Boston Bruins HC Bruce Cassidy Wins 2020 Jack Adams Award

PHOTO CREDITS: (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has officially been named the winner of the 2020 Jack Adams Award, the trophy given to the best head coach during the 2019-20 regular season.

Cassidy became the bench boss of the Bruins back in the 2016-17 season following the departure of longtime coach Claude Julien. Prior to his hiring, Cassidy was the Head Coach for Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, for five seasons – only missing the postseason once.

Cassidy coached only 27 games in ’16/’17, but with the change of coaching the Bruins went 18-8-1 and managed to claw their way into the playoffs, ending a two-year playoff drought. While the Bruins fell short to the Ottawa Senators in six games, it became clear Cassidy was the right fit for the organization.

In 2017-18, the Bruins won 50 games for the first time since the 2013-14 season and made it to the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In ’18-’19, Bruce Cassidy led the B’s to another near 50-win campaign, finishing the year with a 49-24-9 record. While the Bruins failed to secure the top spot in the Atlantic Division, they managed to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and swept the Carolina Hurricanes en route to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the St. Louis Blues.

That brings us to this year. Boston was undeniably the best team during the course of the regular-season prior to the pause in result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bruins finished as the only franchise to reach the 100-point plateau and as result, won the league’s Presidents’ Trophy. With a plethora of injuries throughout the campaign, Cassidy kept the train on the tracks and with the “Next Man Up” mentality, allowed the Bruins to remain contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Bruce Cassidy joins Don Cherry (1975-76), Pat Burns (1997-98), and Claude Julien (2013-14) as the only head coaches in Boston Bruins franchise history to be named the Jack Adams winner.

Philadelphia Flyers’ Alain Vigneault and Columbus Blue Jackets’ John Tortorella finished second and third respectively in the voting done by broadcasters across the league.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 193 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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Chara: “I want to be a Boston Bruin.”

(Source: NESN via YouTube)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

With speculation running rampant over whether or not Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played his last game in Black and Gold during the team’s season-ending 3-2 double overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the second round, the 43-year-old laid any and all retirement rumors to rest during his media availability on Thursday morning.

“I believe I can still play this game and contribute to the team and I want to stay in Boston,” Chara said. “I want to be a Boston Bruin.

“I want to continue to lead by example and share my experiences . . . that hasn’t changed. I’m committed. We’ll see what’s gonna happen next.”

Currently, Chara is a pending unrestricted free agent for the first time during his tenure in Boston as he and the Bruins are yet to sign a deal with his one-year, $2 million deal coming to a close. Over the past two seasons, the left-handed defenseman and general manager Don Sweeney have agreed to terms one one-year extensions prior to the playoffs, although the uncertainty amid the global pandemic undoubtedly proved to be an obstacle this year.

“I’m committed to the Boston Bruins,” the 6-foot-9, 250 pound giant said. “I’m committed to Boston fans and the city of Boston. I think I’ve expressed that a number of times. I’m excited about the future of this team. Like I said, we are going to whatever we can to win another Stanley Cup.

“I expressed to my agent that I would like him to meet with the management, and I make that my priority. The sooner the better, and see what the future holds.”

If Chara and the Bruins were to agree on a contract, there’s no reason not to believe that the two sides will not choose the same route as before: an affordable, one or two-year deal. Although the Trencin, Slovakia, native’s mileage may have become more apparent recenty, there is still value in a player, who was leaned on heavily in defensive situations, especially the penalty kill, and provides the type of leadership that Chara does.

“I am confident, but at the same time you know, you’ve been in the business and around hockey for so long that you know there are different circumstances and possibilities,” ,” Chara said of his confidence in getting a deal done. “But as of right now, I’m excited. I want to be a Boston Bruin. I want to play for the Boston Bruins.

“But, again, we will see what the decisions are going to be made and that’s something up to my agent and the senior upper management to kind of go over it.”

