Tuesday, July 28, 2009

P.J. Axelsson signs with Swedish team

The Stanley Cup of Chowder blog is reporting and the Boston Herald is reporting it too, that Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson has signed a 4-year contract with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League. I want to wish Axelsson the best of luck there as he gave it all for the Bruins during his 11 years here as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL. Axelsson played a total of 797 regular season games, scoring 103 goals and having 287 total points. In 54 playoff games he scored 4 goals and had 7 points. He won't be forgotten and he will be missed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bruins sign Derek Morris

TSN.ca is reporting that the Bruins have signed defenseman Derek Morris to a one-year contract for $3.3 million. So with this signing the Aaron Ward trade makes a little more sense. But still I think $3.3 million for Morris is a bit high but I'm hoping he can play the way he use to back in his Calgary Flames days. Morris brings more offense to the game than Ward did, but I think Ward was better defensively. I'm thinking Morris will be paired with Zdeno Chara and that should be an interesting pair. Also Morris is known for getting injuries so hopefully that doesn't happen this coming season for him. Now we just got to wait and see what happens with Phil Kessel as with this signing I'm not sure how much room in the cap there is for him.

This will be the fifth NHL stop for the Edmonton native who also patrolled the blue line for the Rangers, Coyotes, Avalanche and Flames during his 10-year career.

In 75 games last season split between New York and Phoenix, the 30-year old Morris had five goals and 15 assists.

Morris was originally a first round pick, 13th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Bruins trade Aaron Ward to Hurricanes

The Bruins have traded defenseman Aaron Ward to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Patrick Eaves and a 4th-round draft pick next year. I'm going to miss Ward as he brought a strong D game every night and played well for the Bruins. Best of luck to him in Carolina. If you're also wondering what may happen with Ward and Scott Walker, remembering the sucker punch incident in the playoffs, Ward had this to say about it:

"Tell him I still have practice -- I'll get him back at practice," Ward said with a smile. "It's water under the bridge. I'm on his team now. ... There's a lot of emotion in the playoffs, both in the media and playing the game. ... I'll see Scott Walker when he comes in, shake his hand, tell him how grateful I am to be here, how excited I am to play with him, and it'll be past."

After the trade, the Bruins put Patrick Eaves on waivers to get more cap room. No big loss here as Eaves only had 6 goals in 74 games. He'll be lucky to find a team for next season and probably end up in the AHL. We'll see what happens with restricted free agent Phil Kessel, hopefully the Bruins can work out a deal with him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bruins resign Matt Hunwick

Yesterday the Bruins announced that they re-signed defenseman Matt Hunwick to a multi-year deal.

Hunwick registered six goals, 21 assists and a plus/minus rating of +15 in 53 games during his rookie season in 2008-09. His 27 points placed him third amongst Bruins defensemen and he scored his first NHL goal on November 17, 2008 against the Maple Leafs. Hunwick played forward in six games last year and posted 1-1-2 totals while skating up front.

Good to see Hunwick signed for more than a year. I think he will continue to get better as he surprised me in how well he played last season.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bruins sign Fata and Sabourin

Yesterday the Bruins announced that they signed defenseman Drew Fata and goalie Dany Sabourin to one-year contracts. These two players are most likely pickups for the AHL Providence Bruins team, as Tuukka Rask is the probable backup to Tim Thomas this coming season, so Sabourin should get playing time down with Providence. And with Jeremy Reich signing with the New York Islanders, Fata brings toughness to fill that void for Providence with Reich gone.

The 26-year-old Fata split the 2008-09 season between the San Antonio Rampage and the Binghamton Senators, both of the American Hockey League. He skated in 75 regular season games with seven goals, nine assists and 141 penalty minutes. He has played in eight career NHL games and registered 1-1=2 totals with nine penalty minutes, all with the New York Islanders.

The 28-year-old Sabourin appeared in 19 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008-09 season and registered a 6-8-2 record, 2.85 Goals Against Average and .898 save percentage. On January 17, 2009, he was traded by Pittsburgh along with Ryan Stone and a 2011 fourth round pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Mathieu Garon. Sabourin did not appear in a game with the Oilers before being waived on January 20, 2009.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bruins player moves

Here is the latest on player moves by the Bruins and some players they have already lost to free agency by signing with other teams.

On June 30th, the Bruins bought out the contract of forward Peter Schaefer.

