WILMINGTON, MA - Heading into the offseason, General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff had a host of decisions to make for the 2014-15 season.
Beginning with the draft and free agency, the Bruins' brass began to work their way through that process.
With the departure of unrestricted free agents Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton, the Bruins knew they would have openings to fill on the right side. Heading into training camp, Loui Eriksson has been pegged as having an opportunity to earn the right wing role alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
The bottom six will fill out with competition from young players like Matt Fraser, Justin Florek, Ryan Spooner, Jordan Caron, Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Lindblad and David Pastrnak, among others. Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell could be asked to take on different roles, whether that means playing an off-wing or moving from center to the wing.
With nine NHL-caliber defensemen signed for 2014-15 and all competing for roster spots, that situation will play out during camp.
This summer, the Bruins re-signed a number of restricted free agents. Fraser was the latest contract to be announced.
But there was one deal that was top of mind for Chiarelli heading into the offseason, even if it doesn't affect the Bruins' salary cap situation for 2014-15: Krejci's extension.
On September 4, the Bruins signed the alternate captain to a six-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season, keeping him in the Spoked-B for seven more seasons along with Patrice Bergeron (signed through 2021-22) and Tuukka Rask (signed through 2020-21).
WILMINGTON, MA - Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced to media on Friday that forward Matt Fraser has been signed to a one-year, two-way contract.
Fraser was a restricted free agent. He made his first appearance at the Bruins' informal practice on Friday at Ristuccia Arena.
The winger appeared in 14 games for the Bruins last season, in addition to playing the first four Stanley Cup Playoff games of his career and scoring the overtime game-winner in Game 4 against Montreal to even the series. He played through a broken right foot in the series.
Following the informal skate, Fraser said that he's ready to go for training camp, though he had to make modifications to his offseason training after surgery. He had a plate and six screws inserted.
Chairelli also disclosed that defenseman Steve Eminger has been signed to an AHL deal with the Providence Bruins, and will be attending training camp with Boston. He's been skating at the informal practices all week.
WILMINGTON, MA - Milan Lucic was the latest Bruin to make an appearance during informal practice at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday.
Bruins and Providence Bruins alike have been holding informal skates all week and will continue to do so until training camp opens on September 18.
Lucic underwent offseason surgery in May on his left wrist after it was slashed during the playoffs. While he has not yet addressed the Boston media about his offseason and the status of his wrist, Lucic has been skating and stickhandling for the past two days (he skated on his own on Wednesday before the group).
Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Paille and Loui Eriksson were not on the ice for Thursday's practice. With no official practices and workouts until training camp opens, the Bruins are still amidst their individual training routines.
As such, Thursday's group included Lucic, Chris Kelly, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, David Pastrnak, Brian Ferlin, Bobby Robins, Tommy Cross, Cory Kane, Andrew Ammon and newcomer Alex Fallstrom.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins have locked up David Krejci through the 2020-21 season, with a six-year contract extension officially announced by the team on Thursday.
Krejci's salary will be worth an annual cap hit of $7.25 million, when his next contract kicks in for the 2015-16 season. He has one year left on his current three-year deal. He would have become an unrestricted free agent in July.
The center will speak with media regarding the extension on Monday at 3:00 p.m. ET when he's back in Boston. General Manager Peter Chiarelli is addressing the media on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m.
BostonBruins.com - A look at Chris Kelly's game-by-game summary from 2013-14 shows a lengthy gap in the middle of the season. Instead of a statline and ice-time, the letters "INJ" sit next to a list of 22 games from December through January.
But the injury that kept Kelly out for those two midseason months - a broken fibula in his right lower leg - didn't take a toll on him as much as the injury that forced him to miss the entire 2014 postseason.
The alternate captain was sidelined by a herniated disk in his back at the end of the regular season, and never had the chance to suit up for the playoffs. He had back surgery to repair it in May.
"It was probably one of the worst pains I’ve ever had," Kelly said Wednesday following the Bruins' informal practice at Ristuccia Arena. The captain-led practices are taking place before training camp begins on September 18.
"I’ve broken a lot of bones, separated shoulders, but this just kind of crippled me."
Kelly tried to work towards a return during the posteason, but he realized he was fooling himself. The atrophy in his leg caused by the herniated disk was too great; he couldn't get back to playing.
It was night and day for the forward post-surgery. He felt great afterwards. But there was one caveat before getting back into his training routine in his offseason home of Ottawa: six weeks of doing absolutely nothing.
