Video: Bruins First Superstar Eddie Shore

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Above Photo Credit:  Sportsnet .ca

By Mark Allred     Follow Me On Twitter  @BlackAndGold277

The first superstar in Boston Bruins history was the great Eddie Shore as he exemplified the meaning of “team” defense which would be the staple of the franchise today ninety-three years later.  Although Shore had exceptional attributes for the game so long ago, he also had a dark side that installed fear in many opponents. One player that seemed to not back down from Shore and his tough style of play was legend defenseman, King Clancy who played his first nine years with the Ottawa Senators, then ending his playing days with a seven-year stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Above Photo Credit:  Dennis-Kane .com

With the 100-year celebration of the National Hockey League in full swing this season I remember a story I heard from Sportsnet.ca analyst Jeff Marek who spoke with Shore’s grandson. Shore’s grandson told a story of the hatred between his grandfather and Clancy for many years and one time during a game in Boston the two locked up and fought. Shore struggled with his footing during the fisticuffs and ended up falling to the ice. Clancy, not one for giving up easily leaned down landing a sucker punch to the face of Shore as he tried to get to his feet. Shore who wouldn’t tolerate Clancy’s actions got to his feet and skated over to Clancy saying “I dare you to do that again,” and Clancy replied, “well get back on the ice.”

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Above Photo Credit:  Digital Commonwealth

After the games those fans that witnessed their star defenseman get taken advantage of waited for Clancy outside the arena to show him his actions were uncalled for. As Clancy exited the building he was immediately greeted by a mob of fans. Still inside after getting dressed and cleaned up, Shore heard the commotion outside and ran to seemingly get his revenge. What happened next Shore’s grandson said was a shocking moment because instead of an act of revenge, Eddie was in the middle of the mob fighting off the hometown fans helping his hated arch rival through the crowd to his bus that was waiting outside.

I thought that was an interesting story and thought I’d share what Jeff Marek said and provide an insightful video that Chris Shea put together on Youtube. A little Boston Bruins history for you and hope you enjoyed.

 

Bruins Time Machine

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the Bruins were granted a waiver by the NHL allowing center Marc Savard to have his name engraved on the Cup despite not meeting one of the league’s standard requirements – having played 41 games with the club or playing in at least one game of the Finals.

When local oldtimers have the rare opportunity to view the Stanley Cup, their attention is often drawn to the 1970 Bruins, the first of two championships won during the Orr era.  Some of the names are echoed in hockey history – Orr, Esposito, Bucyk, Cheevers, Adams.  “Whoa, wait a minute.  Who the hell was John Adams?” has been muttered more than a few times by curious hockey fans across North America.

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The heart of the 1970 winter was winding down in Boston and the Bruins, looking to give regular goaltenders Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston a bit of a rest before the start of the playoffs, reached down to their farm team, the Oklahoma City Blazers, and called goalie prospect John Adams up to the big club for the final weeks of the regular season.  “They told me they’d try to get me in a few games down the stretch, but it wasn’t meant to be,” said the affable Adams.  “We ended up being in a tight race with Chicago for first place which came down to the final night of the season, and I guess they didn’t trust a rookie in goal.”

The Blackhawks eventually secured first place in the East Division on the wild final nights of the season (which had actually had teams pulling their goalie for extra attackers early in the third period due to complex tie-breakers), and the Bruins settled for the second seed.

Needing an extra goalie on hand for practice and insurance during the playoffs, the Bruins kept Adams around for their playoff run, but the only action he saw was during team practices.   After winning a vicious quarter-finals series against the Rangers in six games, the Bruins ran the table by demolishing Chicago and St. Louis en route to the team’s first Stanley Cup in 29 years.

Still, Adams was a part of all the Cup festivities to follow.  “I was in the dressing room with Ace Bailey – who was injured – when we won the Cup,” recalled Adams.  “The team came pouring into the dressing room afterward.  It was a pretty crazy scene.”

When the Bruins had their victory parade a few days later, some familiar, and some not so familiar, faces were front and center.  “I was in the lead car with Bobby Orr, Don Marcotte, and Billy Speer,” said Adams.  “I guess they wanted a few big guys in with him to protect him if things got too out of control.”

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At that time teams had almost complete control as to the names engraved on the Stanley Cup, and a few weeks later Adams was told by Bruins management that his name would be put on the Cup, despite having never played a single NHL game.  An urban legend in Boston at the time was that Adams was a nephew or cousin of the team’s owners, the Adams family, but the two parties were not related.   “I even got kidded all the time by my teammates in Oklahoma City,” said Adams of the hoopla surrounding his last name.

