Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Scott Bailey

( Photo Credit: Alchetron.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Happy 48th Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Goaltender Scott Bailey!

Scott Bailey was born on May 2nd, 1972, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. After spending some time playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Calgary Buffaloes, the 6′-0″ 195-pound netminder went onto play for the Moose Jaw Warrior and Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League from the ages of 16 to 19-years-old. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 1992 National Hockey League Entry Draft (112th Overall) from the festivities held at the legendary Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec.

After signing an entry-level deal with the Boston club, Bailey would start his professional career in the ECHL with the Bruins “AA” minor pro affiliates.  Starting with the Johnstown Chiefs in the 1992-93 season, he played in 36 games posting a record of 13-15-3 with a 3.84 goals-against-average and .875 save percentage in 36 appearances as a 20-year-old. The following season Scott would start the year with the Providence Bruins, the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliate in the American Hockey League. He played in seven contests for the Rhode Island team going 2-2-2 in 1993-94, but in that same year was sent back to the ECHL this time with a new “AA” affiliation the Charlotte Checkers. With Charlotte in 93-94, he went 22-11-3 with a 3.58 GAA and .897 save%.

( Photo Credit: Alchetron.com )

The 1994-95 season Bailey would eventually leave the ECHL developing ranks for Providence as a regular netminder, even seeing time in the NHL with Boston. In his time with the Providence club, the Alberta native appeared in 127 games and a record of 53-54-16. In19 games played at the NHL level with the Boston Bruins he got into 19 games and contributed with a 6-6-2 record and 3.42 GAA and .876 Save%, which unfortunately would be his only time at the top level of hockey in the world.

Scott would go onto play several more seasons in the AHL, International Hockey League, the SM-liiga League in Finland, and even making a stop in London, England. Bailey would retire from the game after the 2003-04 season when he played in one game for the Lakeland Loggerheads of the WHA2 league, according to the great folks at HockeyReference.com.

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.

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Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Wayne Hicks

wayne-hicks-1963-32

( Photo Courtesy Of hockeydb.com )

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Happy 83rd Birthday to Former Bruins Right Winger Wayne Hicks!

Wayne Hicks was born on April 9th, 1937 in Aberdeen, Washington. He began his junior career in the now-defunct Western Canada Junior Hockey League (WCJHL) with the Calgary Buffaloes at the age of 16. He played four seasons in juniors totaling 75 goals and 69 assists for 144 points in 141 games for Calgary, the Moose Jaw Canucks, the Yorkton Terriers, and Melville Millionaires.

Hicks then played in parts of three seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Calgary Stampeders posting 22 goals and 34 assists for 56 points in 128 games. Hicks then played nearly a full season in the now-defunct Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) with the Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds, posting 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points in 69 games before making his NHL debut in the 1960 NHL playoffs for the Chicago Black Hawks.

Hicks made his regular-season debut the following season for Chicago playing in just a single game. Hicks’s only playoff appearance has a special place in Black Hawks history as he helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup on April 16th, 1961 with a 5-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Hicks was traded the following season to the Montreal Canadiens then was drafted about a week later by the Bruins in the Intra-League Draft.

Hicks posted seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 65 games in the 1962-63 season for Boston. He didn’t stay in Boston for long as he was dealt back to Montreal before the following season for cash. He spent the majority of his next four seasons in the AHL for the Quebec Aces, the Canadiens affiliate before the Philadelphia Flyers purchased the AHL franchise in May of 1967.

( Photo Credit: ice hockey.fandom.com )

Hicks became the first American-born player in Flyers history and was part of the starting lineup for the very first game in franchise history on October 11th, 1967. During that season, Hicks became the first player to score in the redone Madison Square Garden on February 18th, 1968. Hicks played 32 games for the Flyers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 27th for Art Stratton. He finished the campaign posting six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 47 games for both teams.

Hicks never played in the NHL after the 1968 season but enjoyed good success in both the WHL and AHL. In his final two seasons in the AHL, he posted 47 goals and 57 assists for 104 points in 129 games for the Baltimore Clippers. In his final four seasons in the WHL for primarily the Phoenix Roadrunners, he totaled 91 goals and 131 assists for 222 points in 283 games.

Since his retirement in 1974, Hicks was inducted into the Regional District of Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Hicks is the father of Alex Hicks who also played for the Penguins. When Alex played his first game for Pittsburgh on November 21st, 1996, it marked the first time a father and son had played for the Penguins. Happy Birthday Mr. Hicks!

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 Bob Beckett

( Photo Credit: ice hockey.fandom.com )

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.

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!!

The Bruins’ Silent Defender: Brandon Carlo

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

There’s a famous saying amongst NHL teams and scouts around regarding defenseman.  A defenseman’s ceiling is not known until they’ve played at least 250 NHL games.  Well, Boston’s Brandon Carlo recently eclipsed 278 games, and Carlo’s trajectory is clear to the organization and its fanbase.

