Bruins Fans Asking For Help From Bruins Nation

By Mark Allred                       Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins Nation isn’t just about being an addicted fan of the greatest team in the National Hockey League but it’s a sense of family outside the game when sometimes it matters most. Today my fellow Bruins family I need to extend some information of the utmost importance.

NHL News Editor for TheScore.com and long-time Boston Bruins fan Ian McLaren recently found out his wife Lauren has cancer and is currently in the early stages of treatment.

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William’s Broadcasting Bruins DieHards Radio Program and Podcast Co-Host Nick Godin set up a Go Fund Me Account to help with expenses as the McLaren family moves forward with one of the most difficult times of their lives.

The eight-person writing team at the blackngoldhockeyblog.com and three-man crew at the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast would also like to extend this way to help to all of our faithful listeners and readers. Being the Founder and CEO of Black N’ Gold Productions I know the numbers of what’s being seen and heard from us and with those numbers I know we can really make a difference not only for Lauren but her family as well.

We wish nothing but the best for Lauren and she’ll be in our continued thoughts as she fights through this with her family in her corner.

Please click the link below and consider making a donation as both the Bruins Diehards Show and Black N Gold Hockey Podcast and website have already done. Go Bruins!! #BruinsFam

https://www.gofundme.com/helplaurenfightcancer

Posted in AHL, Boston Bruins, NHL, OHL, QMJHL, WHL | Leave a comment

Boston Bruins Name Kevin Dean Assistant Coach

( Above Photo Credit:   nhl .com )

By Mark Allred                           Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

When the Bruins ended their postseason run for the first time in two years against Ottawa, General Manager mentioned in the team’s exit meetings or locker cleanout day that the organization would like to explore options on the idea of adding another assistant coach to the mix. Well, today they made it happen with the addition of Kevin Dean.

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Dean is a solid coach and did very well in his first season as a bench boss with the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins. After a 43-23-6-4 regular season and a Calder Cup Playoff run that got them to the third round, this is an excellent idea as a wave of developmental talent knocks on the door of potential roster spots in the next few seasons.  Obviously, the hiring of now NHL B’s coach Bruce Cassidy is a clear indication the team is going to get younger and another set of eye’s and voice as an assistant coach may have never come at a better time. Both Dean and Cassidy have been in this scenario before when they spent the 2011-12 to 2015-16 seasons behind the AHL bench and racked up a 207-128-21-24 record in 380 games.

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With the upward movement of the coaching staff, Providence Journal Bruins Beat Writer Mark Divver mentioned Trent Whitfield and Jay Leach are likely to fill the gaps as they’ve been with the team for the 2016-17 year. Leach has been with the B’s for one season after an assistant job with the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Whitfield, a former Assistant Coach in the AHL with the former Portland Pirates, joined the Baby B’s from the Western Hockey League with the Calgary Hitmen. Both Leach and Whitfield have spent time as players for the Bruins organization.

To me this looks like an R&D project taking shape and why not set the tone of something useful in building a core of educators to grasp the minds and creativity of the individual players who are about to spend many years in the National Hockey League. This is a positive step forward, and it looks like the B’s are setting the building blocks for many years of competitive hockey and possibly a yearly threat like they were for several seasons before missing the playoffs for two straight seasons.

This may be the biggest offseason of Sweeney’s career so far as he and scouts construct a roster to not only make the playoffs for the second straight year but possibly make a run in the late rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The offseason believe it or not is one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, the no hockey to watch does suck during the long dog day time off but looking at the direction this organization is going and dissecting certain decisions will also be intriguing.

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The Case For Drafting an Overager In Boston

By Spencer Fascetta                 Twitter: @PuckNerdHockey

Every year, my favorite time of the NHL season is the Entry Draft. Hundreds of young hockey players are evaluated, their potential projected, and teams select numerous 18-year-olds to play for them 3, 4, 5 years down the road. However, the draft isn’t just the first 60 picks or so. How many players taken later in the draft actually make an impact in the league? More than you might think.

( Above Photo Credit:  Maple Leafs HotStove )

How is it that the Ottawa Senators found Mike Hoffman in the 5th Round, 130th Overall in 2009? What about Ondrej Palat to Tampa Bay with pick number 208 in the 7th Round of the 2011 Draft? How did those same Lightning find Tyler Johnson as an undrafted free agent, who went on to be a legitimate Calder Trophy candidate in his rookie season, and is an offensive dynamo? They were all passed over in the draft. Hoffman and Palat were taken in their Draft+2 season, and Johnson was passed over all 3 years of his eligibility. This can happen for a number of reasons. There are players who, forever reason, take a little longer to hit their stride in their development curve. In cases such as Johnson’s, it could be a size issue. What it typically is, however, is a reluctance to select a player who has been passed over once already. Hoffman had 52 goals, 42 assists for 94 total points in 62 games in 2008-09 with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL when Ottawa selected him. Jordan Caron, taken 25th Overall by the Boston Bruins, had 36 goals, 31 assists for 67 total points in 56 games for the Rimouski Oceanic in the same league. Peter Holland, taken 10 picks earlier than Caron at 15th Overall by Anaheim, had 28 goals, 39 assists for 67 total points in 68 games with the OHL’s Guelph Storm. In Hoffman’s two previous seasons of draft eligibility, he scored a total of 24 goals, 24 assists for 48 total points in 62 games. This is not an argument about teams not selecting him in either of those seasons; he did not give them significant reason to do so. However, he fell all the way to the 5th Round despite scoring more than 50 goals in a season, and totaling nearly 30 more points than two other CHLers taken in the 1st Round.

