Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bruins 2007-08 pre-season schedule released

The Boston Bruins 2007-08 pre-season schedule has been released and they'll only be facing four different teams, the New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens.

Pre-season schedule found on BostonBruins.com:

Sept. 18 - N.Y. Islanders at St. John’s, Newfoundland, 7:00 PM NT
Sept. 20 - New Jersey at Manchester, NH, 7:00 PM ET
Sept. 22 - Toronto at TD Banknorth Garden, 4:00 PM ET
Sept. 23 - Montreal at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 4:00 PM AT
Sept. 27 - Montreal at Bell Centre, Montreal, 7:30 PM ET
Sept. 30 - N.Y. Islanders at TD Banknorth Garden, 4:00 PM ET

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bruins trade Toivonen to Blues

The Bruins have traded goalie Hannu Toivonen to the St. Louis Blues for Swedish prospect center/left wing Carl Soderberg. From BostonBruins.com:
"Soderberg, 21, and a native of Malmo, Sweden, has spent the last two seasons with Malmo IF of the Swedish Elite League. In 31 games with Malmo last season, Soderberg tallied 12 goals and 18 assists. Prior to joining Malmo's top club, the 6'3", 200-pound Soderberg played for Malmo's junior teams. Soderberg has also played for Sweden at the 2005 World Junior Championships, where he ranked second on the team with four goals and six points, and at the 2003 World Under-18 Championship where he recorded a pair of goals."

You can view Soderberg's career hockey stats here.

Toivonen joins ex-Bruin Brad Boyes on the St. Louis Blues. The Blues look to be a pretty good team and Toivonen will probably back up Manny Legace unless he plays bad but look for Toivonen to be the Blues' future starting goalie. I think it was a gamble in trading Toivonen but one of the goalies had to go and getting Soderberg I think was good. Another move by Chiarelli all Bruins' fans will be watching.

Bruins re-sign Jeff Hoggan

The Bruins have re-signed forward Jeff Hoggan. The article did not say for how many years and money involved but I'm assuming it's a one-year deal, for the league minimum on a two-way contract, but I could be wrong so don't take this as what the deal is. Last season Hoggan played in 46 games, had only 2 assists, with 33 PIMs. He was one of the very few players last season that brought intensity and hitting to the lineup.

I'm also going to assume that he'll probably mostly play with the Providence Bruins this coming season unless an injury happens or he really improved in the off-season and impresses at camp. I like his game because he's a hard-nosed type of player (remember that good fight he had with Jim Slater of the Atlanta Thrashers last season) and he tries to hit the opposing players.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bruins payroll for coming season

Over at the Bruins Insider blog on BostonHerald.com, Douglas Flynn has a good post looking at each Bruins player's salary for the coming season. With the trade for Schaefer, that brings them closer to the cap. Here are the salaries for the current players (quoted from the blog post):

Boston Bruins 2007-08 (Estimated) Payroll

Forwards
Marc Savard $5,000,000
Patrice Bergeron $4,750,000
Glen Murray $4,150,000
Marco Sturm $3,500,000
Phil Kessel $2,200,000* ($850,000 base, $1,350,000 bonuses)
Peter Schaefer $2,100,000
P.J. Axelsson $1,850,000
Chuck Kobasew $1,200,000
Stanislav Chistov $800,000
Brandon Bochenski $600,000
Shawn Thornton $517,000
Jeremy Reich $487,000
Mark Mowers $463,000
Total: $27,617,000

Defense
Zdeno Chara $7,500,000
Aaron Ward $2,750,000
Andrew Ference $1,400,000
Mark Stuart $1,579,000* ($942,400 base, $637,500 bonuses)
Andrew Alberts $1,250,000
Dennis Wideman $600,000
Bobby Allen $500,000*
Total: $15,579,000

Goalies
Manny Fernandez $4,333,333
Tim Thomas $1,100,000
Hannu Toivonen $532,000
Total: $5,965,333