The 6’5 Colorado Springs native began his path to the NHL in Canada’s Western Hockey League in 2012.  He spent three seasons in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans, progressing his game and points each year.  He was also featured on the American U-20 World Junior Championship teams in 2014 and 2015.  In 12 games at the World Junior Championships, he brought home a Bronze medal, scored five points, and an impressive plus-10 rating.

He even led the entire tournament pool of U-20 defenseman with two goals, winning the “U20 WJC Most Goals by Defenseman” award in 2015.  He is in great company for this award with the likes of Cale Makar, Thomas Chabot, and Zach Werenski.  Scouts predicted Carlo either be selected at the end of the first, early second round, and the Bruins were one of many teams interested.

The Bruins were fortunate enough to acquire four extra picks between the first two rounds in 2015.  Upon trading Johnny Boychuk, the Bruins found themselves with an additional pick in the second round, and with it, they selected Brandon Carlo.  His pre-draft scouting report was foreshadowing to what Bruins fans see night in and night out.  “Through maneuvering his way around the ice and making high-percentage, skilled decisions in all three zones, he is able to shut opposition offense down before it begins to take shape.”

He has become a steady, consistent shutdown defenseman that the team has lacked in the past few years.  There has been so much emphasis, energy, and draft choices spent on trying to find the league’s next Erik Karlsson. Teams should spend just as much time and energy on securing a player like Dennis Seidenberg.

Dennis Seidenberg came to the Bruins from Florida in a deadline trade in March 2010.  He was not known for his offensive prowess, but instead was a penalty kill specialist and a blocking shot animal.  Seidenberg amassed 1,417 blocked shots and averaged 20:44 minutes of ice time in 859 career NHL games.  This type of defenseman is needed to make a deep, unbeaten playoff run.

Brandon Carlo is following in the footsteps of Seidenberg, and for Bruins fans, that is a significant area of need.  The beginning of Carlo’s Bruins career would only require seven games in Providence before showing the Bruins he was ready for the big league.  In his first full year with the Bruins, Brandon played in all 82 games averaging 20 minutes on ice and finished with 16 points and a plus 9 rating.  He played alongside big man Zdeno Chara, and the two looked to have solidified an excellent working relationship.  Carlo was primed for his first NHL playoffs in 2017, but unfortunately, the game of hockey can be cruel.  In the last game of the regular season, Carlo suffered a concussion from an Alex Ovechkin brutal hit from behind.

The hit caused Carlo to miss the Bruins’ short playoff run.  The Bruins were eliminated heartbreakingly against the Ottawa Senators in the first round.  Their offseason began in April, and the Bruins were faced with an exciting offseason task.

The Vegas Golden Knights were the NHL’s newest expansion team in 2017, which created a new twist to the upcoming offseason.  The expansion rules required current teams to select 11 roster players for protection, while the rest of their roster was fair game.  However, NHL teams were allowed to exclude pro players who completed two or fewer years of the NHL from their list and the Knights.  These players for the Bruins included Charlie Mcavoy, Jake DeBrusk, and Brandon Carlo.  While this stopped the Knights from nabbing Carlo, it didn’t stop other teams from pursuing him.

The Colorado Avalanche were looking to unload their impending free-agent Matt Duchene in the same offseason.  They had a few calls, and one, in particular, piqued General Manager Joe Sakic’s interest.  Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney, called Sakic inquiring the asking price for their second-line center.  Sakic expressed his interest in the Bruins budding blue-liner.

Don Sweeney was building a system and philosophy to develop and invest in players he drafted.  Thankfully, Sweeney stuck to his word and refused Sakic’s request.  Duchene would eventually be traded to the Ottawa Senators in a massive haul of prospects and draft picks.  Sakic tried a second time to pry Carlo from the Bruins, this time offering up their captain Gabriel Landeskog.

Sweeney, again, held onto his shutdown defenseman.  Carlo entered his sophomore season on the Bruins’ third-pairing with Kevan Miller.  Zdeno Chara and Charlie Mcavoy were leading the charge on the blue-line, with Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug right behind them.  When McQuaid broke his leg early into the season, Carlo moved up to Krug’s left side.  Carlo and Krug struggled to find chemistry right away, and he was heading towards a sophomore slump.

Hockey is just as much a mental sport as it is a physical sport.  Defensemen need to read plays before as it develops and react in an instance.  They need to pick themselves up after a goal is allowed on their watch.  Carlo struggled during the 2018-19 regular season, so much so that he was on the wrong end of the game-day roster in February against Buffalo.  The message was sent loud and clear, and Carlo quickly found his groove.  In 1,000 minutes played on 5-on-5 ice time, he led the league in the least amount of goals-against with 1.42 per 60 minutes that season.  Yes, even during a down year.  He was full-steam ahead for the playoffs when once again, the injury bug arrived, and he missed another playoff run.

