Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Bob Beckett

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 84th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Bob Beckett!

Bob Beckett was born on April 8th, 1936, in Unionville, Ontario, Canada. He began playing juniors as an 18-year-old forward for the Galt Black Hawks (OHA-Jr.) from 1954-1956, playing in 97 games and posting 32-48-80 numbers. During the 1956-1957 season, he split his time between the Victoria Cougars (WHL) and Quebec Aces (QHL) before getting the call-up to play for the Boston Bruins.

That season, Beckett suited up for 18 games with the Bruins, collecting three assists. The following season, he was assigned to play for the Springfield Indians (AHL), appearing in 67 games and producing 17-16-33 numbers before getting called back up to Boston. For the remainder of that year, he played nine games for the Bruins but failed to register a point. The forward spent the next two seasons playing for the Providence Reds (AHL) before joining the Bruins again during the 1961-1962 season, suiting up for 34 games and contributing 7-2-9 numbers.

Beckett had his last stint with the Bruins during the 1963-1964 season, suiting up for his final 7 NHL games and registering an assist, before being sent to Providence for the rest of the season. He retired from the hockey world in 1964. The 6’0, 185-pound forward played 346 career games in the American Hockey League and finished with 94-147-241 numbers. Happy birthday, Bob Beckett!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Bob Armstrong

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Bob Armstrong was born on April 7th, 1931, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He began playing juniors as a 17-year-old defenceman for the Stratford Kroehlers (OHA-Jr.) from 1948-1951. During the 1950-1951 season, he caught the attention of the Boston Bruins and ended up playing his first three NHL games of his career. The Bruins saw potential in the physical stay-at-home defenceman and signed him to a deal. After signing his first pro-deal, he was assigned to play for the Bruins minor-pro affiliate, the Hershey Bears (AHL).

Armstrong spent the 1951-1952 season developing with the Bears, playing in 67 games with 6-15-21 numbers and 61 PIM. The Bruins were impressed with his gritty brand of play and called up the defenceman the following season. Armstrong quickly solidified his position in the line-up and never looked back. He ended up becoming a staple for the Bruins blue-line, never backing down from a fight and became one of the toughest defensemen to play against in the league during that time. Bob went on to play his entire 11-year NHL career with the Bruins, bringing the team to three Stanley Cup Finals appearances in 1953, 1957, and 1958 but ultimately losing each time to the Montreal Canadiens.

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Armstrong played his final nine games with the Bruins at the start of the 1961-1962 season before having his rights loaned to Montreal with the loan of Dallas Smith and cash for Wayne Connelly. He never played a game with Montreal that season and instead was named playing-coach for Montreals’ EPHL affiliate, the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, for the remainder of the 1961-1962 season. The team ended up finishing with a record of 38-21-11 and went on to win the EPHL championship. Armstrong retired from the hockey world in 1962 before moving on to his second career.

During his tenure with the Bruins, Armstrong ended up graduating from the University of Western Ontario. After retiring from hockey, he decided to begin his next career teaching history and economics at Lakefield College in Peterborough, Ontario and coached their hockey team.

Bob Armstrong passed away on November 6th, 1990, at the age of 59. The big bad bruin finished his NHL career playing in 541 games, producing 13-86-99 numbers. Happy Birthday, Bob Armstrong!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Terry Reardon

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Terry Reardon was born on April 6th, 1919, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He began playing for the St.Boniface Seals (MJHL) as a 16-year-old forward from 1935 until 1937, playing a total of 29 games with 31-13-44 numbers. In October of 1937, his rights were traded to the Boston Bruins by the NY Americans, sending Reardon to the Brandon Wheat Kings (MJHL) for his final year in juniors. He appeared in 16 games and won the league scoring title with 29-16-45 numbers. After that season, he was assigned to the Bruins’ minor-pro affiliate, the Hershey Bears (IAHL).

