Could New Hampshire Be A Future Home For A Bruins Affiliate?

( Photo Credit: Mikes Tickets )

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Per writer Mark Divver, Manchester, New Hampshire continues to produce rumors with the return of professional hockey. Commonly known in the Northeastern part of the United States as ManchVegas, the largest city in the state initially had a firm grip in the hockey community when the American Hockey Leagues Manchester Monarchs team was there from 2001 to 2015.

The Monarchs were a minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Los Angeles Kings before packing up operations from the New England area after a successful tenure. The Monarchs would change their name to the current Ontario Reign, which was the King’s ECHL “AA” affiliation, and headed to the Golden State to house their top prospects closer to the NHL organization. The cities of Manchester, NH, and Ontario, CA, would swap minor-pro affiliations, thus keeping the Monarchs team name but representing a lower hockey league in the development scheme.

After the departure of the AHL franchise, the ECHL Monarchs would continue to play four seasons in the Queen City totaling a record of 156-102-14 in 288 games. The Monarchs club did make the Kelly Cup Playoffs for all four years in the Granite State in that timeframe but dwindling season ticket numbers and individual gameday gate numbers the franchise folded at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. So for a whole hockey season including this Covid-19 Pandemic, the SNHU Arena owned by Southern New Hampshire University has laid dormant for on-ice events when it comes to the pro level.

The Boston Bruins have had their “AA” affiliation located in the Atlanta, Georgia area since August of 2015 after not agreeing to an extension with the then affiliated South Carolina Stingrays who the B’s shared with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Atlanta has been a suitable place for a backup franchise to act as a feeder system for the above AHL’s Providence Bruins organization. From the 2015-16 regular season to the close of operations due to the Corona Virus the Atlanta Gladiators have a record of 153-161-23 in 349 games. The Gladiators were on a serious run trying to get out of the middle of the ECHL’s South Division for a 2019-20 Kelly Cup playoff better but that was cut short with what’s going on in the world today. Before the tremendous second-half play this season, the Gladiators only made it to the postseason once affiliated with the NHL Bruins getting swept in the first round to the powerful Florida Everblades.

As of right now with no sports going on and hockey seasons canceled at the lower levels, the ECHL one-year agreement is officially over between the Bruins and the Gladiators. As seen below, collegiate hockey and minor-pro hockey guru Mark Divver comes at us one more time with another interesting tweet the very next day sparking increased speculation about a possibility of the Bruins moving their “AA” affiliation closer much like what the LA Kings did in 2015 in a different league of course.

With the information above from Divver’s source, it almost aligns the planets of bringing of things together that could happen shortly when talking about creating closer affiliations. One more season in Atlanta could be the time needed to facilitate an ECHL franchise move northward and one that might be attractive to Bruins fans thirsty for hockey. Things might’ve not been the best of times between the city of Manchester and former ECHL team ownership, but can you imagine the increased volume of attention if that “team” had ties to the NHL Boston Bruins about 80 miles away?

There’s long been a rumor that the now ECHL Worcester Railers were going to be the next “AA” affiliate of the Boston Bruins before a team ended up playing in the second-largest city in Massachusetts. Worcester Pro Hockey, LLC owner Cliff Rucker has a long relationship with the NHL Bruins, and it was almost certain the ECHL affiliation would leave Atlanta and head North. Another rumor about a Bruins affiliation in the city of Worcester that might’ve been the ole wrench in the gears of that idea was the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliation with the Providence Bruins. That particular rumor was the team from Rhode Island didn’t want to compete with another B’s affiliation so close, and it’s believed that there’s a 40-mile radius agreement between the NHL Organization and the club in Providence.

Outside of that “so-called” 40-mile boundary lay some other great locations besides mentioned above, Manchester, New Hampshire. Lowell, Massachusetts, is another attractive destination that housed the AHL for several NHL organizations in the past but hasn’t seen professional hockey in the last ten years. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell owns the multi-purpose facility, and even though this might be an attractive location, it would be hard to compete for ice time. College and minor-pro hockey predominately operate during the weekends, so scheduling home games around the UMass-Lowell River Hawks hockey team would somewhat de difficult.

