Report: Peter Cehlarik Leaves Bruins, Signs With Lugano

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(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).

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Bruins Prospect Jack Studnicka Selected To AHL All-Rookie Team

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(Source: providencebruins.com)

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).

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Alexander Khokhlachev, Still Bruins Property, Traded In KHL

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(Photo: Ilya Smirnov / photo.khl.ru)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Former Boston Bruins prospect Alexander Khokhlachev has been traded in a one-for-one swap in the Kontinental Hockey League. The 26-year-old was dealt from Spartak Moscow to Avangard Omsk in exchange for forward Sergei Shirokov.

This season with Spartak, Khokhlachev posted 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 56 games in addition to 2-3-5 numbers in six playoff contests. Through four seasons in the KHL, the Moscow native has 56-73-129 totals in 187 games to go along with two goals, six helpers, and eight points in 25 playoff games.

Selected 40th overall by Boston in the second round of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Khokhlachev departed North American hockey after the 2015-16 campaign, where he tallied 23-45-68 totals in 60 American Hockey League contests with the Providence Bruins. The Russian was a prolific scorer at the AHL level with 61 goals and 110 assists for 171 points in 197 AHL contests under Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who apparently has a strong relationship with “Koko.”

The five-foot-11, 187-pound forward could not seem to get his success to translate to the NHL: zero points in nine games with a minus-four rating. When Khokhlachev got looks with the big club, former Boston head coach Claude Julien fed him limited ice time.

During the 2017-18 season, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada reported that a return to Boston could be in the fold for Khokhlachev, and according to Mark Divver, team representatives met him overseas that winter to “talk things over.”

At the time, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney even acknowledged that Khokhlachev “indicated to us originally during the year that he was interested [in returning to Boston].” However, it seems fair to say that a return is probably not imminent at this point in time.

The Bruins hold Khokhlachev’s NHL rights until he is 27 years old, so long as the team submits a qualifying offer each year. Khokhlachev will turn 27 on September 9, 2020.

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Former Bruin Colby Cave Passes Away At 25

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(Photo: Steve Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Edmonton Oilers forward and former Boston Bruin Colby Cave died on Saturday morning after being hospitalized for a brain bleed earlier this week. He was 25.

Cave’s wife, Emily, confirmed the news through a statement on Saturday morning, saying “Both our families are in shock but know our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community and many more.”

Cave was put into a medically induced coma after being airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and having surgery to remove a colloid cyst, which was causing pressure on his brain. Earlier in the week Emily Cave said in an Instagram that the family could not visit the hospital due to the COVID-19 crisis and post that the family needed a “miracle.”

Cave skated in 67 career NHL games over four seasons with the Oilers and Bruins, posting four goals and five assists for nine points. In 11 games with Edmonton this season, Cave scored one goal.

With Boston, the Battleford, Sask. native tallied 1-4-5 totals in 23 games. Originally an undrafted free agent, Cave signed a three-year entry level contract with the Bruins in April 2015. His NHL debut came on Dec. 21, 2017.

Cave 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.

Cave skated in 283 American Hockey League contests over six seasons between the Bakersfield Condors (2019-20), Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, and the Providence Bruins (2015-2019), Boston’s AHL affiliate, where he served as an assistant captain for three seasons.

This season with the Condors, he had 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 44 games. On his career, Cave posted 54-84-138 numbers in the AHL.

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Bruins Recall D Urho Vaakanainen, Place F Joakim Nordstrom on IR

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Photo: Winslow Townson / Associated Press

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

This morning, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced the team recalled defense prospect Urho Vaakanainen on an emergency basis from the Providence Bruins, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate. The move was first reported by Mark Divver, saying the move appeared in the AHL’s transaction log.

 

Sweeney also announced that forward Joakim Nordstrom has been placed on injured reserve. Nordstrom has 4-3-7 totals through 39 contests with Boston this season, including aa minus-seven rating. During his first season with the Bruins last year, the Swede had 7-5-12 numbers in 70 games before adding three goals and five assists in the playoffs.

This season Vaakanainen has four goals and eight assists for 12 points through 42 AHL contests to go along with a plus-14 rating and 16 penalty minutes. In 72 career AHL games, the Joensuu, Finland, native holds 8-18-26 totals in addition to a plus-16 rating.

Vaakanainen has appeared in five NHL games with Boston this season, registering two shots on goal and a plus-two rating. Last season , Vaakanainen appeared in two games with the Bruins last season before going down with a concussion, notching two shots and a rating of minus-one.

General manager Don Sweeney and the Bruins selected Vaakanainen with the 18th-overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL entry draft. Vaakanainen played three seasons in the Finnish Elite League from 2015 to 2018, skating in 109 total games and recording 7-16-23 numbers.

During the 2018-19 season, the 21-year-old served as an assistant captain on Team Finland during the World Junior Championships, helping the team to a gold medal with four assists in seven games. Vaakanainen’s father, Harri, coached Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in Finland.