During the 1938-1939 season, Reardon suited up for 50 games with the Bears, posting 7-20-27 numbers, before being called up to the Bruins for his first National Hockey League appearance at 19-years-old. He played four regular-season games but failed to register a point. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup that season in 1939 and engraved Reardon’s name on the cup, making him a Stanley Cup champion. The following season, the right-winger continued to develop with the Bears, playing 55 games with 13-24-37 numbers and played just one game for the Bruins during the playoffs, registering an assist. In 1940, he appeared in 19 games with the Bears until he was called back up to play for the Bruins, and this time suited up for 35 games, scoring six goals and 11 points. The Bruins went on to sweep the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup in 1941, with Reardon assisting on the winning goal in the final game.

The 5’10, 170-pound forward had his journey in Boston come to a screeching pause the following season when Boston loaned his rights to the Montreal Canadians in exchange for the loan of Paul Gauthier’s rights. Reardon was productive for Montreal during the 1941-1942 season, playing in 33 games with 17-17-34 numbers. That season, Montreal advanced to the playoffs but quickly were eliminated in the first round. He continued the following season with Montreal, playing in only 13 games, posting 6-6-12 numbers before joining the military. While serving in the military, he played for teams such as the Montreal Army (MCHL) and Nanaimo Army (NNDHL) before being deployed to France. Unfortunately, Reardon was wounded while taking part in D-Day in 1944. Reports at the time described the injury as a severe shoulder injury, leaving many to think his days of playing professional hockey were coming to an end sooner rather than later. The big bad Bruin did not let the injury stop him as he rehabbed his way back, playing another two seasons with the Bruins from 1945-1947.

In 1945, Reardon re-joined the Bruins and played 49 games that season, producing 12-11-33 numbers, and led the Bruins to another Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1946. The forward scored the overtime game-winning goal in game-four, but the Bruins ended up losing the series to Montreal in game-five. He spent his final season with Boston in 1946-1947, suiting up for 60 games and contributing 6-14-20 numbers. Reardon retired from the NHL in 1947 and was then named playing-coach for the Bruins minor-pro affiliate, Providence Reds (AHL).

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Reardon coached for the Providence Reds from 1947-1953, winning the Calder Cup in 1949, and finishing with a record of 202-184-22. He did not coach again until 1966 when he was named head coach of the Baltimore Clippers (AHL). He coached Baltimore for three seasons, finishing with a record of 103-74-29. During his final season as head coach in 1971, he received the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for coach of the year. According to the Hockey Database, he continued as a co-coach for Baltimore from 1971 until 1976 before retiring. Reardon coached a total of 794 games in the American Hockey League and is currently fifth on the all-time list.

Terry Reardon passed away on February 14th, 1993, at the age of 73 in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada. In his six-year tenure in the NHL, he suited up for 194 games and finished with 47-53-100 numbers. Happy Birthday, ‘Terrible Terry’

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Brent Hughes

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 54th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Brent Hughes!

Brent Hughes was born on April 5th, 1966, in New Westminster, British Columbia. As a 17-year-old forward, he began playing for the New Westminster Bruins (WHL) and continued to play with the team until the 1986-1987 season when he suited up for only eight-games before being traded to the Victoria Cougars (WHL). That season, he played 71 games with the Cougars and posted an impressive 38-61-99 numbers. After going undrafted, the 5’11 195-pound forward signed as a free agent to the Moncton Hawks (AHL) in 1987.

In the 1987-1988 season, Hughes played 77 games, posting 13-19-32 numbers with 206 PIM for the Moncton Hawks and caught the attention of their pro-affiliate, the Winnipeg Jets. During the 1988 off-season, Hughes agreed to a three-year deal with Winnipeg and started the next season playing for the Moncton Hawks, appearing in 54 games with 34-34-68 numbers and a whopping 286 PIM before being called up for this first National Hockey League action. He went on to play 28 games with the Jets that year, posting 2-3-5 numbers. The next season, he would only appear in 11 games with Winnipeg, collecting a goal and two assists, before being sent back down to the Moncton Hawks for the next two seasons until he was traded to the Washington Capitals in 1991.