Portland, Maine is another area that could be interesting although currently occupied at the Cross Insurance Arena by the Maine Mariners. The Maine club is affiliated with the NHL’s New York Rangers, so not sure if the Rangers organization would want to break a contract for another team to come in and set up operations. If an ECHL affiliate is needed closer to the Rangers AHL affiliation in Hartford, Connecticut, then the possibilities are endless for a Bruins minor-pro affiliation back in the state of Maine. The NHL Bruins and the old AHL Maine Mariners were under Bruins rule from 1986 to 1992 before moving south to Providence Rhode Island.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point, but I do see a team in the near future being located somewhere in New England to be the primary Providence Bruins feeder system. It just makes sense in my opinion.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 181 that we recorded below on 5-31-20! 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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Banner Year: A Look-Back At The 1999 Providence Bruins

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By: Josh Houreas | Follow Me On Twitter @JHoureas

At the start of the 1998-1999 American Hockey League season, the Providence Bruins had been in the league for six seasons, after the Maine Mariners had packed their bags and moved to the capital of Rhode Island in 1992. While maintaining success early and often, the Baby B’s could not find themselves going further than the second round of the playoffs. In 1999. with the guidance of head coach Peter Laviolette (who had actually finished his playing career with Providence a season prior) the organization would experience a season unlike any other.

Providence opened the season with a 3-2 win against the Springfield Falcons. While the first month of the season was less than superior, Providence quickly rolled to a hot streak, where they only dropped points in three games the following month. Providence went from a 4-4-1-0 record to 14-6-1-1 in the span of thirteen games which included (and I’m not exaggerating when I say this) a 14-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.

On December 23 1998, Providence would receive an early Christmas gift as the start of an unbeaten streak that would last sixteen games was underway. This is *technically* the franchise record, but when only wins are considered, the record is 12, a record that would be set twenty one seasons later. (If you do the math that was this past season)

At the Time of the AHL All-Star Game, the Bruins were represented by Randy Robitaille, Andre Savage, as well as backup goaltender Jim Carey. Honestly, when a team has a backup goalie representing the organization at the All-Star Game, there’s a VERY high chance that club will become highly successful in the following months, and that was exactly the case for the Providence Bruins.

Finishing with a record of 56-16-4-4 (the extra four is for a tie because before the NHL Lockout those existed) Providence had just accomplished the greatest season in franchise history, a statement that still stands to this day. Lead by players such as Randy Robitaille, who lead the team in points with 102, and Bob Beers, who you may know as one of the radio commentators on 98.5 The Sports Hub, the Bruins were on their way to the American Hockey League’s ultimate prize.

In the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs that year, Providence faced the Worcester Icecats. A 4-1 and 3-1 win in games one and two respectively gave Providence a 2-0 chokehold on the opening-round series. I say choke hold because, in the AHL, the opening round consists of only five games. Worcester wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The Icecats took the third game, the first at the Worcester Centrum (now known as the DCU Center) by the score of 5-3. Providence would flip the script at the Centrum taking game four and the series three games to one.

Hartford would be the next opponent standing in the way of the Calder Cup. Providence would gain momentum after a double-overtime win and would never look back. In a four-game sweep, Providence was halfway in their journey to the first-ever championship in franchise history. Game Three would be the turning point as the Bruins won another overtime thriller at the Hartford Civic Center by the score of 5-4.

Next to face the surging Bruins were the Fredericton Canadiens and putting two and two together, these guys were the farm team of the hated Montreal Canadiens. The “Baby Habs” as they were known as finished their season with a record below .500 at 33-36-6-5. Nowhere near Providence’s numbers but honestly not even that respectable, I mean seriously? This team made the CONFERENCE FINALS with a losing record.

Just like the series before, Providence had taken a commanding three games to none lead and was one win away from their first Calder Cup Finals appearance. Fredericton would outscore Providence in games 4 and 5 by a combined score of 8-1. Providence needed an answer to the surge from Fredericton. Coming back to the Providence Civic Center, the home-ice advantage would give the Bruins the final leap into the championship series. With a thumping 6-1 win, the Providence Bruins had made it.

To think that the 1998-99 Providence Bruins were a complete rebuild from the season prior, wouldn’t be an understatement. In 1997-98, Providence finished with a dismal .313 win percentage, the lowest in franchise history. Now the club was a mere four wins away from the Calder Cup. The last team standing in the way was the Rochester Americans. Rochester finished with a much more respectable record compared to the Bruins Eastern Conference Final opponent, backed by Martin Biron, who would go on to have a very respectable career with the Buffalo Sabres.

