Bruins All-Star Weekend Recap


Photo Credit: Steve Babineau (Getty Images)

By: KG                   Follow me on Twitter: @kgbngblog and on FanCred at K G

With only one Bruin at the All-Star events this weekend, there was less of a focus on Boston when compared to other top teams like Tampa or Vegas who had multiple attendants. But we did get some classic Brad Marchand moments, including the full acceptance of his role as a heel, along with being a great offensive addition to the Atlantic team.

Brad also started to go after people on Twitter again, as shown here by his response to a radio station in Pittsburgh. He’s been known to pop on the site occasionally to let the public hear some of his world famous trash talk.

In more team related news, Charlie McAvoy was back on the ice after a successful heart surgery. He was out skating by himself and cleared up with the media that he had the surgery, took some time off to let it initially heal, and is now working his way back to game shape. I expect that he could be back as soon as the Buffalo game on Feb. 10th, but no one knows for sure other than him and the team medical staff. With Noel Acciari out for the time being with a lower-body injury and Marchand still needing to serve four more games of his suspension, Anders Bjork was recalled from Providence to fill in the hole in the lineup.

Anders Bjork was slotted alongside Bergeron and Pastrnak for the start of the game against the Senators but has now been switched out for Danton Heinen, who is having himself a very underrated season. I like this move because Heinen is more accustomed to the pace and speed of playing with and against an NHL team’s top line after playing 14 more games in Boston than Bjork has.

The Bruins play the Anaheim Ducks tonight in Boston at 7pm EST. They are currently on a five-game win streak and have points in their last 18 contests. This is the second and final time the Bruins will play the Ducks in the regular season this year. Back in mid-November, the Ducks beat Boston in Anaheim 4-2. This should be a pretty good game, with almost everyone on both teams coming back from the All-Star break rested and ready to go to work.


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Bruins Recall Danton Heinen, Sign Ryan White to PTO

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(Photo Credit:

By Mike Cratty                                    Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

Earlier today, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced that the team has recalled 22-year-old forward Danton Heinen from Providence. On top of that, he also announced that the team has brought in forward Ryan White on a PTO. Both players will travel with the team to Colorado. Here is what the forward lines looked like at practice today.

Being an extra will be good to start for Ryan White as he is new to the system. Danton Heinen adds some speed and skill to the fourth line. If that fourth unit stays together, it will be an intriguing one to watch in game two of the home-and-home with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Danton Heinen call-up shouldn’t surprise many people. He was one of the last forwards in the mix for a roster spot at camp and has shown skill and promise ever since he joined the Bruins organization in April of 2016. David Backes and Noel Acciari are out for extended periods of time and Heinen will help soften the blow.

Heinen tallied an assist in the one AHL game he played this year. Last season, he scored 14 goals and added 30 assists, good for 44 points in 64 games. Following that, he lit it up in the Calder Cup playoffs with nine goals, nine assists and 18 points in 17 games. Expectations should be a bit higher this time around versus last year when he failed to tally a point in eight NHL games.

The Ryan white addition, on the other hand, was a bit of a surprise. One of the main driving forces behind the move could be to add a forward that brings similar things to the table as Noel Acciari. I don’t hate the move, I’m just surprised someone wasn’t called up from Providence for such a role. Players like Anton Blidh and Colton Hargrove are some players that come to mind, maybe even Jesse Gabrielle after a solid camp.

White is on the grittier side when it comes to bottom-six forwards, known as an agitator throughout the league. Here’s a fun Bruins fact about Ryan White.

(Video Credit: Channel)

Last season, White spent time with the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes. In 65 games, he scored nine goals and added seven assists, good for 16 points. Keeping up with his agitator reputation, he added 84 penalty minutes.

White spent a chunk of the offseason on a PTO with the Vancouver Canucks and was released from that PTO this past Saturday, October 7.

Ryan White isn’t a sure thing to stay for long, as he is only on a PTO. Danton Heinen will have eyes peeled after an impressive 2015-2016 AHL campaign. The Bruins need all the help they can get right now and are hoping these guys can make an impact in one way or another.



Boston Bruins Forward Noel Acciari Out For Approximately Six Weeks

(Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

By Mike Cratty                                                         Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

After the news of David Backes being out for 3-4 weeks with diverticulitis and Patrice Bergeron’s status being a little cloudy, this is tough news for Bruins fans to hear. According to multiple reports, Boston Bruins forward Noel Acciari will miss approximately the next six weeks after having surgery on his left index finger in which he fractured in the season opener against Nashville this past Thursday.