The forward never saw ice-time with Washington that season, playing 67 games with 31-33-64 numbers and 224 PIM split between the Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL) and Maine Mariners (AHL), before being traded to the Boston Bruins in February of 1992. Hughes finished the 1992 regular-season playing eight games with Boston, collecting a goal and an assist with 38 PIM, and played his first ten games in the playoffs, contributing two goals. For the next three seasons, he wore the Spoked-B with pride and played a role in helping the Bruins to the playoffs each year, appearing in 19 playoff games with 2-1-3 numbers. The physical forward played a total of 191 games with the Bruins, contributing 25-22-47 numbers with 511 PIM and 27 fighting majors. After the 1994-1995 season, his time in Boston expired, and in October of 1995, he was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres from Boston in the NHL Waiver Draft.

Hughes would go on to play 76 games with Buffalo that season, producing 5-10-15 numbers. After his contract with Buffalo expired in 1996, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Islanders. During the 1996-1997 season, he would end up playing his last 51 games in the NHL, posting 7-3-10 numbers before being sent to the International Hockey League (IHL) to play for the Utah Grizzlies for the remainder of the season. The left-winger continued to play in the IHL and split his time between the Utah Grizzlies and Houston Aeros (IHL) until he retired from hockey in 1999 at the age of 32. Hughes ended his eight-year NHL career with 357 games played, 41-39-80 numbers and 831 PIM.

After Hughes announced his retirement, he was named head coach of the Austin Ice Bats (WPHL). According to the Hockey Database, he coached the Ice Bats in the WPHL for two seasons until the team merged with the Canadian Hockey League in 2001, and brought his team to the Ray Miron President’s Cup final their inaugural season. Hughes spent the majority of his coaching career with the Austin Ice Bats until 2008 before becoming head coach for the Corpus Christi Stingrays (CHL) near the end of the 2009 season. He eventually retired from coaching in 2011, finishing with a career record of 257-174-43 and two Ray Miron President’s Cup Final appearances.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 173 that we recorded below on 4-4-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Brandon Bochenski

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 38th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Brandon Bochenski!

Brandon Bochenski was born on April 4th, 1982, in Blaine, Minnesota, and was drafted in 2001 by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round. As an 18-year-old forward, he played for the Lincoln Stars (USHL) for one season and caught the Senators’ attention after he led the league with 47 goals. After being drafted, Bochenski played three seasons with the University of North Dakota, and in each of his final two years, he led his team in goals, power-play goals, and points.

After the 2003-2004 season, the 6’0 187-pound forward signed with the Ottawa Senators and played for the Binghampton Senators (AHL) from 2004-2006. Bochenski put up impressive numbers his rookie year, tallying 34 goals and 70 points in 75 games played. The next season he played just 33 games with 22-24-46 numbers before being called up for his first National Hockey League appearance with the Ottawa Senators. He appeared in his first 20 games with the Senators and put up 6-7-13 numbers before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for the remainder of the season. In 2006-2007 though, Bochenski struggled to cement his position in the line-up with Chicago, and just after ten games, he was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Kris Versteeg and a conditional draft pick.

During the 2006-2007 season, Bochenski suited up for 31 games with the Bruins and scored 11 goals and 22 points. After a promising start, Bochenski inked a one-year deal with the Bruins during the 2007 off-season. Still, his journey in Boston lasted only 20 games that season, notching only two assists before he was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Shane Hnidy and a sixth-round draft pick. He continued playing in the NHL until 2010 and finished his career playing for a total of six different NHL teams. He played 156 career games and posted 28-40-68 numbers.

After his five-year tenure in the NHL, Bochenski relocated across the world to play in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2010. He played with Barys Astana (KHL) and served as captain of the team for several seasons. He made his first retirement announcement in May of 2017, but later returned to the team in 2018 for one more season, then officially retired from hockey in July of 2019. He played 419 career games in the KHL, posting 169-237-406 numbers.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

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Bruins Prospect Swayman Named One Of Three Hobey Baker Award Finalist

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The Boston Bruins’ 2017 fourth-round pick, Jeremy Swayman, is one of three players named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Swayman has been a stone wall for the University of Maine the past three years and won multiple awards this season for his outstanding play. The Hobey Baker award is essentially the Heisman trophy for NCAA Hockey, which is awarded to the top player in Division I hockey and the winner will be announced April 11th on ESPN during their SportsCenter Broadcast at 11 p.m. EST.