( Above Photo Credit:  Zimbio .com )

So, the question is, why did this occur? Caron’s Draft+1 and Draft+2 seasons are difficult to evaluate accurately, as he missed significant time due to injury. He only suited up for 43 games in those two seasons between Rimouski and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, but he scored 28 goals and 27 assists for 54 points in those 43 games. Holland saw his totals increase in both his Draft+1 and Draft+2 seasons increase with Guelph, producing 30/49/79 in 59 games in his Draft+1 year, and 37/51/88 in 67 in his Draft+2 year. For simplicity’s sake, Caron’s Draft+1 and Draft+2 combined points per game average was 1.256. Holland produced 1.325 points per game in that same timeframe. Caron’s Draft+2 season points per game average was 1.435, and Holland’s was 1.313. This to the typical fan says that their development is going well; they are increasing their point totals each year, and are dominating as 20-year-olds in a league with players as young as 16. What was Hoffman’s points per game average in his Draft+2 season you might ask? 1.516. That is indicative of a much higher offensive upside than Holland or Caron, yet, since he had already been passed over several times, it must mean that his production is due solely to his age in comparison to his peers.

So, NHL, you need to add your overage prejudice on draft day to the litany of items that need immediate attention. Who heard of Viktor Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm until this year? Anyone in Nashville, but not much of the general hockey public. Arvidsson was taken 3 years after his initial draft year, Ekholm 1. If your team could draft Arvidsson, Ekholm, Hoffman, or Palat in the 1st three rounds, I’m sure you would be pleased. But anywhere after that is brilliant asset management. With few picks in this year’s draft, why not maximize the value of those picks? In the 2017 Draft, take a shot on 5’8” St. Cloud State defenseman and WJC Gold Medalist (the only undrafted member of the team besides Jake Oettinger, who is in his first year of eligibility) Jack Achan if you want a young, puck moving defenseman who is lethal with his mind as much as he is with is stick. Need a goalie late? Niagara IceDogs’ netminder Stephen Dillon may be a worthy investment. Need a talented forward? How about Swift Current Broncos centerman Tyler Steenberger, who tallied 51 goals in the regular season, or Penn State winger Denis Smirnov, who put up 47 points in 39 games. They could be the difference between a perennial 1st Round exit and a Stanley Cup Contender for the next decade.

Posted in Bruins Prospects, NHL, NHL Draft | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Looking Ahead At The 2017 NHL Draft For The Boston Bruins

 

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(Photo Credit: WBUR News)

By Mike Cratty                                                          Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

The 2017 NHL Draft is approaching quickly with a different feel to it than in year’s past. This year there isn’t really that is anyone considered to be a franchise player like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel in years past. It’s also not considered to be as deep of a draft as year’s past, where the depth of talent has been considered to be pretty deep. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any talent for the Bruins’ staff to scavenge.

With the likely possibility of some left-handed forwards making the jump to the NHL, the Bruins may take some more to restock the cupboard. Names that come to mind that could make the jump are Peter Cehlarik, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and Sean Kuraly. Some 2017 draft prospect names that come to mind are; Kristian Vesalainen of the SHL’s Frölunda HC, Isaac Ratcliffe of the OHL’s Guelph Storm, Maxime Comtois of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres, Lias Andersson of the SHL’s HV71 and Klim Kostin of the KHL’s Dynamo Moskva. All left-handed forwards that bring their own skill sets and varying physical frames to the table. These are also guys that are expected to possibly be available when the Bruins pick 18th overall.


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The Bruins right wing prospect core is really weak. Outside of Zachary Senyshyn, they really don’t have much. Senyshyn may need a year of AHL seasoning before he is ready for the rigors of the NHL. Kole Lind and Kailer Yamamoto are two skilled right wingers that come to mind. It’s pretty simple, the Bruins need help here, and if they choose to use their first-round pick and not trade it, these guys are their best bets. Both saw great growth and success in the CHL. Lind with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and Yamamoto with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.