On Monday’s broadcast, the sense from NBC’s crew was that Chara’s career may have come to a close. In his postgame press conference, Chara said he had an “open mind” as far as his future is concerned, and he addressed the comments and rumors on Thursday as well.

“Yeah I mean I wouldn’t say I’m undecided. I was saying my mind was open,” Chara explained. “Obviously to be asked just a few minutes about my future after the double overtime loss, and the way we battled and how well we played in that game, I was still so sad about the outcome.

“I can’t really reflect on some of the rumors. I have not heard any of these rumors directly and I dismiss any kind of conversations and comments on these matters because it might just cause unnecessary distractions to my teammates and the organization.”

As for the possibility of if his decision came down to playing in Boston, or retiring, Chara seemed noncommittal, expressing that he has not considered that option yet.

“Well again, if it comes down to that, then again that’s something that we can talk about later,” Chara said. “But I love Boston. I love the city. I think we have the best fans in the world. I have no plans to move or kind of go anywhere else. So we will see what the future holds.”

Through 68 regular season games during the 2019-20 run, the big man put up five goals and nine assists for 14 points, in addition to a plus-26 rating and 60 penalty minutes. In 13 games in the bubble during the Round Robin and Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chara notched two assists, eight penalty minutes, and a minus-four rating.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 192 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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Boston Bruins Playoff Game Postponed

(Photo Credit: CHASE AGNELLO-DEAN/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

As the world has been busy fighting racial injustice, the NHL and its players have decided to postpone all of Thursday and Friday’s playoff games. This comes following many NBA and MLB teams doing the same yesterday, the first being the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. The Boston Bruins will likely face off with the Lightning for Game 4 Saturday or Sunday, with Game 5 coming a day or two later. It will be a must win game for the Bruins when the time comes.

This is another step in the right direction by the NHL, as we’ve already seen powerful statements by players like Matt Dumba earlier in the playoffs. Some things are bigger than sports.

The Bruins have released this statement following the news:

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 191 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, Vladar Agree To Terms On Three-Year Extension

Photo: Steve Babineau / NHL via Getty Images

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced on Sunday night that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Dan Vladar on a three-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of $750,000. The deal is a two-way contract for the first two seasons, with the third being a one-way contract.

In 25 games with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, this season, Vladar led the league in save percentage (.936) and goals-against average (GAA) with a 1.79 marker. On the year, the 23-year-old posted a 14-7-1 record, including three shutouts.

In 68 games with the P-Bruins over four seasons, the Prague, Czech Republic native holds a 33-26-3 record to go along with a 2.35 GAA and .916 save percentage. In 60 games with the Atlanta Gladiators, Boston’s East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) affiliate over three seasons, Vladar posted a .902 save percentage and a 2.95 GAA.

The Bruins selected Vladar with the 75th overall pick in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. With the departure of Tuukka Rask from the NHL’s Return to Play due to a reported family emergency, Vladar is currently serving as backup to Boston netminder Jaroslav Halak.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 190 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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Reports: Bruins’ Rask Opted Out Due To Family Emergency

(Photo: Paul Rutherford / USA TODAY Sports)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask reportedly opted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the National Hockey League’s Return to Play in Toronto due to a family emergency, according to WEEI’s Greg Hill. Per Hill, Rask said he had received a call from his wife about a medical emergency for one his daughters, and rushed to be with his family.

On Sunday, Dale Arnold of NESN and WEEI said that Rask had texted him saying there was a family emergency he had to deal with, but that things are fine now.

“He texted me back and I asked specifically if I could share this part of what he said to me and he said you can. The fact of the matter is he said to me there was a family emergency,” Arnold said. 

“He went on to say everything is fine now, but there was a family emergency and he felt he needed to be back with his family.”

News of the Finnish netminder’s decision to return home broke on Saturday morning prior to Game 3 between the Bruins and the Hurricanes. In a statement, Rask said, “there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family.”

So far, Bruins management and Rask’s teammates have supported his decision.