Acciari is a buzzsaw on the ice, so the physical presence and energy he brings to the lineup will be missed over the next six weeks. After being sent down late last season, Acciari came back up to the Bruins with a new energy and his impact on the ice became much more noticeable. Acciari was one of the forwards I was looking forward to watching the most because of that new energy, he looked like a completely different player in my eyes. Now I, amongst others, will have to wait.

Last season, Acciari tallied two goals and three assists in 29 games and added a goal in four playoff games. He did not record a point on Thursday. The former Providence College Friar captain and national champion did enough to earn himself a two-year extension over the summer with his restricted free-agent status and has proven to be a pretty solid bottom-six forward.

With Backes and Acciari out for weeks to come, it will be interesting to see who will earn ice time in their absences and who will stick. The injury bug isn’t being kind to the Boston Bruins to start the 2017-2018 season.

Boston Bruins Fan Fest Is A Rousing Success

IMG_1372[1]By Andrew Thompson                                                               Twitter: @godwentwhoops

The Boston Bruins organization tried a new approach in fan outreach this last week. Over the last several days, the Black and Gold have bounced across all six New England states as part of their 2017 Fan Fest.  With the season just over a month away, the B’s reached out to the fans to get them energized for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

The Boston Bruins got a bit of black eye this summer when a group of kids discovered that B’s owner Jeremy Jacobs had neglected to live up to his end of a deal he made with the city of Boston when the organization put up the TD Garden.  While the Fan Fest may have been initiated as part of a public relations clean up, it allowed thousands of the Black and Gold faithful to meet players, coaches, and a few future Hall of Famers.

The tour wrapped up on Thursday in Providence, home of the B’s AHL affiliate. Bruins President Cam Neely joined in the festivities and sat down with NESN’s Jack Edwards to answer some of the fans questions.  It came to no surprise as the talks quickly moved to David Pastrnak and why the 21-year old forward still hasn’t signed with the team

“Well, I hear from everybody that they don’t want us to sign him.” said a smiling Neely to the assembled fans.  Sweeney continued by stating the B’s had made a ‘significant offer’ to the Czech forward. As of yesterday, the organization hadn’t heard anything back from Pastrnak or his agent.  Still, the Hall of Famer believes that Pasta will be in camp and under contract.”But I feel confident we can get something done,” said Neely to the assembled fans.

(Fun Fact: The number of viewers in the Providence market ALONE is greater than the entire viewing audience of four other NHL teams).

The Bruins scored themselves a public relations coup this week. The Fan Fest was a great way to reach out to fans who wouldn’t usually be able to attend that many games at the TD Garden.   It also helped hundreds of kids get hockey gear.

Personally, it was a rare opportunity to have conversations with players and coaches that didn’t revolve around the team.  You don’t get to talk to an NHL player about their life very often, and it was nice just to talk to them as people. Riley Nash loves golf. Noel Acciari (who grew up six miles away from me) still gets a little homesick for Rhode Island.

The B’s will be doing two more days of Fan Fest in Boston on September 16-17. If you get a chance to be in Beantown, you’ll have a lot of fun and maybe even get a signature or two on your jersey.


Bruins NHL Free Agent Frenzy: Who’s Left After Day One?



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Boston signed Paul Postma (right), Jordan Szwarz (left), and Kenny Agostino (center) to 1 year, two-way contracts on Saturday (Photo Credits: Circling the Wagon (Szwarz), The Hockey House (Postma), Stockton Heat(Agostino)

By Spencer, Fascetta                         Follow Me On Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

Bruins fans should come away thrilled with the way GM Don Sweeney handled the first day of his 3rd season at the helm of the Boston franchise. He inked Matt Beleskey to a lucrative contract in his first go-around, added David Backes at a steep price last year, and had Bruins fans waiting with baited breath to see who he would overpay this offseason. Low and behold, he stood relatively pat. Sweeney added former Winnipeg Jets rearguard Paul Postma and reigning AHL MVP Kenny Agostino as inexpensive depth pieces and rewarded forward Jordan Szwarz with a two-way NHL contract after he performed admirably on an AHL-only deal with Providence this season. None of these signings are overtly exciting, yet what they represent should be. Sweeney is willing and able to be patient and allow his young players to compete for roster spots after stocking Boston’s farm system for the past few years. Expect to see names like Noel Acciari, Sean Kuraly, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson in contention for, and ultimately earning a few of the available forward positions (especially once they finally move Ryan Spooner, which we all acknowledge is both inevitable and necessary). On the back end, he is making room for Charlie McAvoy to make his regular season debut, after he allowed John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow to walk in free agency, and saw Colin Miller depart in the Expansion Draft.