The third time is the charm, and he finally made his playoff debut in 2019.  He averaged 21:31 of ice time throughout the Stanley Cup run and even scored two goals.  The most impressive part of Carlo’s playoff run was his ability to shut down the offensive talent.  Chara was the guy to shut down the likes of Max Pacioretty, Steven Stamkos, and Henrik and Daniel Sedin in 2011.  Unfortunately, Chara isn’t getting any younger and needs to pass the shutdown torch.  Carlo stepped up in a big way.

According to Natural Stat Trick, Carlo played his most playoff minutes against Artemi Panarin, Auston Matthews, and Pierre-Luc Dubois.  All three are an incredible talent and poised to be household names for years to come.  When the three players were on the ice with Carlo in a 5-on-5 situation, the three fired a combined 104 shots on goal.  Without Carlo, the shot total increased to 114.  He also led the team in penalty killing minutes with 77:22 in the entire 2019 playoffs.  The next most PK minute total was Chara at 55:04.  Carlo also added a little flair to his penalty-killing abilities.

Unfortunately, adding a Stanley Cup to his resume will have to wait, but he grew into a phenomenal player over three months.  Carlo received a team-friendly contract of 2 years, $2.85M this past offseason, and will be a restricted free-agent again when it’s complete.  He will be a long-term staple on the blue-line and is an outstanding defensive defenseman, which is rarely talked about.  It’s now clear why Sweeney refused to trade the former second-round pick.

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.

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!! 

Getting To Know The Bruins Prospects Challenge Invitees

(Photo Credit: Vincent Ethier/CHL Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Another year, another prospect challenge for the Bruins. This year’s roster, similarly to in year’s past, features a number of players invited to the camp on an invitee basis. I’m gonna help you get to know a little more about these invitees. You can find the roster and schedule here.

Jacob Gaucher – C – Val-d’Or Foreurs – QMJHL

Gaucher is a big, 18-year-old center that carries a 6-foot-3, 181-pound frame around with him. Last season marked his first full season in the QMJHL, a season in which he had 24 points in 68 games. This season could be a more productive one as he may see more playing time than he did as a rookie. Certainly should be an interesting player to watch at the prospects challenge. It’s hard to miss a guy that’s 6-foot-3 out on the ice.

Dante Hannoun – C – Prince Albert Raiders – WHL

Ever seen Dante Hannoun and Danton Heinen in the same room? I haven’t. Really makes you think…

Hannoun played an instrumental role in a very successful season for the Raiders last season that saw them win their first WHL championship in 34 years this past season. After being acquired from the Victoria Royals on January 3, Hannoun put up 31 points in 28 regular-season games, and 24 points in 23 playoff games. Big-time players make big-time plays, like, ya know, scoring in overtime to win in game seven of the WHL championship.

(Video Credit: Western Hockey League on YouTube)

Alex-Olivier Voyer – RW – Sherbrooke Phoenix – QMJHL

We have known that Alex-Olivier Voyer was going to be attending the prospects challenge since July 26. Black N’ Gold Founder, CEO, and podcast host Mark Allred, wrote a bit about Voyer on the day of the report, you can find what Mark had to say here. Mark pretty much touches on everything you need to know about Voyer in his article, with video included, so definitely check that out.

Max Martin – D – Prince Albert Raiders – WHL

A teammate of Hannoun, Max Martin also basked in the glory of being a WHL champion. Martin tallied an impressive 41 points in 59 regular-season games this past season, and added 8 assists in 21 playoff games en route to a championship. We’ll have to wait and see if Martin can make some noise at the prospects challenge, perhaps like he did in the clip below.

Check out this crazy hit that Martin laid this past season.

(Video Credit: SPORTSNET on YouTube)

Riley McCourt – D – Flint Firebirds – OHL

I reached out to TheHockeyWriters.com writer Mark Scheig to find out a bit more about Riley McCourt and this is what he had to say, “Decent skater. Has some offense. Played on a horrible team in Flint.”

To me, McCourt sounds like a player who may be playing with something to prove and to put himself on the map a little bit perhaps after a turbulent season with the Flint Firebirds.

Despite playing on a horrible Flint Firebirds team, McCourt managed to put up 32 points in 47 games on the back end. This whole situation he played through this year makes him a player to monitor in my eyes.

Andrew Perrott – D – Owen Sound Attack – OHL

Andrew Perrott’s father, Nathan saw NHL time up until the 2005-2006 season with the Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars.