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Swayman led the NCAA this season with 1,099 saves and placed second in the nation with a 0.939% save percentage and a 2.07 GAA. He had saved 30 shots or more 25 times this season and even had an astounding 52-save game against Providence earlier this year. The other finalists for the Hobey Baker award are; North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi and Minnesota Duluth defenseman Scott Perunovich. If Swayman is awarded the Hobey Baker award, he will be the first goaltender to receive the award since 2011.

The awards continue to pile on for Swayman; this season, he was crowned NCAA (Hockey East) Goaltender of the Year, Player of the Year, and First All-Star Team award as well. He was also named to the NCAA (All-USCHO) Second Team and won the NCAA (New England) Walter Brown Award. The last time a goaltender won the Walter Brown award was during the 2010-2011 season.

Swayman, a business administration major with a concentration in management, finished his academic career with a 3.38 GPA. He is forgoing his senior year at the University of Maine due to recently signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins organization. He will be looking to impress at camp this year to secure a spot with the Providence Bruins, with goaltenders Maxime Legacé (UFA) and Daniel Vladar (RFA) having their contracts expire this off-season.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 172 that we recorded below on 3-26-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

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Bruins’ Options If Rask Decides To Retire After 2020-21 Season

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh

According to Matt Porter of The Boston Globe, in a recent interview with Boston Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask, he recently claimed he would not rule out the option of retiring after his contract expires in the 2021 off-season. With this being said, this could drastically affect the Bruins as their unstoppable goalie tandem of Rask and Jaroslav Halak, as Halak’s contract expires this upcoming 2020 off-season and now with the possibility of Rask retiring after the 2021 season. The Bruins could be looking at a completely different rotation of goalies in the near future, but what will that look like?

Jeremy Swayman

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The 6’3, 187-pound goaltender, Jeremy Swayman, was Boston’s fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and since then committed to playing for the University of Maine. Swayman played for three years at the NCAA level and finished with an impressive resume, averaging a .930% save percentage and 2.40 GAA. He was lights out last this past 2019-2020 season, collecting 18 wins with three shutouts, 2.07 GAA, and an astounding .939% save percentage. Due to his stellar year, Swayman was named 2019-2020 Hockey East Player of the Year.

Swayman recently surrendered his senior year at the University of Maine and signed a three-year entry-level contract worth $925k a season with the Boston Bruins. If Swayman performs well during camp this year, you will most likely see him suit up for Bruins AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. The current goaltenders for Providence are Maxime Legacé and Daniel Vladar, but both goaltenders’ contracts will expire this upcoming off-season. There is no doubt Swayman will look to capitalize on this opportunity and prove to everyone that he is the future of the Bruins goal-tending.

Kyle Keyser

( Photo Credit: Atlanta Gladiators )

The 6’2, 179-pound goaltender, Kyle Keyser, is another young player just entering the Boston Bruins organization. Keyser signed an entry-level contract deal with the Bruins in 2017, but that contract did not begin until this past season when he made his professional debut with the Providence Bruins for six starts, and the Bruins’ 2019-2020 ECHL affiliate, Atlanta Gladiators, for one game. In his six-game stint with Providence, he only secured one win and maintained a .890% save percentage, and lost his only start with the Atlanta Gladiators making 18 saves.

Although he was off to a slow start for the Bruins’ minor-league affiliates, he stole the show when playing for Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2016-2019. In 2018-2019, Keyser appeared in 47 regular-season games and came up huge for the Generals with 32 wins and a 0.915% save percentage. Keyser is packaged with a ton of potential and will be with the Bruins organization until the 2022 off-season.

Daniel Vladar

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

The 6’5, 185-pound goaltender, Dan Vladar, was chosen as a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and has been with the Boston Bruins minor league affiliates Providence Bruins and Atlanta Gladiators since the 2016-2017 season. His entry-level contract expires this upcoming off-season. Vladar has been developing each year for an opportunity to start with the Bruins, and he proved he could be a reliable back-up in case Halak decides not to re-sign this off-season, or to help replace Rask if he decided to retire after this next season.