The 2017 draft is stacked with intriguing goalie prospects. Boston University’s freshman stud, Jake Oettinger, future Quinnipiac Bobcat, Keith Petruzzelli, Michael DiPietro of the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, a junior hockey goaltender from Finland, and Maxim Zhukov of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. There is no telling whether these studs will be elite NHL goaltenders, it’s far too early, and goalie potential is tricky to pin. With the possibility of Subban departing, via free agency or the expansion draft, the Bruins need a potentially elite prospect. Nothing against Zane McIntyre and Daniel Vladar, but I don’t think they fall into that category. The Bruins do not have a third-round pick thanks to the Zac Rinaldo trade, but it’s reasonable to say the Bruins’ second-round pick could be used on one of these promising goalies.

Daniel Vladar was drafted recently and hasn’t seen a ton of AHL time. Sure, McIntyre spent four years at the University of North Dakota., but he was drafted in 2010 and hasn’t been able to secure a backup role yet. The verdict here is that the draft class may not be this good for a while and the Bruins should take advantage.

Defensive help is something that isn’t as desperately need as in the past. With the growth of Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril, on top of the additions of Ryan Lindgren and Cameron Clarke. Maybe a late-round pick or two will be used for defensive help.


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Don Sweeney has said that he would be willing to move the 18th overall pick. The Bruins have made nine picks in the first two rounds in the last two drafts. Anaheim Ducks left-handed defender, Cam Fowler is a player that many Bruins fans would love to see. The one caveat with Fowler is that he would cost a pretty penny to acquire. He is 25-years-old and is coming off the best season of his career. The 2010 Ducks first-rounder played 80 games last year and tallied 11 goals, 28 assists. He broke out in the playoffs as well with two goals and seven assists in 13 games before being eliminated by the Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators.

Guys like Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano could factor into a trade with the 18th overall pick. Ryan Spooner, a restricted free-agent, will likely be traded separately for something like a third-round pick. A team like the Anaheim Ducks, for example, need a left-handed scorer. Frank Vatrano is a guy that will need to fight for ice time and could fit the mold. He saw amazing AHL scoring success and some moderate scoring success at the NHL. He wields speed, a bulldog mentality, as well as a powerful and quick wrist shot. Swapping him and Fowler, with other pieces would give Anaheim some cap flexibility. CapFriendly says that Anaheim’s projected cap space is just $2,315,000. This would likely rule out a Drew Stafford return, as Cam Fowler is set to make $4 million and David Pastrnak will command some good money. Fowler is set to be an unrestricted free-agent next summer.

Young defenders like Jeremy Lauzon, Colin Miller, Jakub Zboril could factor into deals for a high-end defenseman as well.

Minnesota Wild left-handed defenseman Jonas Brodin is another option for the Bruins. The Wild lack a 2017 first-round pick thanks to the Martin Hanzal deadline deal. Therefore, the 18th overall pick could be of great interest to them. Hanzal was likely a rental, so Ryan Spooner also heading to Minnesota could replace him. The Wild do have some talented center prospects that they could call up, like former NCAA standouts Sam Anas, of Quinnipiac University and Luke Kunin, of the University of Wisconsin. Minnesota’s projected cap space, according to CapFriendly, is $11,441,409, without much to do regarding free agency within their organization. So accommodating someone like Spooner shouldn’t be a huge problem while moving Brodin’s contract out.

Like Cam Fowler, Brodin won’t be cheap to acquire. The Swedish defenseman was selected in the first-round of the 2011 draft by the Wild and is now 23-years-old. He will carry a $4,166,667 cap hit through the 2020-2021 season, just slightly more than Cam Fowler ($4 million). Brodin is also coming off the best season of his young NHL career. In 68 games he scored three goals and added 22 assists, with an additional assist in 5 playoff games. It’s fair to say that Fowler and Brodin might fetch similar returns if traded. Fowler could fetch slightly more because he is more established as a top-four NHL defenseman than Brodin.

New York Islanders defenseman, Calvin De Haan is another option. He and Jonas Brodin share something in common, they could both very well be snatched up by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. This fuels the fire that leads to trade rumors surrounding the players. De Haan’s situation is different than Fowler and Brodin’s. De Haan is a restricted free-agent this summer and plays in the Eastern Conference, while Fowler and Brodin have term left on their current contracts and play in the Western Conference. De Haan was taken in the first-round of the 2009 draft. De Haan goes in the first round one year, Fowler the next, and Brodin after Fowler the following year. De Haan and Brodin were both the 10th overall picks in their drafts, Fowler went 12th. The correlation between the three is interesting.

De Haan’s situation is different than Fowler and Brodin’s. De Haan is a restricted free-agent this summer and plays in the Eastern Conference, while Fowler and Brodin have term left on their current contracts and play in the Western Conference. De Haan was taken in the first-round of the 2009 draft. De Haan goes in the first round one year, Fowler the next, and Brodin after Fowler the following year. De Haan and Brodin were both the 10th overall picks in their drafts, Fowler went 12th. The correlation between the three is interesting.