In game 1 of the Final, Providence would take the momentum from their five-goal win from the Conference Finals to take the opener by the score of 4-2. Game 2 would see the same amount of goals scored, but only one team scored all 6. Providence was up 2-0 going into Rochester for the next two games.

While The Americans returned home, the momentum would stay with Providence after a triple-overtime win propelled the Bruins to their third straight 3-0 series lead in that seasons Calder Cup Playoffs. After Rochester had won game 4 to stay alive, Providence would come back home for game five with a chance to clinch the Calder Cup.

It wouldn’t take long for Providence to prove why the team had been so dominant on home ice. Dominant meaning 10-0 on home ice including the Calder Cup Cup Clinching game. That last sentence isn’t a typo. The 1999 Providence Bruins DIDN’T LOSE A SINGLE GAME ON HOME ICE. Landon Wilson would help the Baby B’s draw first blood in game 5, and Providence would not look back. Four goals later, Rochester would go home knowing their season was over. The Bruins, lead by Peter Laviolette lifted the Calder Cup in front of over 5,000 rambunctious fans at the Providence Civic Center.

And if anybody deserved the last Calder Cup of the 20th Century, it was without a doubt the 1998-99 Providence Bruins.

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Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 180 that we recorded below on 5-25-20! 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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Report: Peter Cehlarik Leaves Bruins, Signs With Lugano


(Photo: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Now former Boston Bruins forward prospect Peter Cehlarik has reportedly agreed to a terms with HC Lugano of the Swiss National League. The 24-year-old was slated to become a restricted free agent this summer after his one-year deal with an average annual value (AVV) of $700,000 runs out.

Last month, Cehlarik spoke with Slovak media about his frustrations with the Bruins organization after traveling to his native country to wait out the pandemic. The left-shot forward did not seem too pleased with his usage under Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy during his stints with the big club.

“I can’t cross the line to persuade Bruins [coach] Bruce Cassidy for good,” Cehlarik said at the time. “Sometimes I felt as if he was just waiting for my mistake to send me back to the farm.

“They know what they are doing. They’ve invested years of development in me. It’s all about trust from a coach I don’t get. I still hear that I’m ready for the NHL, I have it, but when it goes like this, I need a change and a new start. It is high time.”

The left-winger has suited up in just three games with the Bruins this season, notching just one assist and posting a minus-one rating. In 48 games with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate, he has 16-21-37 totals in addition to a plus-three rating in 48 games.

On Nov. 2, 2019, Cassidy was candid with the media about his thoughts on Cehlarik’s performance after a matchup with the Ottawa Senators, saying: “If [Cehlarik]’s going to stay in the National Hockey League, you’ve got to play to your strengths, and I thought he had opportunities to make plays. He made a few here and there, but I thought he left some on the table. At the end of the day, the details we’ll keep getting after him about, so overall, I thought he was okay.”

Boston’s bench boss also noted he feels Cehlarik’s ideal spot in the lineup is next to a “skilled centerman.” After failing to make the team out of camp, Cehlarik was placed on waivers to be assigned to Providence, and went unclaimed.

On his career, the 90th overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 40 NHL games, as well as a plus-11 rating. In 185 AHL contests, Cehlarik has 59-77-136 numbers in addition to a plus-20 rating. Over nine Calder Cup Playoffs games, he recored three goals and one assist.

Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron skated with Lugano during the 2012-13 lockout. In 21 games with the club before the NHL returned, Bergeron registered 29 points (11g, 18a).

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 180 that we recorded below on 5-25-20! 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!

What Will Boston’s Goaltending Look Like When The NHL Returns?

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Image Credit/Angela Rowlings/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

The NHL announced the Return To Play plan yesterday, which included a plethora of new scenarios the NHL has never seen before.  Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, announced 24 teams would return, along with some exciting playoff and draft lottery scenarios.  Among these changes, the NHL has authorized the eligible playoff teams to carry 28 skaters and as many goalies as they’d prefer.

Allowing teams to carry an infinite amount of goalies seems to be reminiscent of the goalie situation in Carolina on February 22, 2020.  The Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes had begun their hockey game like any other night.  However, the Hurricanes’ two rostered goaltenders were injured during the game and unable to return to the game.  David Ayers was the Carolina Hurricanes’ emergency goalie, who just so happens to be the Zamboni driver for the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate team.  Ayers allowed two goals on 10 shots and helped Carolina to a 6-3 win.