Now his son, Andrew is blazing his own path, most recently with the Owen Sound Attack. Perrott was acquired from the London Knights by the Attack on January 4. In 31 games, he tallied 10 points. Perrott will be one of the younger players at camp, as he is just 18-years-old. This will be a good jumping-off point before heading into year two with the Owen Sound Attack.

In the clip below, you’ll find Perrott dropping the gloves with New York Rangers prospect Tim Gettinger. The most impressive part outside of holding his own in the fight is the height and weight difference between the two.

(Video Credit: Game Day Sports Network on YouTube)

Jordan Sambrook – D – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – OHL

Formerly a Detroit Red Wings draft pick, Jordan Sambrook now finds himself in unrestricted free agency. Meaning perhaps if he does well at the prospects challenge, maybe the Bruins could sign him to an AHL deal.

Sambrook wore the “A” on his sweater for the Greyhounds this past season and had a productive year. He put up 49 points in 67 regular-season games, and seven in eleven playoff games. Sambrook carries a big frame on him at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, which can certainly help for defensemen. Should be a player to watch with something to prove at the prospects challenge.

Taylor Gauthier – G – Prince George Cougars – WHL

Taylor Gauthier has a bit of background with the Bruins, as the right-handed catching goaltender attended Bruins development camp this past July. Gauthier had solid showing at Bruins camp. Last season was a busy one for Gauthier, as he appeared in 55 games and finished the season with a 15-30-2 record, a 3.25 GAA, and a .899 goals save percentage on a struggling Prince George Cougars team.

Below you’ll find a couple nice saves that Gauthier made at the U18 Worlds for Team Canada back in April.

Rookie camp actually began today, with prospect game action beginning tomorrow. It should be a fun event with some new and familiar faces in the fold.

Bruins Prospect Gabrielle Reassigned To ECHL Wichita

( Photo Credit:  Atlanta Gladiators Instagram )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

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Yesterday there were some rumors floating around that a Boston Bruins prospect might be on the move to another team, well waking up this morning and doing my daily routine of checking the many hockey leagues transactions I indeed found a player was relocated. After Mark Divver’s tweet yesterday, B’s prospect Jesse Gabrielle was recalled after playing in 25 of 28 games this season with the Bruins “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators. What would seem like a paper transaction this morning, the 21-year-old gritty winger was immediately reassigned by his parent National Hockey League club to the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL.

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Gabrielle was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from Sunrise, Florida after splitting the 2014-15 season starting with the Western Hockey Leagues Brandon Wheat Kings who originally drafted him in the 2012 Bantam Draft and end the year with the Regina Pats and combining 23-21-44 numbers. In the 2015-16 campaign and the first full season under the Boston Bruins prospect umbrella, the crafty forward would have his Junior rights moved to the WHL’s Prince George Cougars where he really stretched his legs and showed promise with his creativity and increasing speed. In 72 games with the Cougars, the 5′-11″ 205-pound winger posted career-high 40-35-75 numbers including 101 penalty minutes. His points alone in his first year with Prince George had him ranked 20th in the league.  The 2016-17 year he was named as an assistant captain and contribute with 35-29-64 numbers and seemingly ready for the professional level.

The Saskatchewan, Canada native signed his entry-level contract on December 11th, 2016 and was eligible per the CHL and NHL agreement to play his first year of pro hockey closer to reaching his dream with the Providence Bruins. After paying close attention to Jesse since leaving the draft podium in 2015, this was an exciting jump for him and myself who’s watched many of his WHL games and evaluate what he could bring to the table at the AHL level. Something was off to me with the relationship from the get-go when Gabrielle played his first game in his AHL rookie year against the Springfield Thunderbirds where head coach Jay Leach was using him sparingly with minimal minutes each game. Jesse was with the Providence club for 32 games appearing in 21 of them in the 2018-18 season.

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Now, I’m not totally sure what went on and not going to mention the many theories surrounding the rumors about this topic, but I can say from what I’ve noticed and heard the two sides were like oil and water. The seemingly sour relationship between the player and organization translated in major struggles for the aspiring NHL pro while going pointless in his first 16 of 21 career AHL games and would end with 1-3-4 numbers in that timeframe. With his struggles at the AHL level, I thought for sure an assignment in the ECHL with the Gladiators team would be the next course of action for the young prodigy to create a spark in the players offensive capabilities but was shocked at the news that he was heading back to the WHL to finish the 2018-18 season.

On January 5th, 2018 Gabrielle’s rights were traded from the PC Cougars to the Regina Pats who won the bid to host the very popular Memorial Cup which celebrated its 100th year in existence later that spring. In a surprising move, he was later loaned from the Boston Bruins to the Regina club where he finished the year posting 13-6-19 numbers in 27 games and would appear in the first round of the WHL playoffs playing two games going pointless. Gabrielle would not appear in any of the 2018 Memorial Cup round-robin tournament action as he was nursing an injury sustained in the second game of the 4-3  best-of-seven series defeat to the hands of the later league champion Swift Current Broncos.