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Bruins Issue Statement On David Backes

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(Photo: Steve Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Bruins forward David Backes will not play for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL-affiliate, according to the team. Boston placed Backes on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Providence on Jan. 17. The 35-year-old went unclaimed and cleared waivers on Jan. 18.

This morning, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney issued the following statement on Backes’ future:

“After speaking with David, we have agreed that it is in the best interest of David and the Bruins for him not to play in Providence at this time. David is fit and able to play, but in order to preserve all potential options for both David and the Bruins moving forward, we have decided this is the best course of action.”

Backes skated in 16 games for the Bruins this season, notching a goal and an assist to go along with a minus-two rating and 16 penalty minutes. The former St. Louis Blues captain is currently in the second-to-last year of a six-year contract with a $6-million cap hit. In 944 career NHL contests, Backes has 245-309-554 totals, a plus-67 rating, and 1,138 penalty minutes.

Sweeney offered no comment in reference to Backes’ long-term future or the organization’s plans for the forward, which leaves plenty of room for speculation. In any case, it seems to me as a perfect storm of an unfortunate set of circumstances.

For starters, through no fault of his own, Backes is vastly overpaid for what he brings to the table, which is something we already know and has been hashed out at length for several seasons, so there really is no need to dive back into that conversation. Making matters worse, Backes’ concussion history and overall decline due to age has led to the game passing him by, in a sense.

In my opinion, Backes could be evaluating the next steps for himself and his family, whether that is retirement or returning to hockey down the road. For the Bruins, Sweeney and co. could be looking at all possible options, whether it’s a buyout this offseason, figuring out how to fit Backes and his contract into a trade, or simply giving Backes space and time to sort out his future. Again, all of this is pure speculation on my part.

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Bruins Recall Maxime Lagace On Emergency Basis, Assign Dan Vladar

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(Photo: Providence Bruins)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced on Friday that the team has assigned goaltender Dan Vladar to the Providence Bruins, and recalled goaltender Maxime Lagace on an emergency basis. Vladar was recalled earlier this week after goaltender Tuukka Rask went down with what head coach Bruce Cassidy labeled a concussion.

Vladar served as backup to Jaroslav Halak in Boston’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. The 22-year-old holds a 6-5-0 record with a 1.84 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage two shutouts in 12 AHL contests this season.

Lagace has been strong with the P-Bruins this season since signing a one-year, $700,000 contract over the offseason. Through 23 AHL appearances this season, the 27-year-old boasts a 14-6-2 record to go along with five shutouts, a 2.49 GAA and a .915 save percentage. This is the first time the club has recalled him this season.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound netminder was with the Vegas Golden Knights organization over the course of the last two seasons, spending time with both the big club in Vegas and the team’s AHL-affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. In 17 career NHL appearances, Lagace holds a .868 save percentage and a 3.92 GAA. In 184 games in the AHL over his career, Lagace has a .904 save percentage and a 2.84 GAA.

The Bruins will return to action on Sunday as they will travel to Pittsburgh for a matinee rematch with the Penguins. Puck-drop is slated for 12:30 pm.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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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Providence Bruins Post-Game Recap Vs. Springfield 1/12/20

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

 

The Providence Bruins faced off against the Springfield Thunderbirds at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday. The game was the second of a home-and-home series, with the Bruins defeating the Thunderbirds 5-2 in Springfield on Saturday night. The Bruins entered Sunday’s game ranked third in the Atlantic division with a record of 21-15-1-2.

Starting Lineups

Providence Bruins:

Gaunce – Frederic – Cehlarik

Breen – Zech

Lagace

Springfield Thunderbirds:

Hunt – Saarela – Tippett

Cross – Keeper

Desrosiers

Game Recap

First Period

29 seconds into the game, Chris Breen was sent to the box for roughing. Providence was able to kill the penalty and used the momentum to their favor. Just 23 seconds after the penalty expired, Karson Kuhlman beat multiple defenders and set up Brendan Woods, who scored his sixth goal of the season.

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At 11:57 of the first period, Springfield’s Ryan Haggerty was called for interference. The Bruins were unable to convert on their first power play. A few minutes later, Anton Blidh and Matt Mangene got matching roughing minors. Ten seconds into the four-on-four, Brady Keeper was whistled for high-sticking.

Peter Cehlarik beat Desrosiers for his tenth goal of the season on the 4-on-3 power play. The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0.

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Before the puck was dropped to re-start play after Cehlarik’s goal, Springfield’s Keeper received a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials. Providence had a brief power play before Jack Studnicka was called for slashing.

The period ended with the Bruins leading 2-0 in goals and 16-3 in shots.

Second Period

Max Lagace made some strong saves in the second period. Though Providence continued to greatly outshoot Springfield, the score could have been much closer without Lagace’s excellent play.

The Bruins went to the penalty kill with 5:44 left in the period, with Didier being sent to the box. Springfield’s Owen Tippett scored on the power play to cut the lead to 2-1.