His dream of playing in the NHL did not quickly come to fruition for Adams after his taste of glory in 1970.  Cheevers and Johnston were entrenched in Boston in addition to the organization having other goalies in the system almost NHL-ready, such as Ross Brooks, Dan Bouchard, and Dave Reece.  Adams would spend the next two years back in Oklahoma City playing the majority of the Blazers’ games while registering respectable numbers.

However, the formation of the WHA for the 1972-73 season jolted the NHL as many marquee players bolted for the lucrative contracts being offered by the upstart league.  One such player was one of the Bruins’ goaltenders, Cheevers, and one of the other goalies in the system would be making the team in training camp.   Adams actually was contemplating an offer from the Houston Aeros of the WHA but decided to stay with Boston due to the positional opening created by the departure of Cheevers.  “Brooksie outplayed me in camp and got the job,” said Adams, who was sent down to the Bruins newest minor league affiliate, the Boston Braves, who also played their home games at Boston Garden.  “Brooksie was playing well but then hurt his collarbone, so I got called up again,” he recounted.

His first NHL victory came in his first start on November 18, 1972, at the New York Islanders by a score of 7-3.  “I was nervous enough as is but the thought of losing to the Islanders, who were bad at the time, made me even more nervous,” said Adams, who recalled one of the goals he allowed being scored by former Bruin Ed Westfall, who was lost to the Islanders in the expansion draft.

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Less than one week later Adams recorded his first career shutout against the Atlanta Flames.  “Orr ragged the puck in our end for the last 30 second going around our net several times,” said Adams.  “At the final horn, he picked up the puck and gave it to me.  In fact, I’m looking at it right now here in my house.”

Adams would go on to post a 9-3-1 record that season with the Bruins, not really getting much playing time after a cold spell in goal and was eventually demoted back to the Braves.  During the offseason he was traded to the San Diego Gulls of the Western Hockey League for goalie prospect Ken Broderick, who would go on to win 9 games over two seasons for the Bruins, ironically the same number Adams achieved in his one season with Boston.  Adams enjoyed his stay in San Diego as the team sold out the building most nights and he snagged second-team all-star honors.

The good life in Southern California did not last long because just as Adams was talking with the team about a multi-year contract and looking to purchase a house, the franchise abruptly folded in 1974 leaving him without a team.

The Gulls’ GM, Max McNab, paved the way for Adams’ return to the NHL by selling his rights to the expansion Washington Capitals, headed by General Manager (and former Bruins GM) Milt Schmidt, who was familiar with Adams’s ability and character in the locker room.  However, their expansion roster may be the worst of all-time and the team’s record and players’ individual stats reflected as much.  Adams finished the season with a record of 0-7 and a 6.90 GAA.

Adams would never play in the NHL again after that season and finished out his career with minor league stops in Richmond and Thunder Bay, where he still resides.Adams has never lost touch with his Boston background and, in fact, was settling in at home to watch the Red Sox when contacted originally contacted for this article.  When asked if he still stays in touch with any of former teammates, Adams casually revealed that he works part-time for Bobby Orr’s management agency as a recruiter for players in the Thunder Bay area.  He must be one of Orr’s premier employees as he’s helped steer the Staal brothers and Patrick Sharpe Orr’s way.Adams has always followed the Bruins from afar and was part of a celebration in Thunder Bay – which has a surprising number of Boston fans – that landed Mayor Keith Hobbs in hot water for raising the Bruins flag to a high place of honor at city hall.

When asked what his proudest hockey moment was, without hesitation Adams said being signed by the Boston Bruins.  “Being given a contract by an NHL team when only six teams were in the league is very special to me.  Not too many people can say that.”

Adams admitted to getting an occasional peek at the Stanley Cup and each time he does he always checks to make sure his name is still on there.  Yes, it is, and always will be.

Bruins McIntyre Gets Win In AHL Return, Recalled To Boston

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By Mark Allred     Follow Me On Twitter  @BlackAndGold277

Last night the Providence Bruins took to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island to play host to the Hershey Bears and needed extra frames as the Baby B’s pulled out the victory in a 3-2 shootout win. The top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins improve their 2016-17 season record to 25-11-5-3 and are 6-3-1 in the last ten games.