“It makes me upset sometimes how badly [Rask] gets trashed for that. People aren’t in the bubble with us,” Bruins forward Chris Wagner told WBZ’s Dan Roche. “They’re not away from their families for months at a time.”

“Obviously we’re supporting him. We’re behind him and we understand,” Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said in his media availability after Game 3 on Saturday. “Family comes first. We’ve always said that.”

The 33-year-old is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, annually awarded to the league’s top goaltender as voted on by the general managers. He concluded the 2019-20 regular season with a 28-5-6 record to go along with five shutouts, second in the league, a 2.12 goals-against average (GAA), first in the league, and a .929 save percentage, second in the league. Rask split the William M. Jennings Trophy with fellow Bruins netminder Jaroslav Halak as the two led the Bruins to the fewest goals-allowed among any team in the league.

In the league’s return to play, Rask posted a 1-3-0 record in four games, recording a 2.57 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 189 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 Sign Forward Matt Filipe To Entry-Level Deal

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(Source: Northeastern University Athletics)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced on Sunday, August 16, that the team has signed forward Matt Filipe to a two-year, entry-level contract.

“Thrilled to sign my first NHL contract with the team I grew up idolizing. Huge thanks to everyone who has helped me get to this point!” Filipe said in an Instagram post. The Lynnfield, Mass., native was originally drafted in the third round (67th overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Filipe spent the last four seasons at Northeastern University, where he recorded 31 goals and 44 assists for 75 points in 136 collegiate games to go along with a plus-25 rating and 109 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old served as an assistant captain during the 2019-20 season, where he recorded 9-13-22 totals in 30 games, all career-highs. While with the Huskies, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward helped the team to three-straight Beanpot titles, two NCAA tournament appearances, and a Hockey East Championship.

Prior to his collegiate career, Filipe notched 19-17-36 numbers to go along with a plus-five rating and 99 penalty minutes in 56 regular season games with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League (USHL) during the 2015-16 season. In high school, Filipe registered 25-25-50 totals in 58 games over three seasons with Malden Catholic High School, serving as an assistant captain in 2014-15 and helping the team to two MIAA Division 1A, or “Super Eight,” Championships.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 189 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.

User 568316199 · 189: The Bruins Winless In The Round-Robin Games And Get Set To Play Carolina In Round One

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Breaking News: Tuukka Rask Opts Out of Playoffs

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins

(Photo Courtesy of Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

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

A little bit of breaking news just before the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes play the third game of their first-round playoff matchup, Tuukka Rask has opted out of the rest of the playoffs. In a statement made through the team, Rask cited his need to be with family at this time.

 

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney met with the media this morning to address Tuukka’s decision. He assured us that there wasn’t an emergency situation at home with Tuukka and that his family was healthy and safe. Sweeney also mentioned that the team fully supports Rask’s decision to be with his family.

 

I want to say everyone here at Black N Gold hockey wishes Tuukka Rask and his family the best at this time. As we look to hockey, the Boston Bruins are lucky they can turn to Jaroslav Halak to start the rest of the way. Halak has played in 31 playoff games, with 29 of those being starts. He’s 13-16 with a 2.45 GAA and a .922 save percentage (stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference). Halak’s backup will be Dan Vladar. The young netminder had an excellent year in Providence, going 14-7-1 with a 1.79 GAA and a .936 save percentage with three shutouts (stats courtesy of the AHL). I hope everyone enjoys the game today. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 189 that we recorded below on 8-9-20! 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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Providence Bruins Announce Colby Cave Memorial Award

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(Photo via Providence Bruins)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

On Tuesday morning, the Providence Bruins announced, in collaboration with the Cave Family and the Boston Bruins Foundation, the establishment of the Colby Cave Memorial Award, honoring Cave’s commitment to helping those in need. The award will be presented annually to a Providence Bruins player “for their dedication to the community and charitable organizations.”