WILMINGTON, MA - Captain Zdeno Chara was the latest Bruin to join informal practices at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday.
A group of Bruins and Providence Bruins began skating together at the team's practice rink on Tuesday. They will continue the sessions in advance of training camp, which opens on September 18.
Chara took over the reigns of leading the skate, after Patrice Bergeron led the drills on the first day of informal practices.
The group includes Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, David Pastrnak, Brian Ferlin, Bobby Robins and Tommy Cross. Milan Lucic skated prior to the practice. P-Bruins Cory Kane and Andrew Ammon, both on the roster for the Bruins' rookie camp, are participating in the skates as well.
At this time of the offseason, with about two weeks before training camp opens, the Bruins are usually finishing up their individual summer training routines, and their on-ice and off-ice conditioning varies.
Watching the skate, it was easy to see the enthusiasm from the veterans and young players alike to be back on the ice and gearing up for training camp.
WILMINGTON - It's that time of year again. With the passing of Labor Day, schools are in session and the end of summer is well on its way.
For the Bruins and the rest of the NHL, that means it's back to work.
Those who don the Black and Gold have been putting in the work all summer, and now comes to the time to implement that training back in Boston.
On Tuesday, several Bruins and P-Bruins began holding informal practices at Ristuccia Arena in preparation for the start of training camp on September 18.
The group included Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, David Pastrnak, Brian Ferlin, Bobby Robins and Tommy Cross.
Bergeron led the drills, and pulled out a stopwatch at the end of the skate to run himself and the group through sprints from goal line to goal line.
"It’s always nice to get back here," Bergeron told media following the skate. "Especially being here early, you know, and seeing the guys and seeing the trainers, and the coaches, and just being here, and enjoying the little bit of the rest of nice weather here in Boston, and getting ready."
BostonBruins.com - Nearly 200 players in Black and Gold have made the drive on I-95 between Providence and Boston as they worked towards establishing themselves into full-time NHL players.
On Wednesday, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli made a series of announcements that will continue to foster strong organizational depth, with the Providence Bruins as an integral part of the process.
The GM announced that the club has agreed to a long-term affiliation agreement with Providence, named Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney the GM of the Providence Bruins, and hired longtime NHL player (and former Bruin) Jay Pandolfo as Development Coach.
“Having a solid working relationship with your AHL affiliate is so integral to the long term success of your NHL team,” Chiarelli said in the team's official announcement sent out on August 27. “With Providence and [Providence Bruins team owner] H. Larue Renfroe's stewardship, we have that and more. We look forward to many more years with the Providence Bruins."
The P-Bruins have served as the American Hockey League affiliate for Boston since their inception in 1992, making the 23-season affiliation one of the longest standing player development agreements in the history of the AHL and of the NHL.
Current players in the organization who have played at least one game for both Providence and Boston include the aforementioned Krejci, Marchand, Boychuk and Rask, along with Matt Bartkowski, Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Matt Fraser, Alexander Khokhlachev, Torey Krug, Matt Lindblad, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky.
MARGATE CITY, NJ - Before you read this, take a moment to get into a push-up position. Then, lower yourself barely an inch off the ground and explode up into the air. Once you get a couple of feet off the ground (yes, feet) and gravity pulls you back down to the floor, land in that same push-up position and do it all over again, and again, and again, and again. No stopping.
Okay, so it's much easier for an NHL athlete, like Dennis Seidenberg, who did a series of them with the same seemingly effortless explosiveness that he deploys on the ice. He had so much fun that he flashed his big smile afterwards.
For the second and final day of BostonBruins.com's #BearTracks visit with Seidenberg in his offseason home in South Jersey on Tuesday, we received a glimpse into his summer workout routine, and how he's preparing with training camp just one month away.
The Bruins defenseman spent roughly two hours moving swiftly through the exercises that emphasized plyometrics, muscle activation and explosive movements, put forth by trainer Ben Brownsberger.
MARGATE CITY, NJ - For seven and a half months, Dennis Seidenberg hasn't played a game in a Bruins' uniform.
Since his season-ending ACL/MCL injury at the end of December, the defenseman has been working to get his right knee - now etched with a scar below his kneecap - back to full strength.
He spent nearly five of those months on the sidelines in Boston, watching every game and forced to not be able to take part.
The next two and a half months have been spent in Margate City, New Jersey, the place where he and his family call 'home' in the offseason.
It's where the BostonBruins.com crew took the latest #BearTracks trip, to check in with the defenseman about his offseason and his knee's progress.