners in the league. During the 2011-12 season, he led the league with 973 face-off wins, which was good for a 59.3% win percentage.

Wednesday night also was the announcement of the Norris Trophy for "best defenseman." The trophy went to Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. He led all defensemen in points with 78 and finished with a +16 rating. 

However, the idea of the Norris Trophy is to give it to the best DEFENSEman. Just because you can rack up points does not mean you are worthy of an award. In fact, the Senators kept him on the bench during the penalty kill. Now isn't that where a true defenseman is supposed to step up? 

Zdeno Chara, who was also nominated for the Norris Trophy, is still one of the top blue liners to ever play the game. He finished third in the league with a +33 rating and averaged 25 minutes of ice time per game. No big deal.......

Anyway, other notable awards that were giving out were the Hart Trophy (league MVP) to Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) to Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. 

Coming up on Friday night is the NHL Entry Draft. Let's see what the Bruins do.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seguin Staying Put, Hamilton Pushing For Roster Spot

Yes, it has been a while since I posted an entry from this blog. Now will be as good a time as any to start it up again with some brief Bruins' news.

I have posted stories on the Tim Thomas issue and the re-signing of both Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell via Inside Hockey. I realize that is a cheap plug, so I apologize. Anyway, down to the real news concerning the Black and Gold.

Bruins' general manager Peter Chiarelli said on Wednesday night that forward Tyler Seguin will not be making the switch over to center. He will be staying as a winger. Even though Seguin is a natural center and had significant ice time at that position during his junior hockey days, he has become a gifted goal scorer from the wing.

Seguin, the reigning "Seventh Player Award" recipient, led the team in goals and points during the 2011-12 season. Whether it was skating with Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci, he sure found his scoring touch. 

As previously mentioned, the signing of both Campbell and Kelly leaves the Bruins loaded at center, so there is no need to move Seguin at this point. However, he was drafted to be the future top-line center and it will be better if he got some ice time there sooner rather than later. We will see how it unfolds.

Also, top prospect Dougie Hamilton is hoping to make a serious push for a roster spot for this upcoming season. The Bruins have yet to publicly admit that they will target a defenseman in free agency, leaving the door open for the young gun to make an impact.

He was drafted number nine overall in last year's draft and had a stellar year for his junior team, the Niagara IceDogs. Hamilton posted 17 goals and 55 assists, leading the league in scoring. He also recorded 19 points in 15 playoff games for the IceDogs. Hamilton impressed the right people with those numbers as he was awarded OHL Defenseman of the Year. 

Although it is not a guarantee that he will be on the roster at the end of training camp, Hamilton has the talent and the credentials to land a spot behind the Bruins bench.  

This has already turned into an interesting offseason thus far. Is it October yet?