Despite what seemed like red flags popping up during the Marchand contract talks, the two sides have finally reached an agreement. Marchand signed a 2 year contract, worth 2.5 million per year. This bit of news finally puts to bed the last of the big question marks of the off-season. With training camp opening shortly, the Bruins should be in great shape to compete again, and Marchand will be a big part of it.
It’s been a rough summer for hockey as we’ve already had the tragic passing of three NHL’ers. Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard, and Rick Rypien all passed away far too young and with too much left to offer this world.
Now, this morning, KHL team Lokomotiv was departing aboard a plane just outside of Yaroslavl, Russia when tragedy struck again. Shortly after takeoff the plane experienced some kind of issue and crashed into the Volga River. On board was the entire Lokomotiv roster, including many NHL alum’s.
The biggest name among them was Pavol Dmitra, but also lost were former NHLer’s Ruslan Salei, Josef Vasicek, and Karlis Straskins. All told, 41 of the 45 people aboard perished.
This tragedy leaves the hockey world in shock and sadness. All we can do now is hope comfort will come to the family and friends of those who lost their lives today.
In an unfortunate twist, it seems that Bruins center Marc Savard will not be ready to play this season after suffering a season ending concussion 7 months ago. This news means that we’ve likely seen the last for the fiesty but productive center man, as 98.5 The Sports Hub was reporting that it’s likely Savard will retire from hockey. Whether this news is accurate or not, the news of his shut down is saddening.
Prior to his concussion at the hands of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, Savard was a point a game player on the Bruins top line. Following the first concussion, Savard was a shell of himself. Eventually a Matt Hunwick check ended last season prematurely for Savard. I know as a Bruins fan I’m pulling for Savard to recover and get one last crack at playing for the cup, but the prognosis is certainly grim.
It seems the wait will go on, as the two sides have still not come to terms on a contract for cult hero Brad Marchand. Normally this wouldn’t seem all that disconcerting, as many rookies hold out for contracts they don’t nearly deserve, but this situation is quite different. I’m sure that as fans and armchair GM’s, we’ve prognosticated what should and will be done, and we’ve all got our own opinion as to why it hasn’t happened yet. But how likely are these scenarios?
The most likely explaination is that the two sides are slowly working the other until one is forced to give some kind of consession. From the Bruins front office’s point of view, Marchand is an exciting player, whose age and relative inexperience weighs heavier than his home town fan-following. From agent Wade Arnott’s point of view, Marchand is an exciting player whose burgeoning skills and ability to produce in the clutch will be a boon to the Bruins, or to any other team willing to pay him what he’s worth.
The question is what is he REALLY worth, and who stands to lose the most during the prolonged discussions? We all have our own opinions on whether he’s worth this amount or that amount, but in the end, there’s not much of a market for early 20’s pests who can score goals in a Stanley Cup Finals game seven victory… it’s just unprecedented.
Which is why as a fan, I can’t see why Boston doesn’t just swallow the pill and overpay. Even if you are overpaying for what you get from him statistically, the amount you get from jersey sales alone must be worth the risk. Besides, if he’s only as good as he was last year, wouldn’t you rather him playing for you than against you?
It’s been brutally slow on the Bruins News, and I’d rather not post needlessly, which is why I’ve been away for a bit. That being said, I know there’s some die-hard and knowledgeable hockey fans here (most of us are anyways). To those of you who play fantasy hockey, I was interested in running a little bragging rights BR&N fantasy league. If you’re interested, let me know in comments, if I get more than 10, the first 10 to respond will get precedent.
Unrelated to the Bruins I know, but I figured a laugh wouldn’t hurt anyone.
With EA Sports NHL 2012 slated to be released in just over a month (I’m a huge NHL video game nerd…) I thought it’d be fun to revisit the greatest NHL video game commercial of all time.
The doldrums of summer… a hockey waste land where hockey fans pull out hair and taking up smoking. It’s a time when hockey news slows and speculation run rampant. But for fans of the game, there’s always something to keep us entertained. Recently, Sam McCaig, who has written for Hockey News, TSN and Yahoo!, posted his rankings for each position in the NHL.
The link is here if you’d like to check it out.
This may not be significant to most of you, but for me, and my Bruins pride, I like to peruse these lists and bitch and moan about how this player or that player got overlooked or underrated. I can’t really do that with this list.
Quickly, here’s how the Bruins ranked.
Tim Thomas, who had to overcome being benched last season, was ranked #1 overall among NHL goalies. It’s decidedly satisfying to see a guy who at some points didn’t even have the support of his home fans finish the season so strongly that he would be ranked this highly. As Bruins fans, we see it, but it’s nice that the opinion runs wider than just us.
Zdeno Chara, after failing to overcome Niklas Lindstroms monstrous star in the Norris Trophy voting, nabs the top spot among D-men. This is only surprising because for a long time, Chara has had to deal with the weight of his potential. He may still have some detractors, but there’s very few, and the argument for him not being the best in the league is a thin one. And if it wasn’t enough that he was ranked highest, at least 3 or 4 times players were compared to being “hopefully” their teams Chara.
When we get to forwards it gets murky.
Patrice Bergeron was ranked 18th, and far to low for my liking. I understand that the Center position is deep, but for anyone to rank Mikko Koivu or Jeff Carter higher than Bergy is out of their minds.
At Right wing, Nathan Horton gets the nod at 19th among Right Wingers, and a few spots AHEAD of Phil Kessel. This was another satisfying moment reading these rankings. I had a few points of contention here though, as he was ranked BEHIND Chris Stewart, Claude Giroux, and Ales Hemsky. They’re great players for sure, but none of those guys are as complete as Horton.
Left Wing was where I was surprised the most. It seems the lore of Milan Lucic has escaped the streets of Boston and worked it’s way into the imagination of the NHL. First, here’s a list of players Lucic was ranked HIGHER than: Taylor Hall, Simon Gagne, Cammalleri, Tomas Vanek, and Brendan Morrow. Whether you believe one 30 goal season and a disappearing act in the playoffs warrants it or not, Lucic was ranked 6th among Left Wingers.
Now, I implore you to not read too deeply into any of this. It’s just one hockey writers rankings, and we can and will find many faults with lists like these. The reason I visited this was to give us an idea of where the hockey world sees our team and our top players. Every month we tick through into the season, this list would change, but for now, the Bruins look to be at the top of the hockey world again.