As a healthy Gabrielle tried to erase a tough 2017-18 season that certainly had it’s ups and downs as mentioned above, it wouldn’t get any easier as both sides continued to butt heads. Gabrielle mentioned in a Rinkside Rhode Island Article from website founder/writer Mark Divver back in late September of 2018 during an interview at camp that he was not contacted by Bruins management to participate in the team’s four-day development camp in late June of 2018 and not a word was spoken about Septembers rookie camp which a majority was spent in Buffalo, New York for the fourth annual Prospects Challenge. Jesse mentioned that the Bruins finally contacted him via “text” to report to Providence for their camp and go from there.

Seriously my friends! If you did not click that link from Divver’s article, I highly recommend you do for factual reasons for why I got the idea to publish this post in the first place. You can also just CLICK HERE

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As any prospect under contract would do, Gabrielle reported but would be released along with fellow forward prospect Joona Koppanen to report to the Atlanta club in the ECHL where he most recently played. If anyone needs to know, the ECHL Wichita Thunder is the “AA” minor-pro affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and a direct affiliate of the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.  The Wichita team is in action for two games this weekend starting tonight at the Thunder’s home InTrust Bank Arena as they host the Kansas City Mavericks and tomorrow night when the Tulsa Oilers visit. The Monday New Years Eve game will be played on the road in Kansa City, and it’s not out of the realm for Bruins prospect Gabrielle to get into any of these three matchups mentioned above.

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Regardless of where Jesse plays, he’s in year two of his current three-year entry-level contract, and it certainly seems like both sides would like to part ways and create a little distance from each other with a move like this. Of course, it remains to be seen what the outcome and the thought process will be moving forward with this prospect that has the skills to be a solid pro anywhere on any level.  Also wanted to mention that this article is not to trash the player as I did not mention some of the many things heard because of unconfirmed reports, but I will say that if there is, in fact, an issue with this talented individual, I hope he can find out what that speed bump is in his progression moving forward to succeed in his life goals. I’m also not calling out an organization for potentially playing a heavy role in all the speculation but its newsworthy in my opinion.

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Bruins Colby Cave Representing Saskatchewan With Recent NHL Success

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

“Colby Cave gets his first career National Hockey League goal!” Jack Edwards’ legendary call during Monday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night will play loudly in the Cave household in North Battleford, Saskatchewan for many years to come. While I have not personally been in a situation, (clearly), where I scored an NHL goal, against Carey Price of all goaltenders, in the Bell Centre. But you can see the amount of excitement imploding from Cave once the rubber puck crossed the red line.

It was a nice goal too, not some lucky bounce off of three legs and just happened to bounce off the eventual goal-scorer, but a solid one-time goal. David Pastrnak circled the puck around the blue line, made a quick pass to Charlie McAvoy down near the faceoff circle, who sauced the puck to Cave in the slot for a sweet goal. Cave’s celebration after is something that easily puts a smile on your face.

Undrafted, Cave made his big impression on the Boston Bruins during his time in the Western Hockey League with the Swift Current Broncos. In 2011-12, Cave debuted with 6-10-16 totals in 70 games played. Just one year later, Cave quickly boosted his scoring numbers, hitting forty-one points (21 goals, 20 assists), in 72 games. He also tallied four points in five playoff games that season as well.

When then-captain Adam Lowry left the Broncos to the American Hockey League to play for the then-Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate, the St. John IceCaps, Swift Current stitched on the “C” on Cave’s Bronco jersey. Cave said the following when he was awarded the captaincy.

“It’s a true honour to be named the captain of such a respectable organization,” says Cave.  “This organization goes back a long way. Just seeing some of the former captains and their names up on the wall, guys like Adam Lowry and Zack Smith, it’s quite an honour to be put into the same group as them. I hope to prove everyone right and keep this team on the right track and win some games.” 

And prove everyone right was indeed what Colby did. In the seventy-two regular-season contests during the 2013-14 season, Cave scored 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points as well as a +20 rating. Once again in the following season, in 2014-15, Cave scored a WHL career-high 75 points (35 goals, 40 assists) in 72 games. The numbers led Swift Current in assists and second on the team for goals and points. The only player ahead of Cave in goals and points was fellow-Bruin, Jake DeBrusk, who had 81 points in 72 games.

While the Broncos never made it out of the first-round when it came to the playoffs, his regular season production was something that caught the eye of the Bruins organization. On April 7th, 2015, ex-Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli signed Cave to an entry-level contract, sending him to the Providence Bruins immediately.