Just a few minutes later, Kuhlman scored his second goal of the season to extend the Providence lead to 3-1. The team carried the lead into the second intermission and led 32-14 in shots.

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Third Period

1:24 into the third, Providence went back on the penalty kill with Paul Carey sent off for hooking. Anton Blidh was hooked on a partial shorthanded breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. His shot made it through Desrosiers and increased the lead to 4-1.

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Springfield was able to convert later on in the power play. Ryan Haggerty was credited with the goal.

The Thunderbirds were given another power play when Woods and Desrosiers got into a tussle in the crease. Woods was hit with a double-minor for spearing as well as a minor for roughing. Two Springfield players were also given roughing minors. The Bruins were able to kill off the two-minute penalty.

Despite an incredible glove save from Lagace as well as plenty of chances for the Bruins, Springfield later cut the lead to 4-3 with Haggerty’s second goal of the game.

29 seconds after Haggerty’s goal, Woods countered with his second of the day.

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The Bruins showed great resilience to be able to extend the lead multiple times with Springfield making a push to tie it up. Despite the wide margin in shots, Lagace had to make some big saves to secure the win.

Despite pulling Desrosiers, Springfield couldn’t get the puck past Lagace. Providence won 5-3 and finished with a 43-24 lead in shots. Lagace, who turned 27 on Sunday, was credited with his 13th win of the season. This broke a streak of three straight losses for the goaltender, who last made 39 saves in a loss against the Charlotte Checkers on January 4th.

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“Last night was a [hard]-fought win,” forward Karson Kuhlman said after the game. “It says a lot about our team to come out here and respond and play a good game on a Sunday afternoon. I thought that yesterday we did a good job of sticking up for one another and we didn’t let them push us around. We wanted to come out here and do a lot of the same this afternoon.”

“There are some confrontational players on both [teams],” commented coach Jay Leach. “When that happens, you’re gonna get those scuffles, whether it’s a fight, a punch after the whistle, or a hit. We certainly want to play the right way, and when we do that, we’re a better team.”

When asked about the close score despite the wide margin in shots, Leach emphasized eliminating mistakes. “When we make a mistake, [like] taking a penalty or losing coverage, something we can control, I think there’s some frustration with that. Those are parts of the learning process. As a group that’s learning how to win, you just have to take steps in the right direction to remedy those.”

The Bruins host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday for Military Appreciation Weekend.

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Bruins Place Torey Krug On IR, Recall Steven Kampfer

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(LEFT: Torey Krug. Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images. RIGHT: Steven Kampfer. Photo: Steve Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced this morning that the team has placed defenseman Torey Krug on injured reserve and recalled d-man Steven Kampfer from the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate, on an emergency basis. Krug left the Bruins’ game against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 23 with an upper-body injury.

Krug’s injury is likely the result of a hit he took from Capitals forward Tom Wilson. Krug was stickhandling the puck before passing it off when he took a hard hit from Wilson that sent him crashing awkwardly into the boards. The blueliner was slow to get up and went down the tunnel to the Bruins’ dressing room following the hit.

Through 33 games this season, the 28-year-old leads all Bruins defenseman in scoring with five goals and 21 assists for 26 points. In 495 career NHL games, all with Boston, the 5-foot-9, 186-pound blueliner has recorded 63-251-314 numbers with 23 goals and 147 points coming on the power play.

Kampfer skated in four games with Boston, registering a plus-two rating and two penalty minutes, before clearing waivers and being sent down to Providence. In six games with the P-Bruins, the 5-foot-11, 198-pound defender has notched four assists.

Kampfer was supposed to serve a two-game suspension with Providence this weekend for interference. In 205 career NHL contests, the 31-year-old has 13-19-32 totals.

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Bruins Prospect Jakub Lauko Injured At World Juniors

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(Photo: Boston Bruins / NHL.com)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko appeared to have injured his right leg during his first shift for the Czech Republic at the 2020 World Junior Championship. The forward was trying to control the puck as he skated through center-ice, before being taken down by a trailing Russian forechecker and colliding with another Russian defender.

Lauko went down holding his knee, was slow to get up and had to be helped off the ice. As he went to the locker room, he did not put any weight on his right leg; he has been ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

The 19-year-old had just returned to action after suffering a concussion with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate. The concussion came as a result of a scary incident, in which Lauko had to be stretchered off the ice, in the P-Bruins’ contest against the Utica Comets on Dec. 7.

Lauko has suited up in 18 games for Providence this season, which is his first professional campaign. In that span, Lauko has four goals and four assists for eight points to go along with a plus-four rating and 20 penalty minutes.

Don Sweeney and the Bruins selected Lauko 77th-overall in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the 6-foot, 170-pound skater posted 21-20-41 numbers in 44 games as well as 6-7-13 totals in 19 playoff contests with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL in addition to a goal and an assist in five games with the Czech Republic at last year’s World Juniors.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 159 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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