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Dan Girardi inexplicably found a team to give him 2 years and $6 million on Saturday (Photo Credit: RantSports)

Fans of the Black and Gold should also be quite pleased with some of the moves made within the division. Tampa Bay inexplicably gave Dan Girardi a two-year deal worth $3 million a year, despite having a solid defensive corps already and noted salary cap issues. Nobody has any clue what is happening in Florida, who, for the second straight offseason, seems to be blowing their team up. The Sens and Sabres haven’t made any truly mind-boggling moves, and the Maple Leafs scooped up Dominic Moore and Ron Hainsey in two excellent value acquisitions, but Detroit seems to believe that they are still a Stanley Cup contender, and gave 33-year-old Trevor Daley a lot of money for the next 3 years. Montreal is its own conundrum. Karl Alzner was given 5 years and $4.625 AAV after being Washington’s 5th defenseman this season, and Marc Bergevin seems to be taking lessons on how to GM from Dave Nonis and John Ferguson Jr. There is a lot to be excited for in Boston for next year.

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Living Legend Jaromir Jagr could potentially return to Boston (Photo Credit: Bruins Daily)

Speaking of next year, there are still some very intriguing names that escaped Day 1 of free agency. While Chris Thorburn, Dan Girardi, and Ondrej Pavelec all found new homes, veterans Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Marleau, Alexander Radulov, and Mike Fisher all remain unsigned. Intriguing youngsters Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko have yet to find new homes. KHL “import” Chris Lee is reportedly interested in finally finding a home in the NHL after a strong showing at Worlds this spring. With the as-yet unsigned RFAs David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner (though the latter should be a sign and trade, or just have his rights traded outright) ought to command approximately half of the $13.75 million in cap space Boston has available, there is still room to add some inexpensive options to provide excellent competition for the bottom half of the Bruins’ roster. The inexpensive qualifier likely eliminates Jagr, Marleau, and Radulov, all of whom will command a significant price in both money and term. Mike Fisher led the Predators to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance this year, and likely will take an inexpensive deal, but almost certainly will stay in Nashville. This leaves three options: Grigorenko, Yakupov, and Lee.


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Mikhail Grigorenko had a season just as poor as the rest of his Avalanche teammates (Photo Credit: WebSports)

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Yakupov never could find his stride in St. Louis (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

Mikhail Grigorenko and Nail Yakupov are both offensively gifted former 1st Round picks looking to revitalize their careers. In Grigorenko’s case, he struggled through the tire fire that was the Colorado Avalanche season this year, and at 23, still, has plenty of hockey left in him. He can provide another bottom 6 option with the ability to provide some offense and be responsible in his own zone. The struggles of Yakupov, also 23, are well known at this point. He was never able to find his stride in St. Louis this season after being traded (another Top 5 pick being moved by Peter Chiarelli, I spy a trend…) for basically a bag of pucks, but a large part of his problem has been confidence and a lack of proper opportunity. The Bruins can offer both. He’s a winger with some offensive flair, that ideally would slot in on the B’s 3rd line to start with, and could push players like Frank Vatrano and Anders Bjork for that coveted 6th spot in the top two lines. The Bruins also would provide plenty of veteran leadership for the young Russian, who could turn to the likes of David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, or Zdeno Chara to lean on should he struggle. If Boston can unlock the offensive ability that Yakupov clearly possesses, this could be a steal.

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Chris Lee developed into a dominant force in the KHL and is a classic late-bloomer (Photo Credit: KHL)

Chris Lee, 36, never really got shot in the NHL, but not for lack of ability. He was a victim of timing, as the league still overvalued size and physicality when he broke into the ECHL in 2004-2005. A 4 year player at Division III SUNY-Potsdam, Lee bounced around the minors for the next 5 years, never making it past the AHL despite posting impressive numbers for an “undersized” defenseman. He scored 9 goals and 30 assists in his last year in North America with the always dangerous Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2009-10 but decided to take his talents overseas when it became apparent that he was not going to get his shot in the NHL. Fast forward a few years, and he has become a KHL All-Star with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, with increasing offensive output in each of his four seasons. His tour-de-force took place this past year when, at age 35, he scored 14 goals and 51 assists for 65 points in 60 games. Lee isn’t small by the standards of the modern NHL at 6’0″, 185 lbs, and demonstrated that he can absolutely play at this level this past spring with his native Canada at the World Hockey Championships as the only non-NHL representative on a roster that has more options to choose from than any other. He is a left-shot offensive defenseman, and he will likely take something in the ballpark of a 1 or 2-year deal worth around $1-$2 million. The Bruins’ current D-corps looks like this:

Z. Chara – B. Carlo

T. Krug – C. McAvoy

A. McQuaid – K. Miller

P. Postma

I think that Lee is a better option than McQuaid or Postma, and while he doesn’t necessarily have to play every single game, he offers the Bruins a 3rd option on the back end who is able to run a powerplay should Krug or McAvoy falter or get injured.