The NHL and its fans suddenly realized carrying an extra goaltender may be a necessary change in next years’ board meetings.  Since the NHL cannot change the rules mid-season, they have allowed teams to carry as many goaltenders as they’d like heading into the upcoming playoffs.

The NHL has yet to announce the official statistics to end the 2019-2020 regular season.  David Pastrnak and Alexander Ovechkin are in line to share the Rocket Richard Trophy, awarded to the player(s) who lead the league in goals.  Just as important, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak are in line to share the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals against.  Rask and Halak are locked in for the first two goalie roster spots.  How many goalies do the Bruins carry, and who sits behind The Bruins’ tandem?

The American Hockey League canceled its season on May 11, 2020, which means the talent in the Bruins’ system is waiting for an opportunity to play competitive hockey again.  The Bruins have four goaltenders in Providence, all of whom have a contract with Boston: Dan Vladar, Maxime Legace, Kyle Keyser, and Jeremy Swayman.

Jeremy Swayman had an impeccable year in the Hockey East, earning him a final spot for the Hobey Baker Award as Division I’s best collegiate hockey player. Scott Perunovich ended up taking home that award, but Swayman did win the Mike Richter Award, an award given annually to Division I’s best goaltender.  He has chosen to forgo his senior year at the University of Maine and join the Providence Bruins for the upcoming season.  It is unlikely the Bruins select him to man the bench for the upcoming playoffs, considering he doesn’t have any professional experience yet.  However, his future is bright, and Bruins fans will hear his name quite soon.

Kyle Keyser split his 2019-2020 seasons between the Providence Bruins and the East Coast Hockey League Atlanta Gladiators.  The Gladiators are an affiliate of the Boston and Providence Bruins.  The 21-year-old Florida native appeared in six games for the Providence Bruins, sporting an unfortunate 1-4-1 record and a 3.21 goals-against average and only one game in Atlanta.  Before coming to the AHL and ECHL, Keyser was a stud in the Ontario Hockey League.  He improved his goals-against and save percentage in each of his three years.  He’s been highly touted by scouts and those who follow the OHL closely.

Similar to Swayman, it is unlikely the Bruins bring Keyser up for the 2019-2020 Stanley Cup playoffs given his lack of professional experience.  This leaves the last two goalies in their system, both of whom played for the Providence Bruins in 2019-2020.

Daniel Vladar was selected 75th overall in the 2015 NHL draft out of the United States Hockey League.  The 22-year-old Czech native has since spent his time between the Providence Bruins and the Atlanta Gladiators, which is a similar path to Keyser.  Vladar took a giant leap forward this past season with the Providence Bruins.  He led the entire American Hockey Leauge in goals-against and save percentage: 1.79 and .936, respectively.  He played in seven fewer games than Legace and sported a 14-7-1 record before the canceled season announcement.  When Tuukka injured himself this season, Vladar was the first goalie to be pulled up on an emergency basis.  He didn’t play an NHL game yet, but the call up shows the Bruins are comfortable with his ability to perform.  He would almost certainly be given the third goalie spot for the upcoming playoffs.  A little added bonus to Vladar is his impending contract negotiations this off-season.  He is entering this off-season as a restricted free agent.  If he received any playoff time (god forbid both Rask and Halak go down), he would be playing to show the Bruins he is capable of handling a more significant load.

Maxime Legace signed a 1-year, $700K deal last off-season with Boston.  He spent the previous six years between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights, only appearing in 17 NHL games for the Knights.  Don Sweeney, General Manager of the Boston Bruins, seemed to sign Legace as a filler while Keyser and Swayman play another year in their respective leagues.  Legace appeared in 33 games for the Bruins affiliate, ending the year with a 22-7-3 record as well as 2.37 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.  Legace has NHL experience and is a likely option for the Bruins to carry in the event they want to carry four goalies on their roster.

The Bruins have a tough road to the Stanley Cup this year, given the new playoff structure.  Rask will be leaned on to replicate a similar performance to last year’s playoff.  If Halak is needed, he can hopefully replicate his regular-season performance as well.  If in the unfortunate event neither can play, the Bruins will have possibly two formidable backups ready to step in and further their professional careers.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 180 that we recorded below on 5-26-20! 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 Bob Beers

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By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

Happy 53rd Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Defenceman Bob Beers!