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Returning to the Baby B’s team last night was goaltender and 2010 sixth round pick Zane McIntyre who returned to the AHL after being up with the NHL Boston Bruins since December 30, 2016. With last night’s win, the 6′-2″ 206-pound Thief River Falls, Minnesota native continued his unbeaten 2016-17 AHL record to 11-0-0 with a 1.44 goals-against-average, and .950 save percentage. Adding to his impressive season stats is his winning streak which he extended to ten games with the win over Hershey.

After being demoted yesterday to the AHL Baby B’s, the Boston Bruins announced today that they’ve recalled the 24-year-old McIntyre and sent netminder Anton Khudobin back down to Providence.

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In seven games played with the NHL B’s this season, McIntyre is 0-3-1 with a 3.95 goals-against-average, and .860 save percentage. He along with goaltender Khudobin have failed to provide any spark while giving starting netminder Tuukka Rask any rest. No matter who occupies the backup position this season it’s a disturbing fact that only one win this season came from when Rask didn’t start and that’s outright disturbing.

Brad Marchand, Does The Good Outweigh The Bad?

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(Jim Davis/Boston Globe)

By Court Lalonde (follow @courtlalonde)

 

With the fine of $10,000 just handed down to Brad Marchand today, it makes Bruins fans reflect, does the good outweigh the bad? Marchand so far this year has been the Bruins leading scorer and along with Tuukka Rask has been a bright spot in a season of ups and downs.

Marchand was drafted by the Bruins 71st overall in the 2006 NHL entry draft and has been playing for the Bruins for seven seasons now. He has become a fan favorite in those years and has been a top scorer over the past couple seasons. Brad is flashy, great speed, great shot, and isn’t afraid to mess it up in the corners with anyone. He has had five 20 or more goal season and last year scored 37 goals, going over 30 for the first time in his career. Marchand has had a 40 plus points season six out seven years playing for the Bruins, scored 30 game-winning goals, and 21 short-handed goals. To say that he is a valuable player on the Bruins roster and a reason they win games some nights is an understatement.

In those seven years, he has been suspended four times and fined twice by the NHL for an offense, not including the fine today.

Dec 2011- fined for slew-footing Matt Niskanen
March 2011- two games for an elbow on R.J Umberger
Jan 2012 – five games for slew-footing Sami Salo
Nov 2015 – fined for retaliatory punch on Gabriel Landeskog
Dec 2015 – three games for clipping Mark Borowiecki
Jan 2016 – two games for slew-footing Derick Brassard

Do you see the pattern that he must like getting in toruble with NHL players saefty? You think he would get the message and smarten up, but he even gets suspended for the same offense, and now it’s becoming his call card.

When Marchand is not in the lineup the Bruins record is four wins and seven losses and last year would hate to think he was the reason they didn’t make the playoffs and that the season derailed. The Bruins didn’t make the playoffs last year by one point and lost three games last year during his two suspensions that totaled five games. The Bruins winning percentage with Marchand in the lineup is .636 and .417 without him in the lineup. It’s safe to say that the Bruins would have made the playoffs with him in the lineup because based on the numbers they would have got one more win in those five games.

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(Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Marchand only being fined today will come as a sigh of relief for Bruins fans and his teammates but when is enough, enough? When will he smarten up and realize these selfish actions hurt his fans as much as his teammates. Does the good outweigh the bad? I think so, but do believe that Marchand needs to realize that his selfish actions have consequences and if he keeps this up the bad will outweigh the good.

Bruins Struggles Continue

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Above Photo Credit:  bleacherreport.com

By: Mark Allred    Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins are currently on a four-game losing streak with a loss on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paint Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earlier this evening and looking at the next two games ahead, it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to be any better. This week’s games will have the Detroit Red Wing visiting Boston on Tuesday night and the Penguins who beat up on an effortless B’s team today coming to the TD Garden on Thursday night.

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Now I’m not one for writing articles about trashing my beloved team, but I have serious concerns about our beloved Bruins and their efforts on home ice and in front of hard working paying fans/season ticket holders. The B’s are currently on a two-game winless streak at home but what’s more frightening is when you look at the games left in the 2016-17 NHL regular season campaign and see the Bruins will be playing 19 of the remaining 32 games at the TD in Boston. As all Bruins fans know this organization in the past few seasons has had a tough time when returning home.