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De Haan was taken in the first-round of the 2009 draft. De Haan goes in the first round one year, Fowler the next, and Brodin after Fowler the following year. De Haan and Brodin were both the 10th overall picks in their drafts, Fowler went 12th. All very close in age as well, with De Haan just turning 26 in May. The correlation between the three is interesting.

A first-round pick and then some sound reasonable for Fowler and Brodin, but not as much for De Haan. De Haan really just broke out this past year, with five goals and 20 assists while playing all 82 regular season games. Also, the first-round pick for an RFA would be a big overpayment. There is a chance that De Haan signs for less money than Fowler and Brodin’s $4 million+ cap hits. That is something worth taking into consideration for a team that has to sign a budding star in David Pastrnak. A third-round pick sounds more plausible for someone of Calvin De Haan’s current status.

When all is said and done, there is plenty of potential for activity and all around exciting draft for Bruins fans. The draft and trade options with the 18th overall pick are the storylines worth following the most in the future.

 

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The Value Of Ryan Spooner to the Boston Bruins

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Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

By Andrew Thompson                                                               Twitter: @godwentwhoops

Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner has been the center of a lot of talk lately.  Last month, there were rumors that the Las Vegas Golden Knights were interested in grabbing him as a middle six-forward. The 25-year old forward has been mentioned by sources (including the team here at Black and Gold) about becoming part of a package deal.

Spooner might be on the move, but what kind of value does he have?

Expectations for Spooner were high back in 2010. The Bruins believed he could be a “legitimate game-breaker” when they grabbed him in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Spooner had another Jekyll-and-Hyde performance last season. Both Claude Julien and Bruce Cassidy found it difficult to place Spooner properly. Spooner wasn’t strong enough defensively under Julien, and Cassidy didn’t like his offensive game once he took over. The Bruins were hoping that Spooner would have been a dependable top-six forward(or third-line center) by now, but his inconsistency found him traveling up and down the lines last year.

Spooner ended up with 39 points (11 goals) last season, a ten point reduction from his 2015-16 performance. Overall, Boston fans considered disappointing. While it wasn’t as bad as Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes’ season, it was below what was expected of him.

Still, Spooner has a lot of potential.

Spooner has the ability to be a solid play-maker. He’s got a strong tactical mind on the ice. He can put things together and help rack up points.

It’s unclear why he can’t bring this kind of performance night after night. One could argue it was a coaching problem at the start of the season (Claude Julien had actually called him out in front of the media a few times), but then Cassidy couldn’t find a niche for him either.

Maybe I’m being a pessimist here, but it seems that Spooner’s time in Boston is done.

Spooner certainly isn’t one of those ‘uncoachable’ players.  But if two Boston coaches can’t get an elite level of performance out of him, it doesn’t speak highly of his attitude. Perhaps the B’s should use Spooner’s skill set and talent to get the B’s what they really need: A left-shooting defenceman or depth on the left wing.

Spooner still has decent trade value on the NHL market. While Spooner won’t get the kind of attention David Pastrnak would, he could certainly make stingy GMs give up the kind of player the Bruins need going into the 2017-18 season. As part of a package deal (especially if Sweeney’s willing to give up this year’s first round draft pick), he can be a very useful asset to the B’s.

Don Sweeney might already have some kind of plan in the works already regarding him. He hasn’t been afraid of shopping around Spooner in the past. Perhaps this time around a deal will be made that will be a win-win all around. The Bruins will get a player to help finish out their roster, and Spooner will find a team that’s a better fit for him.

If the Boston Bruins are going to make a move with Spooner, they’ll need to do it soon. The last thing the Black and Gold needs is another Jordan Caron fiasco on their hands. Tampa+Bay+Lightning+v+Boston+Bruins+qoYz3t-C4xIl

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Bruins 2015 7th Round Selection Is Ready For NCAA Career

( Above Photo Credit:  Tech Hockey Guide )

By Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last week Boston Bruins prospect Jack Becker who was the last selection in the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft officially committed to the University of Michigan. Although he was heavily rumored to attend Michigan Tech University and the University of Wisconsin, the 6′-3″ 192-pound center decided to take his talents to Ann Arbor, Michigan to be mentored by legendary NCAA Head Coach and new bench boss of the Wolverines, Mel Pearson.

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Becker, who was selected by the Bruins out of Mahtomedi High left school in his junior year to play with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League which is a tier 1 junior hockey program for developing players who are about to commit to collegiate hockey careers. What might’ve caught the eye of B’s scouts before selecting the big forward was his point production as a high school player as he had 123 points in 90 games with his Zephyrs team. The jump to the USHL showed he had to make adjustments to his game at the higher level as he only produced 51 points in 109 games with the Stampede.

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I haven’t seen much game action from the young Becker, but have had the pleasure of seeing him at the last two Bruins Development Camps and believe in my opinion he has much more to offer than his stats show. He’ll most likely get much better at the NCAA level and set the tone for his placement in the Bruins developing depth even tho he was the last round selection of the B’s organization in his draft year. With his size alone he could be a solid third or fourth line center with the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins or NHL Bruins roster.