Originally an undrafted free agent, Cave spent portions of five seasons with the P-Bruins after inking an entry-level contract with the Bruins in April 2015. In 239 career games with Providence, the North Battleford, Saskatchewan native posted 43-72-115 numbers, often serving as an assistant captain.

Cave made his National Hockey League debut with the Bruins, and scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 17, 2018, in the Bruins 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Edmonton claimed him off waivers during the 2018-19 campaign.

In 67 career NHL games over four seasons with the Oilers and Bruins, Cave registered four goals and five assists for nine points. In 11 games with Edmonton during the 2019-20 season, he scored one goal. With the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the left-shot forward tallied 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 44 games.

Cave spent five seasons (2010-15 with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he served as team captain for two seasons from 2013 to 2015, skating alongside current Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. During his career in the WHL, Cave notched 95-107-202 totals in 287 games.

“The Colby Cave Memorial Award is a special way to honor and remember Colby for his leadership qualities and humanitarian efforts,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in a statement. “Driven and committed to be an NHL player, Colby was also uniquely unselfish with teammates and anyone that needed help!

“Emily, the Cave Family and the entire Hockey World lost a great person who was beloved by everyone that was fortunate enough to spend time with Colby Cave.”

“From the first day he stepped into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to the day he left for the NHL, Colby Cave inspired each and every one of us with his diligence, selflessness and compassion,” Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach said. “Always the first to help, both with his teammates, and throughout our community, Colby set the precedent that we aspire to uphold.”

 

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 188 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 Named Winner Of NESN’s 7th Player Award

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(Photo: Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

This afternoon Bruins forward Charlie Coyle was named the winner of NESN’s 7th Player Award for the 2019-20 season, as voted on by the fans. Per NESN, the 7th Player Award is annually awarded to a Bruins player, who has performed above and beyond expectations every day for the good of the team without any expectation to be recognized.

During the regular season, Coyle notched 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points in 70 games, all in the top 10 on the team for each category. The 28-year-old finished the regular season with a plus-nine rating while averaging 16:47 of ice time per game, the fifth-most among Boston forwards.

The East Weymouth, MA, native broke out during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Bruins, recording 9-7-16 totals in 24 games, tied for the team lead in scoring. Since coming over from the Minnesota Wild via trade, the 6-foot-3, 220 pound centerman has 18-25-43 numbers in 91 regular season contests – 2-4-6 in 21 games immediately after the trade.

Originally drafted 28th overall in the first round of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, Coyle has registered 109 goals and 176 assists for 285 points in 570 NHL games between the Wild and the Bruins. In 68 playoff games, the former Boston University Terrier has 16-15-31 totals.

With the award, Coyle will also receive $5,000 to donate to a charity of his choice. Current Bruins to have won the award include Chris Wagner (2019), Charlie McAvoy (2018), David Pastrnak (2017, 2015), Brad Marchand (2016, 2011), Tuukka Rask (2010), as well as David Krejci (2009).

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 187 that we recorded below on 7-26-20! 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, Bjork Agree To Terms On Extension

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(Photo: Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Anders Bjork on a three-year contract extension that will keep him in Boston through the end of the 2022-23 season. The deal carries a cap hit of $1.6 million per season.

In 58 regular season games this year, a career-high, Bjork posted nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points to go along with a plus-5 rating, also career-highs. The 23-year-old has 14-20-34 totals in 108 games through his first three seasons in the National Hockey League.In 29 American Hockey League contests with Providence, the Mequon, WI, native has six goals and 16 helpers for 22 points.

Prior to becoming a Bruin, the 6-foot, 190-pound winger served as an assistant captain during his junior season at the University of Notre Dame, recording 21-31-52 numbers. During his three years with the Fighting Irish, Bjork registered 40 goals and 69 assists for 109 points in 115 games.

Boston selected left-shot forward with the 146th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. With the deal, the Bruins and Bjork will also avoid a potential arbitration hearing this offseason as Bjork was slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 187 that we recorded below on 7-26-20! 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!