The Bruins and their home woes seemed to trend downward after going 31-7-3 in 2013-14 which would be the last time this franchise has been involved in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following that year the B’s went a respectable 24-10-7 in 2014-15, then hit a brick wall in 2015-16 when the team had a pathetic under .500 record (17-18-6). This season the team is 10-12-0 on home ice and on the path to be even worse than last year.

With the lack of motivation to make changes that many seem necessary, Don Sweeney and other members of management seemingly want to stand firm and ride out the year to not push the panic button and risk key members of this team’s future. The Bruins prospects in the lower levels of development are mere years away from breaking out as many of them will be operating on low-risk entry-level deals creating valuable cap space to have the flexibility to afford a decent player as this franchise continues the rebuild.

Additions By Subtractions Approach In The Future?

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With the Bruin likely walking away from defensemen like John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow at the end of this season and keeping the team’s obligation with Captain Zdeno Chara for another year, this organization could make some impressive additions with younger talent. This would be a great time to promote defensemen currently with the AHL’s Providence such as Matt Grzelcyk or Rob O’Gara or blueliners that are eligible for the AHL or NHL next season, like Jeremy Lauzon or Jakub Zboril. These young defensemen that are knocking on the door of the NHL are going to put General Manager Don Sweeney and organization in a tough spot with the extensions given to vets Adam McQuiad and Kevan Miller. Let’s not forget about 2016 Bruins draft pick Charlie McAvoy and where he could end up as he’s in his sophomore season close by at Boston Universtiy.

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Now the offense in the future is certainly going to be interesting as the team will most definitely say good-bye to forward Jimmy Hayes as he’s got one more year left on his deal but can be bought out after this season fro a mere $816,000. Do you resign Dominic Moore whos’s added a nice touch to the fourth line? Has Tim Schaller and Austin Czarnik earned more time in the NHL? What do you do with Ryan Spooner as the pending extensions of young forward David Pastrnak is set to begin contract negotiation at the end of this season? Is Riley Nash deserving of a buyout at the end of the year over Jimmy Hayes at his walking number could be under a million? All questions that will be addressed in the coming time but the future is something to be noticed now.

Looking at the forward depth players such as Peter Cehlarik, Sean Kuraly, Anton Blidh, Danton Heinen, and even Jake deBrusk who’s been playing decent lately all have shots at an NHL roster spot during the team’s annual training camp every September. Not to mention forward prospects Jesse Gabrielle and Zach Senyshyn who are officially eligible for the AHL and NHL next season as both are currently playing their last seasons of Canadian Junior Hockey.

Relax My Friends………. Easier Than Said Than Done

With all this being said, Yes I understand the fans and the passion to win now, but I think this Bruins organization is going to need 3-5 years to build a solid team like the one that brought the team the Stanley Cup in 2011. Embrace the youth coming into the system and have patients as these young men develop the skills needed to be ultimate professionals in the world’s best league.

Welcome back Bergeron

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(Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

By Court Lalonde (follow @courtlalonde)

The 2016-17 season for the Boston Bruins has been an interesting one so far, to say the least. They currently sit 3rd in the Atlantic with 52 points but have played five more games than both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Toronto has 50 points, and Ottawa is even with Boston in the standings; both those teams are playing better hockey currently then the Bruins. I believe there is some hope around the corner because of the recent output of one Patrice Bergeron. Patrice is a leader in the Bruins dressing room and usually when he plays well, his team notices and steps up their game.

 
At the 2003 entry draft, the Boston Bruins used their 45th overall pick to select Patrice Bergeron. He would make the big club in his first year and would record 39 points in 71 games. In 2005, the Boston Bruins traded budding superstar Joe Thornton and decided that early in Patrice Bergeron’s career that he would be the new face of the franchise. That year Patrice Bergeron lead the Bruins with 73 points and put away any doubt that anyone had of his abilities.

 
The Bruins and Patrice Bergeron had their ups and downs from then on, but it wasn’t until the 2011 playoffs where he cemented himself in Bruins history forever. The Boston Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup finals on the back of Tim Thomas, but on June 15th, 2011 it was Bergeron who scored the winning goal to win the Stanley Cup. Getting big goals became the norm for Patrice Bergeron because in game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he scored the game-tying goal after being down 4-1, and then scored the winning goal in overtime to knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins would make it to the Stanley Cup final that year, only to lose in 6 games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Once the finals were over, we learned that Patrice Bergeron had played with a punctured lung, separated shoulder, broken ribs, and a broken nose.