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Don Sweeney Willing To Give Up The B’s First Round Pick

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Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney outside the B’s locker room (Photo: Boston Bruins)

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks for the Boston Bruins organization. In three weeks, the Black and Gold head into the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins are heading into the draft with the 18th overall pick. They also have five other picks this year.

B’s general manager Don Sweeney recently discussed the possibility of giving up their first round pick.

Sweeney isn’t afraid of making big moves for the team.  He’s made 16 picks in the last two drafts. Of those 16 picks, nine have been in the first two rounds, and five were first rounders. The B’s have a strong stable of up-and-comers, and Sweeney might just not like what’s available at the 18th spot this season.

He’s also not afraid of shaking up the Black and Gold locker room either. Two years ago, he moved forward Milan Lucic and defenceman Dougie Hamilton. While these moves opened up spots for players like David Pastrnak, the team’s inability to replace Hamilton has hurt the team down the line.

So what are the Bruins looking for?

The Bruins most desperately need is a another left-shooting defenceman. Zdeno Chara is still the B’s best left-side blueliner. But Chara is now 40.  While the aging captain was still the Bruins best overall defenceman last season, it’s doubtful that he can have another full season playing 28 minutes a night.

Chara will still end up on the top line next season. He’ll continue to tutor Brandon Carlo. The upcoming expansion draft will likely pull one of the Bruins remaining blueliners. At the moment, it’s a three-way draw to see who gets grabbed by Vegas (Adam McQuaid or one of the Millers (Kevan/Colin)).

That leaves Chara/Carlo on the top line, Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy on the second line, and the surviving Miller and Adam McQuaid (who due to his long list of injuries in unlikely to be picked up by the Golden Knights) as the final defensive pair.  If the B’s sustain any serious injuries next year, they’ll look like they did in the first round against Ottawa in April.

The B’s will be sniffing around looking for a deal, but will be wary of getting taken to the cleaners. Last year, the Bruins attempted to grab Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk, but balked at the extremely high price asked for by St. Louis. The B’s might be willing to use their first rounder plus a player like forward Ryan Spooner to get a strong blueliner for Boston.

While it’s far less likely, the B’s could trade the first round pick for a forward. After Brad Marchand, things look rough on the left side. If the B’s keep Dominic Moore, he’ll end up staying on the fourth line.  Tim Schaller and Frank Vatrano don’t look like top six material just yet. Finally, the B’s may not have the patience to give Matt Beleskey another full season to be underwhelming.

On a side note, it could be a good time to move Spooner. The 25-year old was supposed to be a top-six forward by now. But his game still has a Jekyll-and-Hyde feel to it. Claude Julien didn’t like his defensive game at the start of the season, and Bruce Cassidy didn’t like his offensive game at the end of it. Spooner still has potential, and his value could certainly entice another team in giving up a defenceman.

Personally, if Sweeney can find a solid defender for a first-round pick (and Spooner) then great. It would solve certain problems without adding any liabilities to the team. We’ll see how Sweeney handles the pick when the Entry Draft starts on June 23.

 

 

 

 

 

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Former Boston Bruin Shawn Thornton Calls It A Career

 

IMG_2027As of today, former Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has officially hung up the skates. The 39-year old forward/pugilist extraordinaire had an unusual but memorable NHL career, putting in 14 seasons. The two-time Stanley Cup champion spent seven seasons with the Black and Gold, and was one of the X factors in the Bruins Cup victory in 2011.

Thornton officially played his last game on April 8.  He finished with two shots on goal and four hits spread out over 15:06 of ice time. After the game, Thornton retired his skates to a trash can in the Florida locker room. The skates ended up on eBay, helping raise $2,500 for Thornton’s foundation.

The Florida Panthers didn’t acquire Thornton for his numbers. They made him a Panther for his character.  Sure, saying someone is “great in the locker room” has become cliche.  But in Thornton’s case, it was spot on.

“The whole idea was to bring in Shawn to help our hockey team, help them learn how to win, how to have that fierce spirit,” said Panthers President and CEO Matt Caldwell according to SI. com . “We’ve seen what Shawn did to our locker room, positively and how great he was with our young players, how much of a warrior and leader he was. We’re maniacal about culture and having people really care about the company and put its purpose and mission above their own. We just felt Shawn could really bring that, especially to the business side.”

Now Thornton will be moving on to a front office job with the Panthers organization. He’ll certainly bring a new perspective to the Panthers management structure. He’ll likely be the first serious ‘hockey voice’ in the room.

He ended up with 705 career NHL games and over 1100 penalty minutes. (Thornton’s last NHL fight was against Andrew Desjardins on March 25. The Panthers trounced the Chicago Blackhawks 7-0.)