This past season with the Providence Bruins, he led the American Hockey League (AHL) with a 0.936% save percentage and 1.79 GAA. He played in 25 games and helped Providence with 14 wins, and collected three shutouts. Although his contract is up this off-season, I hope the Bruins take advantage of his restricted free-agent status and re-signs Vladar to a new deal as he could be part of the Bruins next unstoppable goalie tandem.

Although Halak’s status for a contract extension with the Bruins is unknown, it is also possible he re-signs with the Bruins for more than one year and takes over Rasks’ starting position as one of the other goalie prospects continues to develop and serve as a back-up to Halak. For now, it is safe to say the Boston Bruins have promising goalie prospects, and we can all look forward to watching them play soon.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 171 that we recorded below on 3-23-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Dominate The Month Of February

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The Boston Bruins were red-hot in February, winning 11 games and only losing three. The Bruins faced off against eight Western Conference teams and played five original-six match-ups. They were also dominant in regulation, forcing only two games into overtime and not a single shootout. The Bruins also had to endure the challenge of four back-to-back games and won six out of eight games. To conclude the month of February, David Pastrnak ended up being named NHL’s 3rd Star of the Month.

Bruins’ Stars Of The Month

No surprise here, the ‘Perfection Line’ was incredibly impressive in the 14 games played in February, combining for 23 goals and 48 points. Brad Marchand is currently riding a nine-game point streak, had six multi-point games, and finished the month with six goals and 17 points with a +8 rating. Patrice Bergeron tallied seven goals, 12 points with a +10 rating, and averaged over 50% in face-off-wins. Pastrnak led the Bruins with 10 goals and 19 points.

Charlie Coyle showed off his versatility in February, scoring a goal on the power-play as well as the short-handed unit, which ended up being the game-winning goal. He was also dealt with the challenge of having several different wingers in-and-out of his line and playing a new role on the central power-play unit. Coyle finished the month with seven goals and a +6 rating.

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The Bruins’ fourth-line were very effective in shutting down other teams’ top lines and found ways to chip in to help their team win. Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner were the matching partners, with the third forward spot rotating between Par Lindholm, Anton Blidh, and Joakim Nordstrom. Kuraly and Wagner brought energy and power to the lineup every game, both players combined for three goals, seven points, and 73 hits with a +4 rating.

It’s safe to say Charlie McAvoy’s’ best month of the season was February, starting with breaking the curse and finally scoring his first goal of the season. He has maintained a strong physical presence and continues to eat up over 20 minutes of on-ice time per game. For the month, he tallied four goals and 13 points with a whopping +13 rating.

There is no doubt that the heroes for February are Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Having the ability to utilize both goalies, especially during a back-to-back game situation, really gives the Bruins an advantage late in the season to pick up those difficult two points. Rask collected six wins, two shutouts, and a .929% save percentage. Halak finished the month with five wins and a .912% save percentage.

Stepping It Up

The Bruins’ second line struggled to find their offensive touch this past month, and Bruce Cassidy decided to change it up last game by moving Nick Ritchie up to David Krejci’s’ left-wing and Ondrej Kase to his right-wing. Jake DeBrusk, Krejci’s’ usual left-wing partner, managed only two goals and four points with a -4 rating. David Krejci didn’t do so hot either, managing only one goal and six points with a -3 rating. With the addition of Ritchie (who recently scored his first goal as a Bruin) and Kase, Krejci will have more options on the wing and have the potential to develop consistent chemistry.

The young guns, Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork have a lot to prove before the end of the season because there is a line of players fighting for their spot. Kuhlman was unsuccessful at sparking the offensive for the second-line and scraped away with one goal and three points with a +2 rating. Recently, Cassidy relocated him to the third-line with Coyle and Bjork. Bjork went cold as well, scoring one goal and four points with a +2 rating. Kuhlman and Bjork were both healthy scratches for one game in February, and they will need to generate some offense soon to cement their spot in the line-up for the playoffs.

Looking Ahead

The Boston Bruins are first in the league, but that does not mean they can sit back and let any points slide by. There are 16 games left in the season, which means 32 points are up for grabs, and anything can happen at this point. They do not have an easy road to the playoffs, as their journey continues in Tampa on Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST. The Bruins are off to a great start, but they will need to restore their scoring depth and continue to play the full 60-minutes each game.