 
It must have been hard for him this year when Patrice Bergeron got off to such a slow and unlike him start. There are rumors that he was and might still be playing with an injury, but it’s not like he hasn’t played through one before, and there is no confirmation that he is injured. In the last ten games, he is showing his leadership on the ice by getting 10 points in his last ten games, and 4 of those points on the struggling but improving power play. In the 45 games Bergeron has played this year, he has only collected 21 points, so 10 in the last ten games is a large improvement and shows Bruins fans hope for optimism. We all know that Patrice Bergeron’s number 37 will hang from the rafters at TD Garden once he retires. It might end up that the Bruins don’t make the playoffs again this year, but we know that he will never give up and play hard until that last buzzer sounds.

Playoffs or Golf?

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By Court Lalonde

We’re almost at the all-star break, and the Boston Bruins are looking more and more like a non-playoff team again. After every loss, we hear the same excuses and its starting to sound like a broken record. I honestly think Claude must just have an excuse board and picks his cliche for the day and runs with it. Their current record is 23-19-5 and are sitting second in the Atlantic with Toronto and Ottawa close behind and both teams have five games in hand.

 
To say they started the season off slow is an understatement; they have been inconsistent all year. Only once this year the Bruins have been able to win more than two games in a row, and that was at the beginning of November. They have the tendency to play great against the stronger opponents and fall flat against teams below them in the standings. They need to at least show-up night in and night out because some nights I think the farm team could play better.

 
Patrice Bergeron is having the slowest start in his career and is a minus player more nights than a plus lately. The rumor is that he is playing with an injury, but no one can confirm or deny that fact. Zdeno Chara is showing that age is just a number and is one of the best players on the back end and maybe that has something to do with playing with young up and comer Brandon Carlo. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are lighting up the score sheet and are the only players generating offense on a consistent basis. David Krejci and Tory Krug show flashes of offense and then some nights are just invisible or giving away the puck. David Backes has come as advertised and has been a great addition to this hockey club and has not let up. Dominic Moore has been a pleasant surprise and has been consistent all year and is already on the pace to out produce his production from last year.

 
Tuukka Rask has been brilliant most nights and if the Bruins have to give an MVP to someone at the midway point of the season, it should be him. He has been near the top for all goaltending statistics all year and has been chosen along with Brad Marchand to be in the all-star game for the first time in his career. The Bruins should be worried about burning out Tuukka and are hoping that McIntyre can give him the much-needed relief that Khudobin wasn’t able to provide the first half of the season.

 
I wish I could have the answer to what can motivate this team in the second have of the season, but I’m not in the room. Is a coaching change the answer, I’m not sure but the Bruins do need an attitude change, and fast or will be golfing sooner than they know it.

It’s not your fault Jimmy

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By Court Lalonde

Well, maybe a little bit. On July 1st, 2015 there was a house in Dorchester, Massachusetts that more than likely couldn’t hold their excitement. Jimmy Hayes was traded to his hometown Boston Bruins for Reilly Smith and Marc Savard from the Florida Panthers. What was to happen in the next couple years wasn’t the fairy tale himself and his family thought it was going to be.

Jimmy Hayes was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008, 60th overall and was later traded in 2010 to the Chicago Blackhawks before ever lacing up for the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the next couple of year, he had his ups and downs in the Blackhawk organization but couldn’t crack the lineup. In November of 2013, was acquired by the Florida Panthers and was able to crack the lineup. In two years in Florida, he showed splashes of a power forward that could put the puck in the net and during 2014 was able to stay in the lineup for 72 games and was able to score 19 goals and 16 assists for 35 points. He looked like he had a lot of potential and would be a great addition to any team.

In 2015 the Boston Bruins were looking to get some cap space with the injured Marc Savard’s contract sitting on their books. They found a trade that would create cap space and bring in a player they thought would be would be the much-needed size and skill on the wing they needed. Smith had been on the decline with regards to point production, and Hayes was on the upswing, so it looked a huge steal for the then new GM Don Sweeney. Sweeney then signed the restricted free agent to a three-year contract worth $2.3 million per year.

Since joining the Bruins, Jimmy Hayes play has not been that of what people from Boston call “Boston Bruins hockey.” In fact, it has been the exact opposite and appears that playing in his hometown has become a burden and not a dream. Hayes has struggled to find any scoring touch with the Bruins and hasn’t used his physical presence in games to be that power forward the Bruins thought they were getting. He has shown he can score like his three-goal game against Ottawa at home last year right before the Winter Classic. In 2015 Hayes scored 13 goals and got 16 assists for a total of 29 points in his first year as a Boston Bruin but also got 60 minutes in penalties which were a huge jump from the 20 minutes he got the year before. That increase in penalties shows you he was trying to play a different style of game that ends up costing his team in the long run. This year Hayes has been off to the worst start in his young NHL career and found himself in the press box even more than the penalty box, and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change anytime soon.