Buyouts:
Travis Green $233,000

Long-term injury exemptions:
Alexei Zhamnov $4,100,000

Total (including buyouts, minus long-term injury): $49,394,333

Cap limit: $50,300,000

Other candidates to make lineup:
Matt Lashoff $850,000* ($585,000 base, $265,000 bonuses)
David Krejci $883,333* ($775,000 base, $100,000 bonuses)
Nate Thompson $483,333*
Ben Walter $566,667*
Martins Karsums $883,333* ($775,000 base, $100,000 bonuses)
Vladimir Sobotka $750,000* ($550,000 base, $200,000 bonuses)
Jonathan Sigalet $495,000*
Tuukka Rask $3,200,000* ($850,000 base, $2,350,000 bonuses)

* — two-way contract (NHL salary listed)

Bruins trade Donovan for Schaefer

The Boston Bruins traded right wing Shean Donovan to the Ottawa Senators for left wing Peter Schaefer. Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli had this to say about Schaefer:
"Peter will bring us some added scoring and tenacity along the boards. He has playoff experience and he is a proven penalty killer. His addition will help round out our forwards."

Chiarelli knows Schaefer from his days with the Senators so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that he traded for a Senator. I'm a little surprised that the Senators traded him though. Schaefer had the best season in his NHL career last season, scoring 20 goals, 50 points, while playing in every game. Last season Donovan played in 76 games, scored 6 goals and had 17 points. They are both speedy players, but Donovan probably edges Schaefer. Both guys play with grit, I would give the edge though to Donovan. Schaefer is two years younger than Donovan. Looking at NHLPA.com, Donovan will be making $925,000 for the 2007-08 season, and Schaefer will be making $2,100,00 for the 2007-08 season.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bruins promote Benning and Sweeney

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli promoted Jim Benning to assistant general manager, and Don Sweeney was promoted to director of hockey operations and player development. Benning was the Bruins' director of player personnel. Sweeney was the Bruins' director of player development.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bruins' prospect Milan Lucic

On BostonHerald.com there is a good article written by Stephen Harris named "Lucic shows skills to put up a fight" which talks about Bruins' prospect Milan Lucic. Lucic is a work-in-progress as he needs development but he's the type of player that Bruins fans have been waiting for. My favorite part of the article is the part where Lucic's father said, "If you want to be like any player, be like Cam Neely."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bruins 07-08 season schedule released

Today the NHL released the Boston Bruins 2007-08 regular season schedule. The Bruins start the season on a 5-game road trip against the Dallas Stars, Pheonix Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks.

From BostonBruins.com:
The Bruins 2007-2008 docket will be an 82-game unbalanced schedule that pits the Bruins against each of their Northeast Division rivals (Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) eight times (four each home and away) and each of the other Eastern Conference teams (Atlantic and Southeast Divisions) four times each (two home, two away).

Boston will play their remaining ten games against Western Conference opponents from the Central Division (each team once at home) and the Pacific Division (each team once on the road). The Bruins will not face Northwest Division teams this season.

Some games to note during the season:
  • vs Ducks, October 10th, should be good to see the Bruins against the Stanley Cup champs, and Shawn Thornton against his former team
  • vs Canadiens, October 22nd at Montreal, I know the rivalry isn't what it once was but I always look forward to these games
  • vs Rangers, October 20th, with the Rangers signing Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, and re-signing Brendan Shanahan, the Rangers may be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference
  • vs Sabres, November 1st, I have a feeling that this rivalry is somewhat coming back due to last year's incident with Adam Mair. With Jeremy Reich having Thornton with him - I want some more revenge
  • vs Penguins, December 20th, Bruins fans will be able to see the best player in hockey at the Garden
You can view the entire Bruins 2007-08 schedule here. I'm excited about the coming Bruins season which I didn't think would happen with how the Bruins played last season.

Bruins re-sign Dennis Wideman

Today Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced that they have re-signed defenseman Dennis Wideman. The article didn't mention yet for how much and for how long the contract is for. The Bruins got Wideman last season in a trade, sending Brad Boyes to the Blues. I still think that was a bad trade, but maybe he can improve defensively and become a good third or fourth defenseman. He played in 20 games last season for the Bruins, scoring one goal and two assists.