Bob Beers was born on May 20th, 1967, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began playing juniors as an 18-year-old defenceman for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (NYJHL) in 1985 after being drafted by the Boston Bruins in the tenth-round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. After playing one season in juniors, the 6’0, 200-pound defenceman committed to the University of Maine to further his education and play for Maine (H-East) from 1986-1989. Beers played in 113 games for Maine and amassed 64 points, showcasing his offensive abilities. After graduating, Beers was assigned to the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Maine Mariners (AHL).

In 1989-1990, Beers began to develop with the Maine Mariners (AHL) and had a successful freshman campaign, appearing in 74 games and racking up 7-36-43 numbers. He was rewarded by getting the call-up to the Bruins for his first National Hockey League action in 1990, playing three games and recording his first NHL point during that time. In the next two seasons, Beers split his time between the Maine Mariners (AHL) and the Bruins, suiting up in 47 games with the Bruins and collecting just six assists with a -21 rating. Although he showed signs of being a reliable, offensive-minded defenceman, Beers struggled to find his rhythm offensively and defensively with the Bruins.

During the 1992-1993 season, Beers played just six games for the Providence Bruins (AHL) before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Stephane Richer. Following the trade, Beers was given an instant promotion to the big club and played in 64 games for Tampa, finishing with a stat line of 12-24-36. The following season, he appeared in just 16 games with Tampa before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Chris Joseph. Beers didn’t miss a beat, suiting up for Edmonton in 66 games and finishing the 1993-1994 season with 11-32-43 numbers and 86 PIM split between both teams.

Beers’ contract with Edmonton expired after the 1993-1994 season and was due to hit the free-agency market. After a few weeks of phone calls with different NHL teams, the defenseman decided to ink a two-year deal with the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, during the 1994-1995 campaign, the Islanders had to deal with their first serious injury of the season when Beers took a puck to the face during a training camp, suffering multiple face fractures and hyphema (blood in the right eye), limiting him to playing in only 22 games that season.

The following season, Beers suited up for only 13 games with the Islanders before being placed on waivers to be sent to the International Hockey League to play for their minor-pro affiliate, Utah Grizzlies (IHL). Beers were determined to overcome the severe injury he had suffered in 1995 and had a successful campaign with the Utah Grizzlies (IHL), appearing in 65 games and posting 6-36-42 numbers.

After his time with Edmonton expired in 1996, the 29-year-old defenceman was set to hit the free-agency market again. This time, Beers inked a deal with the team who originally drafted him, the Boston Bruins. After returning to Boston, Beers played in what eventually would be his final 27 games in the NHL, collecting three goals and seven points before being sent down to play for the Providence Bruins (AHL) for the remainder of the year.

He continued to play for the Bruins organization in Providence until his contract with the Bruins expired in 1999 but then agreed to terms with the Providence Bruins as a free agent in 1999. He went on to play just 13 games with Providence that season before officially announcing his retirement from the hockey world.

Throughout his eight-year career in the NHL, Beers suited up for 258 games and posted 28-79-107 numbers. After retiring, he became a color analyst and is now serving his 20th year as a radio color analyst for the Boston Bruins on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Beers have also worked with the national NHL radio during the playoffs, and he is a regular contributor to Bruins coverage on Comcast SportsNet as well. Happy Birthday, Bob Beers!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 179 that we recorded below on 5-17-20! 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 Prospect Jack Studnicka Selected To AHL All-Rookie Team



By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins prospect and Providence Bruins standout Jack Studnicka has been named to the American Hockey League (AHL) All-Rookie Team for the 2019-20 season as voted by coaches, players, and media around the league, per an announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

Goaltender Cayden Primeau (Laval), defensemen Joey Keane (Hartford/Charlotte) and Brogan Rafferty (Utica), as well as forwards Alex Formenton (Belleville) and Josh Norris (Belleville) round out the All-Rookie selections.

The 53rd overall selection to Boston in the second round of the 2017 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, Studnicka posted 23 goals and 26 assists for 49 points in 60 games for the P-Bruins en route to the Atlantic Division crown. The 21-year-old tied the AHL rookie record for shorthanded tallies with seven.

The Tecumseh, Ont. native has skated in two career NHL games with Boston, making his debut on Nov. 26 against the Montreal Canadiens, where he recorded an assist on Danton Heinen’s third period goal in an 8-1 win on the road.

In four seasons between the Oshawa Generals and Niagra Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Studnicka registered 80 goals and 153 assists for 233 points in 252 contests. Bruins past and present to have made the AHL’s All-Rookie squad include Zdeno Chara (1998), Jaroslav Halak (2007), Austin Czarnik (2016), and Frank Vatrano (2016).

