David Krejci, Marco Sturm, Kevin Regan, Tuuka Rask, and Zdeno Chara were present at the Ristucci Center this morning. According to Matt Kalman’s Twitter account, David Krejci was the first skater on the ice and was taking shots on Rask. Krejci’s recovery time originally had him missing 4-6 months of action, which would have kept him off the ice until mid November. Being able to skate approximately two months after surgery means Krejci must be ahead of schedule. More updates to come later in the day.
UPDATE: Krejci expects to be back mid-October but has not ruled out being ready for the season opener on October first.
I am working on a new roster section that will allow you to see each players career stats on the site. Currently it is under construction but should be done in the next few days. Click the roster page, you will see each Bruins player’s name. When you click a name, it should take you to a page with his career stats. If anything looks funny, let me know.
The prospects page, which used to be on the top bar, is now on the same page as the roster. There is a second section with the roster called prospects. Click prospects and it will take you to the page with the top prospects by positions.
Update: The stats for each player has been updated. I will work on adding more things such as career transactions, draft info, etc. for each page.
2nd Update: I finished every player. Each player has their draft info, career stats, career transactions and awards. I also added coach Claude Julien’s career coaching records.
According to CKAC 730 AM in Montreal, the Bruins are close to signing Francis Boullion to a contract. Boullion, formerly of the Montreal Canadiens, is a 5’8” 196 pound defenseman who has had trouble staying in the lineup due to multiple injuries over his NHL career.
Tuukka Rask was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs a few seasons ago for goalie Andrew Raycroft. Rask is one of the top goaltending prospects of the future, and seems poised to take over the starting duties one day when current goalie Tim Thomas’ contract expires.
Rask has seem limited action in his past two seasons, starting only 4 games. His only game last season though was a 1-0 shutout win.
Rask has the mental edge it takes to be a goalie, as witnessed in last years shootout freakout down in Providence. That’s the type of attitude the Bruins want to see from their goalie.
At 22, Rask is an extremely young goalie, and the Bruins have learned from their past mistakes (Andrew Raycroft, Hannu Toivonen) not to rush these guys. Thomas will likely get between 60-65 games as always, so Rask could get anywhere between 15 and 20 games. This will allow Rask to develop while not being stuck in Providence. If Rask can’t handle the load, newly signed Dany Sabourin is available in Providence.
The Bruins aren’t expecting a lot from Rask, but to be able to provide Thomas with days off and to keep them in games. If he can play like Manny Fernandez did the first half of last season, the Bruins will be more than happy.
I’ll be doing a series of season previews for each of the Bruins players. I’ll start with center Patrice Bergeron.
Patrice Bergeron returned last season after suffering a career threatening concussion. Bergeron was just regaining his previous form, when he suffered another concussion versus the Carolina Hurricanes. It seemed as though Bergeron’s career could be over. He returned, and even dropped the gloves to show everyone he was back. He really showed his pre-injury form during the playoffs, and we saw the glimpses during the regular season, even though the numbers were not there.
Bergeron still put up respectable numbers, posting 8 goals and 31 assists in 64 games, which is similar to his rookie season when he posted 16 goals and 23 assists in 71 games. Last season was almost Bergeron’s second rookie season.
Bergeron carries a 4.75 million dollar cap hit, which means the Bruins are expecting around 70 points like he was producing three seasons ago. With the emergence of David Krejci, and the the depth of the forward core, it seems unlikely Bergeron could pot 70+ points in the Bruins lineup.
For this season, Bergeron will remain one of the top penalty killers, as he is arguably the Bruins best all zone player. Bergeron will likely get between 2nd and 3rd line minutes, and will start the season as the second line center while David Krejci recovers from his hip injury.
All the Bruins want from Bergeron this season is his defensive play that he has always had, and to regain his scoring touch. If he can pot 15-25 goals, and have between 40-60 assists, the Bruins and their fans will be happy.
The San Jose Sharks made a move today shedding $4.667 million off their cap total. This leaves their roster with two openings for forwards. Joe Haggerty of WEEI suspects the Sharks may make a push for Kessel and sign him an offer sheet. Additionally, a report out of the New York Post shows that both the Rangers and Devils have had interest in Kessel this offseason.
The way I see this affecting the Bruins is that now both teams involved in today’s deals may be options for Kessel. While the Canucks added salary and are currently about $1 million over the salary cap, they now have 8 defensemen on their roster, some who may be attractive to Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli may look at the Canucks as a possible destination for Kessel if he could receive one of their defenseman (Bieksa, Edler), a prospect, and/or a roster player with a cap friendly salary. However, a deal with the Canucks would most likely mean the Bruins would need a third team to be involved, since they would still need to shed an additional salary. As for the Sharks, this may mean they sign Kessel to an offer sheet, but if it were for in the $4.5 million dollar range, I would assume the Bruins would match. There has been speculation all summer that Dany Heatley was headed to San Jose, but that would require the Sharks shed even more salary.
Reports out of Canada are that Matthew Schneider is close to inking a one year, $1.5 million dollar contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Would the Bruins have been smarter to simply sign Schneider at $1.5 instead of Morris at $3.3 and keep the rest of the money to resign Kessel or possibly keep Aaron Ward? Since the lockout, Schneider has averaged 70 games played per season, and even played in 67 games last season despite being injured for the majority of it. Schneider turned 40 years old this summer and is obviously on the back nine, but does provide the puckmoving abilities the Bruins were seeking. Morris, who is expected to be on one of the two powerplay units, is more of a gritty defenseman and more reliable in his own end. Here is a breakdown of their numbers for the past three seasons:
2006-2007: 11 goals, 41 assists, +22 in 68 games played, 2007-2008: 12 goals, 27 assists, +22 in 65 games played, 2008-2009: 9 goals, 23 assists, -12 in 67 games played
2006-2007: 6 goals, 21 assists, -18, in 82 games played 2007-2008: 8 goals, 17 assists, +8 in 82 games played 2008-2009: 5 goals, 15 assists, -10 in 75 games played
Since both played are on one year deals which player would be more valuable? With Morris, the Bruins still need to shed salary to resign Phil Kessel in addition to already having traded away Aaron Ward. With Schneider, the Bruins could have possibly kept Ward and had Schneider slot in on a third pairing with Stuart and then man the top powerplay unit. The Bruins would still have needed to shed salary to resign Kessel. Or the Bruins could still have traded Ward and used that $1.8 million plus the $1,304,167 they currently have in cap space and tried to get Kessel to sign for around $3 million.