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins’ Salary Cap Outlook: 2020 Off-Season

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

With the trade deadline in the past and the playoffs starting in a few weeks, everyone’s focus is in the moment, but it’s essential to look ahead and see what the future holds, starting with the 2020 off-season. The Bruins are known for their tight salary cap situation, but thanks to the Bruins’ GM, Don Sweeney’s most recent trade deadline deals open up a significant amount of cap space, but who will the Bruins re-sign?

Projected Cap Space

According to CapFriendly, the Bruins are projected to have around $22.2M-$23.75M in cap space for the off-season, as it looks like there will be a bonus overage of $1.5M (TBD). At first glance, it seems like the Bruins have plenty in the bank to negotiate with, but players like Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, and Jaroslav Halak, may demand a pay rise that will put more than a dent into their salary cap for next season. With that being said, the Bruins will need to prioritize.

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Jaroslav Halak (UFA)

There is no doubt that the Bruins have one of the best goalie tandems in the league between Tuukka Rask and Halak. Both goalies sharing the starting duties have been a recipe for success starting in the 2018-2019 season, with Halak starting in 37 games, collecting 22 wins, and a .922% save percentage. Sharing starting positions allowed Rask to remain fresh entering the playoffs, where he had a historic playoff run leading the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Even though Halak didn’t start in a single game during the 2019 playoffs, if called upon, Halak would be the Bruins’ best option going forward in case of an injury to Rask. So far this season, Halak has started in 28 games, collecting 17 wins and a 0.917% save percentage. He will be a UFA at the end of this season, and will likely desire a pay raise worth $3M-$4M per season. Although Halak is 34 years old, he still has plenty of hockey left in the tank and will continue to be a valuable piece for the Bruins.

Torey Krug (UFA)

Torey Krug, the quarterback of the Bruins’ central power-play unit, will be one of the Bruins’ main priorities in the off-season. Krug is a vital piece to the blue-line and activates an offensive spark, especially on the man-advantage, and so far this season has two power-play goals and 24 power-play points, only four short of his career-high of 28 from the 2018-2019 season. During the 2019 playoffs, he continued to be an absolute force on the power-play, tallying two goals and 10 points.

Krug’s current cap hit stands at $5.0M per season, and with him setting up to become a UFA in the off-season, the Bruins’ management should not be stingy with the defenceman’s asking price. The recent deals made before the deadline have made enough room in their cap space for the Bruins to re-sign Krug no matter the asking price. So far this season, Krug leads all Bruins’ defenders with eight goals and 45 points. It is a no-brainer that the Bruins need to re-sign Krug, but at what cost? I believe Krug’s price range for the Bruins will be between $7M-$8M per season.

 

Jake DeBrusk (RFA)

The 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Jake DeBrusk, will be the most interesting contract negotiation this off-season. DeBrusk is known for his elite scoring ability and speed, but has shown to be inconsistent at times and is facing a regression this season.

Playing in 70 games his rookie season in 2017-2018, DeBrusk produced 16 goals and 43 points with a +16 rating. He carried that success over to the following 2018-2019 season, producing 27 goals and 42 points with a +2 rating in 68 games played. So far this season though, DeBrusk has suffered several cold-streaks off the score sheet, and currently has one goal, one assist and a -5 rating in the past 11 games.

Despite having only two points in his past 11 games, DeBrusk is only two goals away from having his second 20-goal campaign and is only nine points short of his career-high of 43. Because of his recent inconsistencies, Cassidy has moved DeBrusk down to the third-line with Charlie Coyle. DeBrusk can use this time to build chemistry with Coyle and regain his offensive touch again. His entry-level contract is about to expire, and I predict the price to re-sign DeBrusk will be between the $3M-$4M range.

Zdeno Chara (UFA)

Yes, the 43-year old Iron Man, Zdeno Chara. Even though fans were very reluctant to bring the Bruins’ Captain back on board last season, Sweeney has made it very clear that Chara has the right to play in Boston. “I think he’s earned the right to determine [his future here] and when his career will end,” Sweeney said back on Bruins Media Day. “As long as his game aligns with his pride and preparations that he wants to put forth to keep it at the level he’s accustomed to having it to then we are going to explore having him as part of our group. He’s an impactful player.”