In the 239 career AHL games with Providence over the course of over three seasons, Cave has produced 43-72-115 totals while being the assistant captain for the team for the last three consecutive seasons. The 2016-17 season was the best season for Colby in terms of production, scoring 35 points during the course of the campaign.

The entry-level deal that the Bruins signed Colby to back in 2015 expired over the offseason, but the Bruins re-signed the six-foot-one, 201-pound Saskatchewan native to a two-year, two-way deal. 

Following three NHL games last season, Cave’s true chance to get that first goal would be this season – during the middle of the Bruins’ injury bug. When Patrice Bergeron was placed on the injured reserve in mid-November, the Bruins were forced to call-up Colby Cave to the NHL team on November 20th. The number of injuries on the forward core left the organization almost no choice.

According to Frozen Pool by Dobber Sports, Colby Cave has seen the majority of his ice time with David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom (28.39%) as well as time with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak (24.37%). Cave tallied his first career NHL point with an assist against the Detroit Red Wings on December 1st, followed by another helper two games later against Tampa Bay.

All of Cave’s hard work through the juniors, minors, and big leagues eventually led to that goal that was showed at the beginning of this article. In addition, Cave pitched in with an assist, his first career multi-point night in the NHL.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

Now, Patrice Bergeron was on the ice for Bruins practice on Wednesday, December 19th, making his inevitable return to the roster even closer. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy will most likely go back with the Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak line that dominated the league before Bergeron’s sternoclavicular/rib injury. David Krejci will probably be brought back down to the second-line, so where does Cave go?

At one point during the season, the simple answer would be to man the middle of the third line. However, the line of Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Danton Heinen has been finally finding their groove, thriving on each other’s growing confidence of playing alongside one another. In the same idea, it would seem wrong in a sense to demote Cave to the Providence Bruins, but the fourth-line is essentially set – leaving no other real option.

Unfortunately, when the Boston Bruins are, for the most part, injury-free on the forward core, Colby Cave will most likely be demoted to the American Hockey League to re-join the Providence Bruins until his services are once again required in the big leagues. Cave’s two-way contract allows Boston to send him down without the fear of waivers and while Donato and JFK also have two-way deals, their recent success should keep them on the NHL roster.

Nonetheless, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is proud to see Cave find success in the National Hockey League, even if it may be short-lived. Having been to North Battleford on many occasions and living only 2.5 hours away from the small Saskatchewan city, I can appreciate the efforts Cave and every other NHL player had to go through to make it to the position he is in today.

When Boston eventually becomes injury-free, does/should Colby Cave be the odd-man out, getting a trip to Providence or should it be another Bruin forward currently on the roster? Let me know via Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

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Prospects Challenge: Part 2 — A Tale Of Three Goalies For The Bruins

Round Up ( Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Stasio Coombe )

By: Jen Stasio Coombe  |  Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Dan Vladar, Kyle Keyser, and Dawson Weatherill were three netminders who played their way to Buffalo representing the Bruins in net over the four-day extended weekend event. Three men to tend the pipes gave Boston Brass the opportunity to scrutinize the skills and tenacity each of these players brought to the game.  As well as giving each of them their opportunity to shine as the squads starting goalie.

Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, was to be Kyle Keyser’s night in the spotlight. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound goalie has played for the Oshawa Generals since 2016 and at the young age of 19 was looking to convince the people upstairs that their faith in his growth and development were not misguided. Attending the development camp in the spring, there were a few doubts about his ability to keep the pace and continue to build his repertoire.  Kyle took Game 1 by the horns and left little doubt that he was here to work hard and win.

Keyser 2( Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Through the first two periods, Keyser was on fire, not letting one of the many shots he faced past his post. His determination in net saw the B’s entering the third with a 4-0 lead. This iron curtain did falter a bit in the third as he allowed two pucks to find their way into the net, but his composure was not to let him down.

Finishing his night off with a total of 35 saves, it was reasonable to think that perhaps fatigue is what caused the two pucks to slip by in the third, so the next day I asked Kyle his take on the situation. “Honestly, I didn’t feel fatigued at all in the third, sometimes when you are as a team 4-0 and you are going into the third, you maybe take your foot off the gas a little, even me, and I think that is just an area to focus in on to improve for everybody.”  Backing up his confident statement regarding his endurance Keyser did show a good bit of athleticism late into the third, using the butt of his stick while making a nice leap to ensure the puck would not find its intended target.

Vladar( Photo Courtesy: Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Game 2, the feature game of the weekend, saw Dan Vladar take his place in the crease to put a kibosh on the Buffalo Sabres scoring chances.  His 6-foot-5, 185-pound frame towered over the net as the puck was dropped at the Harbor Center. After spending two seasons with the Atlanta Gladiators, Boston’s ECHL Affiliate, Dan was ready to make his next step up the pro ladder taking place in Providence as the second goaltender for the organization this coming year. His performance would not disappoint those invested in this 21-year-old’s blossoming career.