We do have to remember that Jimmy Hayes never asked to be traded to the Boston Bruins and he did offer himself a three-year contract worth $2.3 million a season either. We can only speculate if he wishes he was never traded to the Bruins and if he did, we really can’t blame him. Jimmy Hayes did one thing to this hockey club, and that is cap space, and in today NHL is worth more than point production sometime. Because of this trade, the Boston Bruins now have more cap flexibility going forward and will be able to sign the likes of David Pastrnak this summer and possibly bring in some free agents. So the next time you think Jimmy Hayes is a bad player, remember he has a very cap friendly contract and allowed the Boston Bruins to sign better players and he is a hometown boy, and that has to count for something.

Poll: Boston Bruins Jersey’s For Next Season

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Above Photo Credit:   bostonsportsdesk.com

By: Mark Allred  ( BlackAndGold277 )

The clothing and shoe company Adidas officially becomes the NHL’s jersey manufacturer beginning in the 2017-18 season, but with high demand and short time period, Adidas will only make two jersey’s available per 30 NHL teams. With 18 NHL teams having alternate or third jersey’s, there will be a choice of which sweater to wear for the upcoming season.

Many speculate that Adidas will only provide the current away and home jersey’s while other top hockey personalities say the alternate jersey will also be a choice to the organizations currently using them for special occasions or afternoon games.

So, I’d like to hear from the loyal Boston Bruins fans on this topic. Below are images of the jersey’s the Bruins organization currently uses and I want to hear what two you’d like to see in the 2017-18 NHL season. Take a look below and cast your vote!

Choice “A”bruins-away

Choice “B”bruins-home

Choice “C”bruins-alt-1

Choice “D”bruins-alt2

Where does Liles fit?

By: Kyle Benson (OfficialKBenson)

On Sunday night, Bruins defenseman John-Michael Liles, made his return to the lineup after being out of action for almost two months due to a concussion. His first game back wasn’t a good one, as he quite literally gave away the game-winning goal. What made this more painful was the fact that young d-man, Colin Miller, was benched in favor of the returning veteran.john-michael-liles-nhl-boston-bruins-tampa-bay-lightning-827x560

C.Miller has been impressive this season, developing his game with the B’s and excelling. He has put up six points in 33 games played, and it’s only a matter of time until he moves up from the bottom defensive pairing.

With the travesty that happened on Sunday, it is clear that Liles should not take C.Miller’s spot in the lineup anymore. Liles is not a garbage defenseman though and has many years of experience in the league. Since Liles has been out though, the team has really only used one set of pairings that looks like this:

Chara – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
K.Miller – C.Miller

Claude Julien has gotten better with changing up the lines in recent years, but even the Krug-McQuaid pair has been together for a couple years now and could maybe use a shakeup. Realistically, based on play and stats, Liles could step in Adam McQuaid’s or Kevan Miller’s spot and play as well or better than the two. Liles does have more points than the two, with five on the season, but defense is not all about points. Other than this, there are two major problems with him trying to takeover the other two’s places.

Size and Physicality

It’s no secret that Liles is the least physically imposing out of himself, McQuaid, and K.Miller. Both the two have size and weight advantages on Liles, and they have been known to scrap as well. While both these attributes are good to have, the B’s have size on their first pairing and scraps/fighting are being phased out of the NHL faster than you know. This doesn’t mean having both these attributes is a bad thing.

Contracts and Money

Out of the three defensemen, Liles is making the least money and his contract is up at the end of the season. K.Miller and McQuaid both recently signed new contracts, K.Miller making $2.5mil this season and McQuaid making $3mil. After this season McQuaid is signed for another two seasons and K.Miller for another three. Believe it or not, these contracts give them some pull and will influence Julien’s decision to put them in over Liles, to make GM Don Sweeney happy, and to make sure his money is not going to waste.

Unfortunately for Liles, these problems will most likely keep him out of the daily lineup and he will have to wait for someone who needs rest or an injury. Liles had a horrid first game back, and that may have been the deciding factor to keep him out for now.