Bruins young prospects

There's a good article on NHL.com that talks about the Bruins young prospects in their system. I found it interesting and I thought other Bruins fans would find it interesting too. Make sure to read the article when you get a chance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bruins re-sign Jeremy Reich

The Bruins re-signed tough guy Jeremy Reich to a one-way two-year deal. This is great news for Bruins fans that want the Bruins to be more physical and play with grit which Reich will bring. I'm hoping for Reich and Shawn Thornton to play on the same line and make other teams keep their heads up.

Reich and Thornton have met in the past in the AHL. From BostonHerald.com:
Reich and Thornton are well-acquainted from their days in the AHL, and Reich is happy to finally be playing with him instead of against him.

"I played against Shawn in the minors enough," said Reich. "He plays hard every shift and he can handle himself if something breaks out. It'll be great having him on the team as well."

When asked if any of their past clashes led to gloves being dropped, Reich laughed.

"We've run into each other a few times," said Reich. "We play the same style, and when you play as often as you do down there (in the AHL), it's kind of inevitable."

So who holds the bragging rights?

"I don't know, you'll have to ask Shawn," said Reich. "I'm just glad we're on the same team now."

I get a sense that Thornton had the edge on Reich when they fought. If I find any of their fights I'll be sure to post them here on this blog.

Also the Bruins signed Matt Hendricks to a two-way two-year contract. Last season he played for the Hershey Bears in the AHL. In 68 games he had 18 goals, 26 assists for 44 points with 105 PIMs.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bruins re-sign Bobby Allen

The Bruins today re-signed defenseman Bobby Allen. Last season Allen played in 31 games and had 3 assists. I'm assuming that Allen will start the season in Providence unless someone gets injured in training camp or at the start of the season. He's a good depth player to have, but he's only a 5th or 6th defenseman from what we've seen from him. Also the Bruins signed Byron Bitz, a 6'4" 220-pound forward that was drafted by the Bruins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was the Bruins' fourth pick, 107th overall.

From BostonBruins.com:
"Bitz comes to the Bruins after completing his senior year of college hockey for Cornell University. In four years at Cornell, Bitz registered 28 goals and 60 assists with 157 penalty minutes in 124 career games. Last season Bitz served as the Big Red's team captain."

Bitz interests me because he's a big guy at 6'4" and it seems that he can play the game, with those 28 goals. He'll probably be at training camp and he's probably a long shot to make the team but watch for him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Free agent update

Well today and yesterday there have been numerous signings and a few trades. The Bruins made some small moves, first acquiring goalie Manny Fernandez in a trade, and signing Shawn Thornton . Some of the big/semi-big names of players that are now signed are:
  • Mathieu Schneider (Ducks)
  • Tom Poti (Capitals)
  • Scott Gomez (Rangers)
  • Chris Drury (Rangers)
  • Brian Rafalski (Red Wings)
  • Radek Dvorak (Panthers)
  • Daniel Briere (Sabres)
  • Jason Blake (Maple Leafs)
  • Cory Sarich (Flames)
  • Viktor Kozlov (Capitals)
  • Scott Hannan (Avalanche)
  • Ryan Smyth (Avalanche)
  • Paul Kariya (Blues)
  • Petr Sykora (Penguins)
  • Darryl Sydor (Penguins)
  • Sheldon Brookbank (Columbus)
  • Robert Lang (Blackhawks)
  • Roman Hamrlik (Canadiens)
  • Tom Preissing (Kings)
  • Michael Nylander (Capitals)
  • Ladislav Nagy (Kings)
  • Michael Handzus (Kings)
  • Kyle Calder (Kings)
  • Todd Bertuzzi (Ducks)
  • Bryan Smolinski (Canadiens)
  • Owen Nolan (Flames)
Most of the players I mentioned in a previous post that I would like the Bruins to try and get are now gone, but the Bruins got Shawn Thornton who I hoped they would get. I don't think the Bruins will do much more but I could be wrong because they will probably trade one of their three goalies, either Tim Thomas or Hannu Toivonen. I would probably trade Thomas if I could get an NHL player in return because Toivonen is younger and has more of an upside. But with recent moves it seems Peter Chiarelli is trying to win now so we may see Toivonen traded instead.