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 179 that we recorded below on 5-17-20! 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 Eddie Panagabko

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By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Eddie Panagabko was born on May 17th, 1934, in Norquay, Saskatchewan, Canada and was a 5′-8″ 170-pound centerman. Per, he played three seasons of junior hockey in the SJHL with the Humboldt Indians. (65-66-131 in 100GP), before moving up to the International Hockey League, where he posted 25-35-60 numbers with the Grand Rapids Rockets in 60 games during the 1954-55 season.

As a 20-year-old Eddie signed a deal to play for the National Hockey League Boston Bruins but started his pro career in with the clubs American Hockey League affiliate the Hershey Bears. In Hershey, he played in 41 games in the 1955-56 campaign posting 16-25-41 numbers good enough to get the call to Boston in the same years for 28 games notching only three assists. Panagabko would get sent back down to Hershey to fulfill the remainder of his contract, only appearing in one more NHL game (zero points) for Boston in the 1956-57 season.

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In 160 games played for the Hershey club (41G-58A-99P), Ed would finish his AHL career with the Providence Reds, who were a fly by night NHL Bruins affiliate in the early years. In three seasons with the Reds club, he contributed 40-89-129 numbers in 186 games giving him AHL career totals of 81-147-228 numbers in 346 games.

Panagabko would later head back to the West Coast of the United States, returning to the WHL making stops in Portland, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, and San Diego. Ed passed away at the age of 44-years-old on January 18th,1979, and appeared in 29 career NHL games with three total assists.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 179 that we recorded below on 5-16-20! 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!

Providence Bruins Prospect Season Review: Jack Studnicka


(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

With the AHL season officially over, and the NHL season still hanging in the balance, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of the top Bruins’ prospects and how they did this season. First up is the 2017 Boston Bruins second-round draft pick, Jack Studnicka. Coming into the 2019-2020 season, there was a lot of buzz surrounding the young center. He was coming off a season in the OHL, wherein 60 games with both the Oshawa Generals and the Niagra IceDogs he netted 36 goals while dishing out 47 assists for 83 total points (stats provided by EliteProspects). There was even talk that Studnicka could make the big club out of training camp.

While the Windsor, Ontario, Canada native didn’t crack Boston’s roster out of training camp, he would go on to have an excellent first full season in the AHL with Providence. In 60 games, he netted 23 goals while dishing out 26 assists for 49 total points. That’s .82 points per game, which would translate to roughly 67 total points over a full NHL season (stats provided by EliteProspects). Studnicka showed not only his own scoring ability, but he was also show off his playmaking ability as well. As a fan, this is the performance you’d like to see from a young, inexperienced prospect.

Studnicka was playing so well that he earned himself a mini two-game call-up to Boston. While with the big club, he would register his first NHL point, which was an assist. The young center would also be one of two Providence players named to the AHL All-Star roster. He would go on to help lead the Atlantic Division to an All-Star Challenge victory, netting two goals while dishing out one assist for three total points in the final game. As well as the former second-round pick played all year, he seemed to pick up his game as the season went on. Studnicka would register points in 15 of his last 20 games played, netting nine goals while dishing out 14 assists for 23 total points in that time frame (stats provided by the AHL official website).

One part of Studnicka’s game that also stood out, that many may not have expected was his defensive ability. The former second-round pick proved that he was just as good defensively as he was in the offensive zone. He showed off his defensive prowess by leading the AHL in shorthanded goals, with seven. No other player had more than four. Studnicka proved to be versatile, playing well in every zone. One major question remains concerning Studnicka. What happens now? I’d expect the young center to start the 2020-2021 season in Boston. He’s proven that he can play in the AHL. He could also either play center or wing in the NHL.

The Bruins have been pretty adamant about keeping Studnicka a center. This is why I’d expect him to crack the roster as a center next season. The potential with Studnicka is through the roof. He’s someone that could eventually be a top-six center for a team for many years to come. Look for him to have even more buzz next season with how well he played in Providence this year. Studnicka had as good of a season as you good hope for in a young player. I cannot wait to see what the future holds. I hope everyone is doing well through the current tough time. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 178 that we recorded below on 5-10-20! 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!