On July 1st, the Bruins re-signed forward Byron Bitz to a multi-year contract. The Bruins signed ex-Montreal/Dallas forward pest Steve Begin to a one-year contract. If you remember Begin was the one with that cheapshot on Marc Savard which broke a bone in Savard's back. Hopefully Begin can be that same kind of pest for the Bruins against Montreal and everyone else. He's also known for dishing out some big hits. The Bruins re-signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a one-year contract. Martin St. Pierre signed with the Ottawa Senators.

On July 2nd, the Bruins re-signed veteran Mark Recchi to a one-year contract. This will be Recchi's last season playing hockey. Forward Jeremy Reich signed with the New York Islanders. Defenseman Steve Montador signed with the Buffalo Sabres. Defenseman Shane Hnidy signed with the Minnesota Wild.

Looking at some Bruins opponents in the Eastern Conference, Montreal and Toronto have changed their team much. Montreal has added forwards Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri, and Scott Gomez (through a trade with New York), and defensemen Jaroslav Spacek and Hal Gill so far. Toronto has added a lot more toughness with defensemen Mike Komisarek, Garnet Exelby (through a trade with Atlanta), and enforcer Colton Orr. So now we'll be watching those Toronto games more closer with Lucic and Komisarek going at each other again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bruins draft results

The 2009 NHL Entry Draft was on June 26th and 27th and in case you missed it, here were the Bruins picks. In the first round, the Bruins drafted forward Jordan Caron with the 25th overall pick.

Caron, a 6-2, 202-pound forward has spent the past three seasons playing with the Rimouski Oceanics in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In 2008-2009 Caron was his team’s leading scorer, notching 36 goals and 31 assists for 67 points in 56 regular season games. His 36 goals ranked him 11th overall in scoring in the QMJHL. From October 6-October 12, Caron scored five goals, including two game-winners and was named the QMJHL offensive player of the week.

On day 2 of the NHL draft, the Bruins drafted defenseman Ryan Button, forward Lane Macdermid, forward Tyler Randell, and forward Ben Sexton.

In the third round, with the 86th overall pick, the Bruins selected 18-year-old defenseman Ryan Button. The 6-0, 185 lb. Edmonton, Alberta native spent 2008-2009 with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL). With the Raiders, Button tallied five goals and 32 assists, for 37 points in 70 games, making him his team’s highest scoring defenseman. He finished the season tied for second on the Raiders in assists, while his 32 assists tied him for 18th in the WHL out of all the league's defensemen. Button has appeared in 128 career games in two seasons with Prince Albert, registering 5-40=45 totals and 73 penalty minutes.

Boston used its fourth round pick, 112th overall, to select 19-year-old Lane Macdermid, a forward from the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He split his 2008-09 season with the Owen Sound Attack and Windsor. With Owen Sound, he played in 26 regular season contests with eight goals, six assists, and 14 points before being traded to the Spitfires on December 8, 2008. With Windsor, he played 38 regular season contests with 7 goals, 14 assists, and 21 points. He also appeared in 20 playoff games during Windsor’s Memorial Cup run with 4-5=9 totals and 38 penalty minutes. In 2008-2009, Macdermid was assessed 17 fighting majors and has collected 502 penalty minutes in 187 career regular season games in the OHL. Macdermid is the son of former NHLer Paul Macdermid, who is a veteran of 690 career NHL games.

The Bruins returned to action in the sixth round (176th overall) by selecting Tyler Randell, a 6'1, 191 pound 18-year-old forward from Brampton, Ontario. Randell spent the beginning of his 2008-2009 season with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) where he had a total of 10 goals, five assists and 15 points in 36 games. He continued the 2008-2009 season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL after being traded on December 17, 2008 where he played in 37 regular season games with 14 goals, 8 assists, and 22 points. In 2008 Randell was also a member of the 2008 Gold Medal Ontario U17 team. In 135 career games over three seasons in the OHL, Randell has compiled a 29-19=48 line.

Boston's final pick in the draft was used to select forward Ben Sexton, 206th overall. The 5'11, 182-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario spent 2008-2009 with the Nepean Raiders of the Central Junior A Hockey League (CJHL). He played in 87 regular season games in two seasons with the Raiders totaling 30-38=68 career totals. Sexton has committed to Clarkson University for the 2010-2011 season.