On TSN.ca, they are reporting that the "Phoenix Coyotes have bought out the remaining two years on the contract of centre Dave Scatchard." Remember the Bruins signed Scatchard two years ago but shortly traded him to the Coyotes for David Tanabe. Scatchard had 31 points and 156 PIMs in 93 with the Coyotes over the two seasons. He missed the last 32 games of last season because of a concussion. I would like to see him back with the Bruins as he is a tough team player and a good faceoff man. He has had a past with injury problems though. Plus I don't think he left on good terms with the old Bruins management. Good luck to wherever he goes as he is a favorite of mine.

Looking at the NHL transactions page on TSN.ca showing who is a free agent, I would like the Bruins to try and get these players:

-Nikita Alexeev, RW/LW, he played for the Blackhawks last season in 78 games and scored 12 goals. He'll be 26 this year and has size at 6'5", 227 lbs.

-Anson Carter, RW, he played in 64 games for the Hurricanes last season and scored 11 goals. He usually goes on hot and cold streaks so he may be a gamble to sign.

-Brad Winchester, RW/LW, he played in 59 games for the Oilers last season, scoring 4 goals and had 86 PIMs. Winchester is still a young kid that I think can be very useful for the Bruins with his size (6'5", 215 lbs.) and can be a physical force for them. He's not afraid to stick up for teammates and drop the gloves which the Bruins need from their players. I think he can become a power forward but needs to be playing for his skills to grow.

-Vitaly Vishnevski, defenseman, he played in 67 games last season (for the Predators and Thrashers), and had 3 goals with 41 PIMs and was a -4. Every hockey fan knows Vishnevski for his huge and big hits which sometimes can be called dirty/cheap. He reminds me a little of Kyle McLaren, but McLaren is in a hitting class above Vishnevski. I would like to see the Bruins have a big hitting defenseman as Vishnevski is. I know Andrew Alberts can lay out big hits and Zdeno Chara at times does, but having another big hitter probably won't hurt.

I think if the Bruins got any of the above players, it would improve their team. But with the salary cap, I think the cheapest players from above would be Alexeev and Winchester.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Two Shawn Thornton fights

I'm very excited about the Bruins signing tough guy Shawn Thornton, can you tell? If you have never seen any of his fights well below are two of them that I found on YouTube. The first one is Thornton vs the NHL heavyweight champ Georges Laraque back in 2004. Thornton got the edge in that one, which not many people can say against Laraque. The second fight is of Thornton last year in a punchfest against Sharks' Mark Bell.



Bruins sign tough guy Shawn Thornton

TSN.ca is reporting that the Boston Bruins today signed tough guy right wing Shawn Thornton to a multi-year contract. Thornton will be 30 years old in July. This past season he won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks. He played in 48 games during the season, scoring 2 goals and had 9 points with 88 PIMs.

Thornton is one of the players I was hoping that the Bruins would try and sign, and I'm glad they got him. Thornton is a middleweight and is known for his rough play, sticking up for teammates and dropping the gloves. He is a player that the Bruins have needed the past few seasons since they let Colton Orr get away. I would like to see the Bruins re-sign Jeremy Reich and have an energy/crash line but look for the Bruins to let Reich go elsewhere. Since they signed Thornton to a multi-year contract, look for Thornton to be on the roster all season long and not be sent down to the minors unless he plays really bad. Good signing by the Bruins.

Bruins trade for Manny Fernandez

On ESPN.com, they are reporting that the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild have worked out a trade to send goalie Manny Fernandez to the Bruins for prospect forward Petr Kalus. Fernandez will make $4.33 million next season. Last season Kalus played in 9 games and scored 4 goals. So look for the Bruins to now trade one of their goalies, either Tim Thomas or Hannu Toivonen. I personally don't like giving up Kalus for Fernandez. I thought Kalus played well in those 9 games and showed something. Fernandez is 32 years old, and injured his left knee last season. The most games that he has played in, during one season, is 58 games in 2005-06 when he had 30 wins. Fernandez played in a defensive system for Minnesota which I think helped him get those wins and good GAA. If the Bruins play a good defensive game, then Fernandez should be ok, but I'm worried about this deal. Watch for Kalus to be a good player for the Wild.