While the Sabres came into the weekend not only with a home-ice advantage but a strong and wily group of youngsters, the first period ended with only a single puck making it past this Czech beast. Not completely satisfied with his first period, Vladar came into the next two periods with a galvanized resolve and a positive outlook. Not one of the battery of shots on goal was able to penetrate this jolly giant’s façade.

Vladar 2 ( Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Finishing the night with a record of saving 38 of 39 shots on goal would leave many a goalie, tooting his own horn, but not our Vlad. When asked about his performance in the net his humble attitude and desire to continually better himself was on full display. “I feel good, but it is my first game of the season … I felt a little bit off my posts, but I got a little bit stronger over the summer, so my pushes were good…To be honest, it was not my best hockey. ”  In contrast, Jay Leach felt Vladar had an outstanding performance. “I think at first he had a few saves that looked like he hadn’t played in six months, which he hadn’t, but he settled right in, and ‘Vlady’ will always give you his best effort … guys love playing in front of him … and he was really very impressive.”

The third and final game of the weekend saw Dawson Weatherill step up in an attempt to send the New Jersey Devils packing. Another formidable obstacle at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Weatherill came to the prospect challenge as an invite. Basically, he was brought up to test the waters and fill out the third roster spot as some would say.  Not taking this merely a chance to mingle with the pro boys or a holiday with a bit of hockey thrown in, Dawson buckled down, worked hard at all practices and morning skates, and soaked up all the information he could from the coaches and teammates here in Buffalo.

Unfortunately, learning does not occur overnight and being the least seasoned of the goalies here for Boston, Dawson saw the third game come to a disappointing close with a score of Devils 6, Bruins 2.  He was not as focused or as agile as Vladar and Keyser, and he appeared to have trouble from time to time with letting the frustration overtake him.  While he was not able to vanquish these Devils, Weatherill will take what he has learned in this tournament back to the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL and continue to grow and develop, hoping for another shot in future seasons.

Finishing with a strong showing of winning two of the three matches, the Bruins goalies were ready to head back home and get the rest of the preseason underway.  Don Sweeney confirmed that Vladar would be heading to Providence to split time in net with Veteran P-Bruin Zane McIntyre. “We play a lot of three in three situations in Providence, where one goalie gets two out of those three,” he said. “You want that competition, he really needs to challenge and push Zane for as many starts as he can get.”

So, while Keyser and Weatherill set off to mature for another season, it is up to Dan Vladar to determine his own next big move.

Help Wanted: Join Our Black N’ Gold Writing Team!

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Are you a passionate Boston Bruins fan who wants to voice your opinion to a wide audience throughout Bruins Nation? As the 2018-19 National Hockey League season approaches, we are seeking writers to fill certain positions on our growing team. This is a great platform for folks that want to get started and possibly showcase their writing skills to higher Boston Sports media companies that would like to see samples of your work.

Currently, we are a team of 19 writers and 4 podcasters, but we’d like to play a bigger role and cover the multiple levels of the Bruins organization. We could always use more NHL Bruins writers but also want to invite B’s fans that might want to cover the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins, ECHL Atlanta Gladiators, and Bruins prospects playing throughout North America and overseas in Europe.

We also would love to add writers that have an interest in the history of the NHL club and would definitely entertain the thought of a “This Day in Bruins History” writer for that nostalgic feel. Also, we are looking for motivated individuals that can post game recaps from the NHL Bruins and AHL Providence team. Our goal in the upcoming year is to have a recap done for every game at both levels.

If anyone is interested in covering the NWHL Boston Pride, we are also looking to add coverage from that club here on our Black N’ Gold website. If you’re available to attend every home game played at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Mass., let us know and we’ll look into getting you media passes and provide links to cover away games as well.

We are also looking for skilled editors to join our crew so we can publish articles in a timely fashion depending on the article topic and if it’s breaking news or not. Maybe writing isn’t for you but we have other roles that need to be filled here so please apply and let us know if this is something that would be interesting to you.

Black N’ Gold Team Requirements

We highly recommend you get a Twitter account. Very important tool when it comes to sharing your work and following the well-known hockey personalities for news ideas.

1) Applicants must have previous writing experience and WordPress media program knowledge. If you’ve never written for any previous media company or blog platform in the past, we ask that you still apply but please have strong punctuation and spelling skills.

2) Must be able to post four articles during the regular season and two articles during the summer offseason. Our regular season writing schedule here on our team is from the beginning of September and ends when the Bruins season ends or how far the club makes it in the playoffs.