Granted, while these three are all great options in Boston, Don Sweeney seems to do the opposite of whatever the most sensible option appears to be. He sticks to his guns, no matter what other people may say (*ahem* 3 straight picks in ’15 that all were considered a reach; Trent Frederic in the 1st Round; Signing Jimmy Hayes), but he has so far been able to recognize his mistakes, and correct them as quickly and efficiently as possible. And hey, at least Marc Bergevin isn’t running our team. David Pastrnak would’ve been traded for Tom Sestito and Darren Archibald instead of discussing a long-term extension if that were the case.

Please check me out on YouTube (@PuckNerd) and Twitter (@PuckNerdHockey) for more hockey commentary and analysis. Subscribe, follow, like, etcetera. This week has been crazy. So excited for it to continue!


Boston Bruins Need To Buy Out Jimmy Hayes


The Boston Bruins should just cut their losses and buyout the contract of forward Jimmy Hayes.

The Boston Bruins traded for forward Jimmy Hayes back in 2015. At the time, it seemed like a good move for the Black and Gold. The B’s were trading Reilly Smith (who was having a rough hot-and-cold season) and the remainder of Marc Savard’s contract.

The Bruins were hoping for a 20-goal scorer that could use his physicality to shut down opposing teams.

The move had every catch phrase Bruins fans seem to love. Hayes was the ‘big bodied guy’ who could put pucks on the net.  That he was a Dorchester native was the icing on the cake. The B’s front office and the fans were hoping that the 6’5″ Hayes could fill in the hole left by Milan Lucic.

That didn’t happen. Not by a long shot.

Hayes didn’t live up to his billing and the fans weren’t happy.  When his name got linked (later proven to be false) as a reason why Jimmy Vesey chose the Rangers over Boston, it made matters worse.

Jimmy Hayes found himself getting pushed around on the ice these last two seasons. Smaller players like Matt Beleskey (last season) and Frank Vatrano (this season) were providing the physicality the Bruins needed.  While I can’t speak to the actual effort put forth by Hayes these last two seasons, the results are pretty damning for the former ‘Pride of Dorchester’.

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In all honesty, Hayes was the worst player on the ice for Boston this season. He only played 58 games for the B’s this season. He put up just five points (two goals) for the Bruins. By comparison, Noel Acciari put up the exact same numbers, and did it in half as many games.

This fight kind of sums up Hayes’ time in Boston.

Hayes spent extended periods as a healthy scratch. When Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien, there were hopes the shake-up would provide motivation for players like Hayes. That didn’t happen. He spent more time guarding the popcorn machine on the ninth level than making plays on the ice.

Moving forward, the Bruins are going to need cap space. They’ve got to sign David Pastrnak to his first ‘real’ contract, and that will likely be in the high-five/low-six million range. The last thing they need is a two million dollar albatross weighing them down.

Boston could find a way to package Hayes as part of a multi-player deal. It’s unlikely though. Unless they can figure out a way to make that happen, the Bruins should just cut their losses and buyout Hayes.

This is how a buyout for Jimmy Hayes would work out:

  • Jimmy Hayes is 27 years old at the date of the buyout
  • Salary remaining: $2,600,000
  • The buyout ratio is 2/3, which results in a total buyout cost of $1,733,333
  • There are 1 years remaining on this contract
  • The buyout will be spread out over 2 years
  • The annual buyout cost is $866,667

On some level, I hate this idea. The Bruins would be essentially rewarding Hayes for being a terrible NHL player.  Still, his numbers don’t lie. He was the worst forward (and possibly overall player) for Boston last year.

Hayes could still be a decent NHL player, but he’ll need to do it somewhere else.

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Bruins Announce Injury Updates

By Mark Allred     Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced today that defenseman Torey Krug and forward Noel Acciari were not available for practice this morning as the team prepares for tomorrow’s last regular season game against the Washington Capitals. Puck drops from the  TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at 3 pm.



Acciari is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and Krug is also listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Both are out of the lineup against the Caps and will use the time effectively to recover before the 2017 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Playoff schedule is released.



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