Chara continues to be an impactful player, registering five goals and 13 points with a +24 rating so far this season. He also provides a wealth of leadership and continues to build on the legacy he’s been building with Boston since 2006-2007. Chara also continues to be one of the Bruins’ most reliable players on the penalty-kill unit and maintains over 20 minutes of average time-on-ice per game. If Chara believes he is fit for another season, it would be in the Bruins’ best interest to re-sign him for another year between $1M-$2M.

Bold Predictions

Other Bruins players who will be looking to extend their contracts at the end of the season are; Matt Grzelcyk (RFA), Joakim Nordstrom (UFA), Anders Bjork (RFA), Karson Kuhlman (RFA), and Kevan Miller (UFA). If the Bruins were to re-sign Halak, Krug, DeBrusk, and Chara at my predicted amount(s), they would have about $5M-$8M left in cap space. Does this leave room for Sweeney to make a trade, or sign other depth-players with expiring contracts?

I predict the Boston Bruins will re-sign Halak, Krug, DeBrusk, and Chara. I also believe the Bruins will look to come to terms with Grzelcyk, Bjork, and Kuhlman, but I believe they will let Nordstrom walk and because of injuries, will not re-sign Miller. If you were the GM of the Boston Bruins, what moves would you make this off-season?

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins’ Charlie Coyle: One Year Later

( Photo Credit: Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The 2020 trade deadline has come to a close, but since Bruins GM Don Sweeney took over in 2015, it is a no-brainer picking out the best deal he has made before any deadline; the Charlie Coyle trade. At the time, it may have seemed like an underwhelming trade, especially with giving up a promising prospect, but looking back one year later, Coyle has exceeded expectations and is now the future of the Bruins offense. 

Welcome Home Charlie

Charlie Coyle, the 6’3 200-pound forward, was acquired in 2019 from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional 5th round pick. Fans were reluctant to the trade at first and rightfully so, as Donato appeared to be the Bruins’ most promising prospect during the 2017-2018 season when he played in his first 12 NHL games, quickly racking up five goals and nine points with a +2 rating. The following 2018-2019 season, though, Donato struggled to find the magic he had in his first dozen NHL games, scoring only six goals and nine points with a -11 rating in 34 games played. The Donato experiment then ended, sending Coyle back home to his native state. After his impressive playoff performance, the Bruins rewarded Coyle with a six-year contract extension worth $5.25M a season.

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2019 Playoff Clutch

When Charlie Coyle arrived in Boston, there were many expectations and unfortunately, was off to a sluggish start with the Bruins, only producing 2 goals and 6 points with a -2 rating through 21 games played. Then the 2019 playoffs commenced, and his point production skyrocketed as he tallied nine goals and 16 points with a +8 rating through 24 playoff games. In those 24 games played, he also had an astounding shot percentage of 23.1%.

The Weymouth native lived his childhood dream moment in TD Garden when he scored the overtime winner in game one against the Columbus Blue Jackets. When it mattered most, Coyle stepped up and found ways to help his team win games, which lead the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.

One Year Later

So far this season, Coyle has racked up 15 goals and 34 points with a +9 rating in 64 games played. For the majority of the season, he has had Anders Bjork on his left-wing, establishing chemistry between the two players has strengthened the 3rd line and improved the Bruins scoring depth. Coyle is an extremely versatile player that plays a strong two-way game, serves a role on the second power-play unit, and is very effective on the penalty kill.

Coyle is a valuable piece to the Bruins penalty kill, which currently ranks 3rd in the NHL at 84.0%. With Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron usually leading the pack in shorthanded offense, Coyle has taken advantage when being a man-down and currently leads the Bruins’ with two shorthanded goals already this season. Coyle also has 8 takeaways on the kill this season, tying his career-high from 2017-2018.

 

Charlie Coyle is not only a productive player but provides leadership to the team as well and is currently one of the assistant captains on the Bruins. He generates a huge spark to this team and will be ready to help lead the Boston Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!