3) Regardless if it’s our regular season or our offseason posting schedule, to be eligible for our Advertising Revenue Share Program, you must post five or more articles per month to receive compensation for your hard work and dedication to our team. This is not an opportunity for full-time work and is not by any means a dollar value that you can quit your current job. The more you post, the greater your share could be, but please keep in mind that other team members will have the same opportunity to post as much as they can so distributed amounts can change per individual.

4) Members of our team have had the pleasure of representing our website as media members for events such as Bruins Development Camp, annual Prospects Challenge, and Rookie/NHL Main training camps in the past. Our goal is to get our website credited by the Bruins organization to cover B’s regular season and playoff games regularly.

5) Must be a team player if hired on with us. This means you are asked to support fellow members’ work and often share on the many social media outlets that you currently use.  Also, a requirement is to be active on our BNG Slack team communications app for important announcements and article topic discussions.

6) As we do our due diligence and try to get our website noticed by the Bruins organization to cover games from the TD Garden we ask that you refrain from bashing a player, the organization, or another writer that works for another media affiliate in your articles. If you happen to disagree with another off team writer or frustrated with a certain player, we ask that you be respectful and seek many angles to your argument. Foul language will not be tolerated here, and after ONE warning you will be removed if vulgar language is used or personal attacks are made.

7) We ask that potential new hires use our previous articles as a template for how we do things here. Any changes that do not look the same will be reverted back so we can keep our format the same for every post. Articles are to be at least 500 words or more and in the case of a “Breaking News” story to get something out quick, you may go under the 500-word threshold but keep in mind that any articles that are under that minimum will not be considered when it comes to our Advertising Revenue Share Program that was mentioned above. 

All applicants that are serious about this opportunity and want to join our team, please send an email to blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourselves and what type of team player you could be if hired. Also, if you do have previous experience on another platform, we ask that you please provide a sample of your work. If you do not have any samples, it’s not a big deal and will not be the end-all-be-all when it comes to the hiring process.

What’s ‘Bruin’ In Providence For Austin Fyten?

Fyten_Austin_10_11_1( Photo Credit: everettssilvertips.com )

By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Colton Hargrove has said goodbye to the smallest state in the union and donned his Ten Gallon Texas Hat.  The funny part is not that his new hat is as big as his old state, but that we immediately welcome Austin Fyten to remove his giant tuque and join this itty-bitty piece of the planet.  That’s right P-Bruins peeps off one goes to Texas and in one comes from the same.

Fun and games aside, who is Austin Fyten and what does he bring to Providence?    Austin Fyten was a promising 20-year-old forward playing in the WHL for Lethbridge Hurricanes.  In 2010, the 54-point season he put up had many talking draft and development camp.  According to an article by Paul Prass, that talk was stifled when in an exhibition game days before attending his first development camp he suffered an injury, resulting in a torn ACL.  Sitting out the entire 2011 regular season rehabbing his knee and fighting back from such a devastating blow did not prevent Fyten from putting up 5 points in 6 playoff games post-season.

Never to be kept down and without being drafted, Fyten entered the 2012 season at the ECHL level for the Idaho Steelheads seeing 47 games and posting 41 points.  Apparently showing the Dallas organization what they wanted to see, Fyten was given a PTO with their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars.  However, while he saw 11 games, he only put up 2 points, and it was back to the Steelheads.

The 2013 Season saw much of the same with time split between the AHL and ECHL.  The number of games played went up to 62, but his numbers saw the reverse with a slide down to 35.  2014 saw the Philadelphia Flyers taking a chance on the kid they had vetted 3 years previous and had felt had a ton of promise.  Assigning him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, their AHL affiliate, for the entire season. They were looking for a solid payout on their risk.  Numbers of 2-9-11 in 64 games followed by another lower body injury were not the rewards they were hoping for so once again the seeds of change had been sewn.

The 2015 season was spent mostly in the ECHL, with the South Carolina Stingrays, and only 6 games played at the AHL for the Hershey Bears.  It appears however that this extended period in the ECHL this late in his career may have been a wake-up call.  After helping the Stingrays through 19 playoff games with a showing of 19 points, Austin has spent all but 5 games in the 2016 and 17 seasons in the AHL with the Dallas Stars. Including 11 games in the postseason ending in a brutal defeat by the Toronto Marlies.

Now coming to our own little slice of heaven here in Providence, Austin brings with him, a physical style to his forward game with the ability to play Center or Left Wing.  Obviously not a high scoring forward he seems happy to kill penalties and bring some grit up front if it’s needed.  With the depth we have at center it will be interesting to see where he fits in and how well he meshes with the other players on the team.  Sometimes it is not just who you are, but who you are with, so I am going to give Austin a ‘Fyten’ chance to make a solid start here.  Only time will tell if he has truly found his Providence, divine or not.