Thornton was a stand-up guy for the Bruins. When he was on the ice, he kept the other team honest. When hard play and menacing glares didn’t work, he knocked the stuffing out of them.

As a Bruins fan, you’ve likely got your favorite Shawn Thornton fight. This one is mine.

Thornton was a monster on the ice. He was a completely different person off it. He’s a gregarious character who is more than willing to laugh at himself. He joked about my ‘Merlot Line’ jersey when I had him sign it at a Bruins charity event. (He was kind enough to laugh when I told him a proper Thornton jersey would be made out of Kevlar.)

Shawn Thornton and Tim Thomas were my favorite players in the year they won the Cup. There were multiple similarities in their careers. Both were considered extreme long shots (on paper) on having a meaningful NHL career. They both overcame rough starts early on in their careers. Both of them became very good at their jobs, and you were never quite sure what they were going to say in an interview.

(As someone who has had the privilege of interviewing Bruins players from time to time, its those kind ‘He just said what?!’ of moments that make me glad I decided to become a sportswriter.)

Thornton’s ready for the next chapter. While he may miss being on the ice, there is one thing he’s glad he’ll never have to deal with again. “I’m just enjoying the thought that I’m never going to have to get punched in the face ever again for the rest of my life,” said Thornton.

Don’t say never just yet Thorty. You might see Matt Cooke at an alumni game.

So Godspeed Quiet Man.  It was fun to watch you on the ice, and a personal life highlight to meet you in person.

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Bruins Hockey Podcasts And Other Recommended Listens

 

By Mark Allred       Follow Me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

As a diehard Boston Bruins fan and hockey fan in general, I’m forever searching for ways to listen to my favorite team and news surrounding the National Hockey League. Living close to Boston I find teams such as the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox get more attention due to popularity and understand the recent years of Bruins hockey haven’t helped the cause. Because of the lack of Bruins coverage regardless of how the team is doing in the standings has made me look at other options to get my hockey fix during my long work week or out and about getting some exercise and the best way to fulfill my need on a daily basis has come down to downloadable podcasts.


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Podcasts are a great way to listen to what interests you whether it’s sports related or not, and they have the ability to listen when it’s convenient for you. I subscribe to 80 hockey podcasts that provide me with the information and news I need to hear during my 40-hour a week job and exercise activities and what I find most interesting about these shows is most of them aren’t from mainstream media but from a fan perspective as sometimes their opinions are more important than popular sports outlets conversations. When it comes to written content about the Bruins I’m sometimes overwhelmed with all the news I need to get caught up on from local writers such as Ty Anderson, Joe Haggerty, Matt Kalman, and Jimmy Murphy but find the audio is my go to for those convenient times.

Below in no particular order are my favorite Bruins related podcasts and other shows that need to be mentioned as important listens to my busy week and great sources of information when time to read is not available. I hope you enjoy and have a moment to check out what these great shows have to offer.

Bruins Diehard 

Hosted by the owner of Williams Broadcasting John Williams and Bruins Blogger Nick Godin, this podcast sets the bar for knowledgeable hockey talk coming out of the New England area. This is a weekly show that’s had great hockey personalities such as Ty Anderson and Jeff Mannix on as special guests and is a show that’s fan friendly when it comes to call-in interactions.

As a longtime listener and guest on the show, I’ve really enjoyed the topics of discussion on both sides of the spectrum and highly recommend you also give this awesome program a try as they strive to be the best source of Bruins news.

Platforms to listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Player.FM, and the Williams Broadcasting website.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter @BruinsDiehards   Facebook: Bruins Diehards

The Spoked “B” Podcast

Hosts Andrew Charles, Jesse Gaunce, and Zach Weiner put on a fantastic program covering all the news and opinions surrounding the Bruins organization. I love the way this show expresses their thoughts and even get worked up in discussions at an explicit adult aspect. All three hosts have certain areas of expertise, and a must listen for those interested in some good ole Bruins hockey talk on sometimes a weekly basis.

I’ve been a subscriber for about a year now since they joined up to be heard on the more popular ways to listen and always look forward to what they have to say. I highly recommend these guys and hope everyone reading this gives them a chance as you won’t be disappointed.

Platforms to listen: Apple Podcasts, Player.FM, SoundCloud

Social Media Accounts:  Twitter @TheSpokedBPod  @andrewcharles91 @jessegaunce @zdubs    Facebook The Spoked B Podcast 

 

Bruins Beat Podcast

This show is one of my must-listens for sure because hosts Jason Buckley, Joe Gill, and Micheal Settipani go through the ups and downs of being a Boston Bruins fan from their perspective and also mention the most recent hot topics going through Bruins Nation on the weekly program. The popular Bruins podcast is a product of the new wave of Boston sports news coming from CLNS Radio which is an up and coming competitive source for all your Boston Sports needs.

