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POSTED ON Monday, 07.21.2014 / 3:48 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — Last year was a year of transition for Justin Florek, a year of change and a year of growth.

During the season, Florek managed to make his mark with the big club. In the offseason, the goal was to make sure he would have the opportunity to continue to do so for another year.

On Friday, the Bruins agreed to terms with Florek, signing the Michigan-born forward to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $90,000 at the AHL level.

“It’s amazing, and it’s another step in the right direction and a dream come true for me,” Florek said on Friday. “Boston is just a great city and a great hockey city and organization, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to get another chance to play for Boston.”

Florek spent the bulk of the 2013-14 season in Providence, playing in 69 games and registering 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points with a plus-17 rating. He also played in four regular-season games with the Boston Bruins, tallying a goal and an assist.

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POSTED ON Friday, 07.18.2014 / 2:38 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog



BostonBruins.com
— After Tommy Cross and the Providence Bruins ended their 2013-14 season at the hands of Wilkes-Barre in a critical Game 7 in May, he focused on one objective: Making sure he remained in Providence in 2014-15.

On Thursday, that intention became a reality, as Cross signed a one-year, two-way deal with the B’s.

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POSTED ON Friday, 07.18.2014 / 2:29 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — Within the Bruins organization, there are plenty of players Tyler Randell has looked to for inspiration over the last several years.

One of them — Shawn Thornton — recently departed for Florida. The other is the home-grown Milan Lucic, and when Randell signed a one-year, two-way deal on Thursday to remain with the B’s, he was one step closer to following the very same path.

“It feels great to have the privilege to continue to play in the organization,” Randell said after finalizing the deal, “and it’s definitely great to get the contract signed and get ready to go back to work."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 11:06 AM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — As the Bruins prepare for their seventh annual Development Camp, there will be some new faces on the ice, as well as some that B’s fans have grown accustomed to seeing during the summer at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass.

In all, the Black and Gold will welcome 23 players — 13 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders — for camp, which will run from Wednesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 13. Seventeen of the players are members of the Bruins organization, while six have been invited. (You can see a complete roster below.)

Some of the roster highlights include four of the Bruins’ 2014 NHL Entry Draft selections. First-rounder and Czech Republic native David Pastrnak arrived in Boston on Monday night ready for his first Development Camp with the B’s.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 07.02.2014 / 1:25 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — Tuesday was a day of transition for the Bruins.

They said their final goodbyes to Shawn Thornton and Chad Johnson, both of whom signed with new teams within the first hours of free agency, which opened at 12 p.m. ET.

They also parted with top-line right winger Jarome Iginla, who signed a three-year deal with Colorado.

But Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli stressed that, despite the personnel changes, he is still confident in his team as it stands. The biggest reason? Its youth.

“You know what, we’ve got a strong core, and I believe there are guys that are going to replace those goals that we lost,” Chiarelli said during a conference call on Tuesday evening. “I also know that it’s important to make sure that these guys get a chance — these younger guys get a chance to show that they can play.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 06.30.2014 / 5:00 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — After a busy week at the NHL Awards and the NHL Draft, the Bruins have one more big event to prepare for: The opening of the free agency period, which begins on Tuesday, July 1 at 12 p.m. ET.

While some teams around the league have been fairly active in anticipation of Tuesday, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli insists that Boston isn’t looking to make any blockbuster moves. That doesn’t mean that the team won’t make any personnel changes for the 2014-15 season; it just means that they may not be immediate.

“If we can’t do anything July 1 to July 5, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to do anything,” Chiarelli said prior to the NHL Draft in Philadelphia. “You got to be patient. You got to pick away at this stuff, as far as team building. So it may happen July 5. We may try to do something in September. We may try to do something in November. This kind of stuff — we’re always trying to improve our team. I know I always say that, but we actually are, and we’ve got alternatives that are good hedges if we don’t get something done right away.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 2:43 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — The Bruins shored up their depth in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, adding left-shot forward Danton Heinen (116th overall), left-shot winger Anders Bjork and defenseman Emil Johansson (206th overall) to round out their selections.

In Friday's first round, Boston selected forward David Pastrnak, and in the second round, it selected Massachusetts native Ryan Donato, the son of former Bruin and Harvard hockey coach Ted Donato.

“It’s a real long year — a lot of miles,” Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said after the book was closed on the 2014 Draft. “These guys — it’s kind of a celebration of their year, I think. Keith [Gretzky] — with the help of Scott [Bradley] — they did a terrific job. Our list was as tightly packed as I’ve ever seen in our time here. Our list was good. While we only had five of seven picks, I really felt confident in where we were in our list. Happy with our guys. I felt the same way last year. We’re getting some good players.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.27.2014 / 3:47 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — When the use of sabermetrics first cropped up in Major League Baseball, there were plenty of skeptics. Now, that sort of analysis is universally accepted in baseball a critical component of any team’s talent evaluation process.

While other sports have been a bit slower to adopt the same practices in their own evaluation processes, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said that the use of advanced statistical analysis is slowly but surely growing, particularly in his front office.

“You can derive a lot of stuff from your scouting software, and I know a lot of teams do that,” he said prior to Friday’s NHL Draft in Philadelphia. “I think it’s more in the forefront. You’ve got people talking about it more. I think a lot of teams have been doing it and using it. It’s always been a piece that we’ll look at in conjunction with everything else. It seems to be trending.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 06.22.2014 / 4:05 PM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.com — On Sunday afternoon, the Bruins released their 2014-15 schedule, which kicks off on Wednesday, October 8 at TD Garden versus Philadelphia.

Boston will face Detroit — the team it defeated in five games in the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs — twice within the first week of the season. The B’s travel to Detroit on Thursday, October 9 to face the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, then return to the Joe for a rematch on Wednesday, October 15. The Red Wings will visit TD Garden for the first time on Monday, December 29.

On October 16, the Bruins will face Montreal at the Bell Centre for the first time since losing to the Canadiens in Game 7 of this year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. The game comes in the midst of the Bruins’ first three-game road trip of the season. The Canadiens will visit TD Garden for the first time on Saturday, November 22.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.20.2014 / 10:48 AM
By Jess Isner - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog

BostonBruins.comZdeno Chara takes a lot of pride in his game.

He takes pride in his work ethic. He takes pride in his commitment to improving, no matter his achievements, no matter his success. He takes pride in helping a young Bruins defensive corps grow and develop into a unit that ranked second in the league in goals against (177) last season.

But most importantly, he takes pride in prioritizing defense over offense, even if that isn’t what garners the most headlines or the most accolades.

This season, Chara was nominated as one of three Norris Trophy finalists, joining Chicago’s Duncan Keith (6g, 55a, plus-22) and Nashville’s Shea Weber (23g, 33a, minus-2). The award will be presented on June 24 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability at the position.

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