AHL Cancels Remainder of 2019-20 Season

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By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

Two months after all major sports had their seasons postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Hockey League has officially canceled the remained of the 2019-2020 season. This decision was made by the league’s Board of Governors on Monday, May 11th. All remaining regular-season games are canceled, and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs will not be held.

The National Hockey League has not yet made an announcement about whether or not the 2019-20 season will continue.

According to the announcement on the official AHL website, the league standings as of March 12th will be final. Awards will be based on these standings and final statistics. This leaves the Milwaukee Admirals of the Central Division as the top team in the league with a record of 41-14-5-3 and the Providence Bruins (38-18-3-3) as the best of the Eastern Conference.

With the season now canceled, AHL teams and players will begin to prepare for the 2020-21 season in hopes that it will continue as scheduled. Though this is a very disappointing development for players and fans alike, it is important for league officials to prioritize the safety of everyone involved. The AHL will return when it is safe to do so.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 178 that we recorded below on 5-10-20! 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 Real Chevrefils

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By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Real Chevrefils was born on May 2nd, 1932, in Timmins, Ontario, Canada which is located in the middle of the city of Toronto and the panhandle of the Hudson Bay to the North. He would venture south to Barrie, Ontario, to play his junior hockey with the Barrie Flyers. Per Wikipedia, his time in Barrie was an important timeframe in his development as he was ranked as the second-best junior hockey player in the Canadian nation behind the National Hockey League Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau. During his final season with the Barrie club in the Ontario Hockey Association, Chevrefils attracted major attention from the professional levels of the game when he posted 52-51-103 numbers in only 54 games in 1950-51.

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The Boston Bruins came calling for the playing services of Chevrefils and signed him to start his professional career as again per Wikipedia Bruins Head Coach at the time Lynne Patrick had high hopes for the upcoming star with all his accolades in previous years of junior hockey. Real would start in the Bruins minor-pro system with the Hershey Bears in the 1951-52 campaign posting 20-28-48 numbers in the first 34 games that season. Also, in that regular-season as a 19-year-old, Chevrefils would get the call to play in the NHL for his parent Bruins club and finished the season appearing in 33 games to end the year and had 8-17-25 numbers.

In June of 1955 and after spending almost four full seasons with the Original six franchise in Boston, Chevrefils was traded to the Detriot Red Wings along with Ed Sanford, Norm Corcoran, Gilles Boisvert, and Warren Godfrey for legendary goaltender Terry Sawchuck, Vic Stasiuk, Marcel Bonin, and Lorne Davis per the great folks at Real would only spend half a calendar year under the Red Wings control playing in 38 games and posting offensive numbers of 3-4-7 in that timeframe.

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Chevrefils would be on the move again this time vis trade back to Boston in January of 1956 when the Wings sent him packing along with Jerry Toppazzini for Lorne Ferguson and Murray Costello. Upon his return from the Motor City, Real would play another four years with the Bruins, but his games played and offensive numbers were dwindling quickly, finishing his career with the Black N’ Gold producing 52-39-91 numbers in his final 169 games in the NHL. Reals’ best hockey season would come as a 24-year-old in the 1956-57 campaign, where he posted 31-17-48 numbers and would end his NHL time contributing 104-97-201 totals in 387 games spanning an eight-year professional career.

After the 1958-59 season, Chevrefils would continue the rest of his playing days in the EPHL with Sudbury, in the WHL with Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco wrapping his days on the ice for good following the 1963-64 season in the International Hockey League with the Windsor Bulldogs. Real suffered from alcoholism for the majority of his life particularly when he turn pro to end his teen years. While playing his last year of hockey in Windsor, he was often on the “lighter” side of being a hockey player, and per Wikipedia, the Boston organization would suggest “bulking” up by having a few beers while eating his meals.

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This theory of gaining weight didn’t exactly help Chevrefils, who spent many in Alcoholics Anonymous in previous years seeking help that was offered by NHL managers. One story I read, former Red Wings General Manager Jack Adams hired private investigators to follow Real and report on his daily doings. This was a thorn in Adam’s side, and the Hall of Fame GM was forced to pull the trigger on trading him which landed him back with the Bruins.

Chevrefils passed away on January 8th, 1981, at the age of 49 at a Windsor, Ontario Hospital. On his headstone located in an upper corner, a Boston Bruins emblem was placed, signifying his life long allegiance to the NHL organization, who gave the outstanding hockey player his first and final chance to be his very best

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 176 that we recorded below on 4-27-20! 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!!