I like this show for the serious Bruins topics and fun discussions as well. Although communications are sometimes interrupted with internet issues, it still remains a solid show and another one that I can’t wait for publishing. Aside from the incredible hockey knowledge from different generations of these B’s fans they’ve had impressive special guest appear on the show such as Bruins writer Jimmy Murphy and former Bruins player now an analyst on the NHL Network Dave Ried. Give them a listen for the regular season news but more importantly give a follow during the long offseason as the three amigo’s keep the weekly hockey talk flowing.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Player.FM, Stitcher Radio 

Social Media Accounts:  CLNS Media Network, Bruins Beat Podcast   Jason Buckley, Joe Gill, Micheal Settipani 

Website:  CLNSRadio.com 


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While I have you here I’d like to take the opportunity to promote the Bruins hockey podcast that I do with two fantastic friends of mine that also have a strong passion for everything Bruins related.

The Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast 

Our show is entirely based on the Boston Bruins organization as a whole from the NHL down to the prospects spread out worldwide. Our show always takes a look at the week behind in the schedule and what to expect in the upcoming week as our shows on a Sunday which we think is the pivot point for great Bruins Hockey Talk. Besides myself located near Boston, Massachusetts I’m joined by Court Lalonde based out of the Toronto, Ontario area and Rob Tomlin who joins us from all the way over in the United Kingdom.

One of the things that separate us from other great podcasts is our willingness to talk about the future players in the development system as all the hosts take the time to watch these minor-pro level prospects and give our opinion using the old eye test. We’ve had wonderful guests such as Bruins writers Rhonda McClure, Brandon Share-Cohen, Andrew Thompson, and numbers guru Spencer Fascetta and continue to get better with more appearances scheduled for future shows.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Player.FM, SoundCloud, Sticher Radio, The Hockey Writers Podcast Channel

Social Media Accounts:  Twitter  @BlackAndGold277  @courtlalonde @Rob40bruins @BlackNGoldPod    Facebook  Black N’ Gold Hockey Page

Website:   blackngoldhockeyblog.com 

I also listen to many out of market hockey podcast to fill the listening time at work or play and thought I’d share a few of my personal favorites in hopes you also check them out. As much od a Bruins fan I am, there just aren’t enough podcasts available that are related to completely take over my weekly agenda but I find going out of bounds gives me a different perspective when learning about other league news and respected fan base reactions.

Below is a list of recommended podcasts and information about how to listen and how to follow their social media accounts.

Steve Dangle Podcast

Although based on the events and news of the Toronto Maple Leafs, this show hosted by the trio of Jesse Blake, Steve Dangle, and Adam Wylde is a knowledgeable listen and a hell of a good time on a comedic level. This show isn’t entirely about the Leafs all the time as they dive into other hot topics around the NHL to break up the monotony.

Platforms to listen: Apple PodcastsSoundCloud, Stitcher Radio,  Player.FM

Social Media Accounts:  Steve Dangle, Jesse Blake, Adam Wylde 

Spittin’ Chiclets

A Barstool Sports production, local hockey nuts Rear Admiral, former NHL defenseman Ryan Whitney and beer leaguer producer Mike Grinnell provide a fun way to look at the news surrounding the Bruins and rumbling throughout the NHL. These guys are hilarious, to say the least, and have often been seen by co-workers when I bust out laughing practically on the floor sometimes.  This podcast is so good I could honestly listen to a four-hour program and wouldn’t get bored but wish they’d do two shows a week regardless.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts,  Player.FM

Social Media Accounts:  Rear Admiral, Mike Grinnell, Ryan Whitney, @StoolChiclets

Website: BarstoolSports.com 

ScuttlePuck Podcast  

This is a wonderful weekly broadcast from friends Mike Bonn who’s a passionate Edmonton Oilers fan and Pete Wood who contributes his dislike and passion for his beloved Montreal Canadiens. No “pun” intended but you’d think these two hockey fans would be like oil and water (Canadiens the Water, lol) but it’s actually been a pleasure to listen to these members of the show for the last two years or so. I like the way they talk about their teams then quickly address the news surrounding other teams in the league. Definitely, a must listen and follow and highly recommend you get in on the fun and expert opinions from very interesting special guests.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Player.FM, Google Play

Social Media Accounts:   Twitter @13mike31 @petesvo   Facebook ScuttlePuck

Website:  ScuttlePuck.com

The Hockey Nuts Podcast

Another must listen for all hockey fans and especially one’s of the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Transplants from the Northeast to the Carolina’s Steve Ball (Ranger Fan) and Wayne Hallee (Bruins Fan) take an in-depth look at their respected teams and an even detailed look around the world of hockey. I wasn’t kidding about the world of hockey as these two hockey nuts talk about the NHL and their affiliated minor team to the news over in the KHL and life in the Russian pro league. Definitely, well versed and well-produced show that I recommend for those hockey junkies.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, iHeart Radio, The Hockey Writers Podcast Channel

Social Media Accounts:  @waynehallee9 @sball504man @thehockeynuts

Website:  thehockeynuts.com

Beyond The Blade 

If you’re a Buffalo Sabres fan and want to hear the most recent happenings from the team you seriously need to follow this podcast. Hosts Chad DeDominicis and Bill Schake do a fantastic job of covering the Sabres from the NHL level all the way down to the prospects of the future. Another show that does cater to their home team but also makes time for other important news going on in the NHL or related hockey topics. Even tho I’m not a huge fan of Buffalo, I like to listen to good hockey talk and that’s what you’re going to get here with the addition of knowledgeable special guests. I highly recommend this program for your weekly listens.

Platforms to listen:  Apple Podcasts. SoundCloud, Player.FM, Stitcher Radio   The Hockey Writers Podcast Channel 

SSocial Media Accounts:   Twitter Chad DeDominicis  Bill Schake  Show Account: Beyond The Blade    Facebook:  Beyond The Blade 

Website:  btbhockey.wordpress.com 

Thanks for reading my article about my favorite podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis and hope you have a chance to take my recommendations and listen for yourselves. There were many shows that I wanted to list but wanted to keep this read to 1800 words. I’ll be sure to do another article and involve more of my favorites on this topic during this long hockey offseason.


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Bruins Pastrnak Is A Top Priority This Summer

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Photo credit: (Greg M. Cooper / USA Today Sports)

By Court Lalonde  @courtlalonde

Don Sweeney has a lot of things to be optimistic about after the season that just past. The Boston Bruins made the playoffs, which I’m sure was his goal and wasn’t on board with the crazy goal the Jacobs family had, which was a deep playoff run. I still think that if the team didn’t get decimated with injuries they might have just had one because of the way the matchups went. Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy showed fans that the future of the Bruins defense will be in good hands. Brad Marchand was able to make his new salary worth it by almost having an MVP season minus a couple of minor blemishes. David Pastrnak had a breakout season and was on many highlight reels throughout the year.

The last offseason Sweeney was looking to add to the roster and was looking for defensive depth and scoring to replace the departure of Loui Eriksson. The good news is, not signing Loui last summer turned out to be a huge bullet dodged by Sweeney because he had one of the worst seasons of his career. The good news is that some of that defensive depth he was looking for ended up being in the system and didn’t cost him cap space. He ended up signing David Backes to replace Eriksson, and some fans aren’t happy about the term but can’t deny that the play type of Backes was a welcome addition. As the salary cap goes up year after year, the Backes deal won’t look as bad anymore.


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This offseason Sweeney is going to be looking to maybe add a capable backup at a low cost and a scoring winger to play on the second line. His biggest priority though is going to be the resigning of David Pastrnak. Pastrnak has made it know that he wants to come back. “I’m not a person who would want to go from (team to team),” said Pastrnak. “I love it here. It’s where I got the chance to play in the NHL. I would wish to end here.” Let us hope he takes a hometown discount, but it’s not likely. It does mean that he is willing to negotiate and sees a future playing with the Bruins, unlike Phil Kessel and Dougie Hamilton in the past.

When looking over comparable contracts around the National Hockey League, a couple of them stood out to me. Nikita Kucherov did take a hometown discount in Tampa and is making 4.7 million over three years and had 85 points last year and 66 points the year before his new deal. Artemi Panarin is making six million over the next two years and got that contract after a 77 point season. Both these players have a knack for scoring goals and are considered skilled players like Pastrnak.

This past season we saw him score 34 goals and record 36 assists for 70 points splitting his time between Boston’s top two lines. He played well at the beginning of the season on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand but found himself at the end of the year playing with David Krejci. Having him on the second line with Krejci, allowed Bruce Cassidy to have two lines that provided scoring and made it harder for teams to focus their plan of attack. These stats alone will be a big reason why he should be expecting a big raise.

 

We all know he can score goals and generate offense, but it’s his defensive game that needs to improve. He did show flashes of it during the regular season but did seem lost at times during the playoffs in his end and wasn’t strong enough on his skates. He spent the offseason bulking up and working on his game, and it did show, but he still has areas to work on to make him the elite player he can be. These areas might allow Sweeney to shave some dollars off his new contract.

I feel that Pastrnak will sign a new long-term contract with the Bruins and that the number is going to be in the range of 5.5 to 6 million dollar range per year. I think Sweeney is going to try and lock him up long term because he is the future of the Bruins offense. The term will more than likely be in the range of four to five years when looking at comparables because the bridge deals don’t seem to be working out well. P.K. Subban is a prime example of too many short term deals that ended up costing the team more financially in the end.

Whatever this summer brings, one thing is for certain, sign David Pastrnak first and then move on to other needs.


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This Boston Bruins Deluxe framed panoramic is the perfect addition to any room in your home! Crisp Boston Bruins graphics commemorate their legacy for all to see. You’ll love the way this displays a fresh look no matter where you choose to showcase it.
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