BostonBruins.com — On Saturday night, Boston Bruins Owner and Chairman of Delaware North Jeremy Jacobs was inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.
The 2016 Hall of Fame Class included Jeremy Jacobs, David A. Jensen, former NHL player and Olympian; Stephen Palmacci, past President of Massachusetts Hockey; and Jack Parker, longtime head coach of Boston University and three-time NCAA Champion. As the 21st class, they joined a roster of past and current hockey greats recognized for their accomplishments and contribution to the sport of ice hockey in Massachusetts.
The ceremony and dinner were held at Hotel 1620, in Plymouth, Mass.
"My selection reflects the entire Bruins organization as well as the team's true owners, its dedicated and loyal fans,” Jacobs said upon his induction. “Massachusetts is a great hockey state, and we are proud to play a role in the sport's continued growth and development. I am tremendously honored."
Jeremy Jacobs has been the owner of the Boston Bruins for 41 years and is the chairman of Delaware North. Recently, Jacobs won the 2015 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
BostonBruins.com — More than 100 prospects recently gathered for a week of testing and interviews in Buffalo as part of the NHL Scouting Combine, taking place three weeks prior the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
When their names are called on June 24 and 25 at the First Niagara Center, they will be presented with the first step to reaching the National Hockey League.
The NHL Combine serves as the final benchmark prior to that weekend.
General managers of the 30 NHL clubs, and their scouting staffs, were all on hand to interview the prospects in a high-pressure interview setting. The players also participated in medicals and fitness testing.
Saturday served as the final day of the Combine, with the next wave of NHL talent completing a round of tests that will serve as their baselines moving forward. Multiple rounds of testing kicked off at 7:30 a.m., and lasted all day.
BUFFALO — NHL clubs wrapped up the one-on-one interview portion of the NHL Scouting Combine on Friday in Buffalo, after four straight days of meeting with draft-eligible prospects.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will commence in three weeks back in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
“The quality of the draft is good. I saw some really, really impressive kids over the course of the last four days,” Bruins General Manager Sweeney told reporters on Friday evening in Buffalo. “We feel very good with two picks in the first round, and again in the second round, that we’re going to get good players.”
The Bruins currently own the 14th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. Depending on San Jose’s finish in the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins will also have either the 29th or 30th pick in the first round. Their second round selection — 49th overall — was acquired from the New York Islanders in the 2014 trade involving Johnny Boychuk.
Sweeney and his staff’s approach will be to acquire the best player available, and one based on organizational need.
“Selfishly, you’d like to have the best of both,” said Sweeney. “You’d like to identify the best player that you can possibly get and hopefully it’s a positional need. We’ve addressed areas that we’d like to continue to bolster within our organization and if the right player’s there, we’re going to be excited about taking him there.”
BUFFALO — The 2016 NHL Draft is nearly three weeks away, and preparations continue to be made for the two-day event in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
There have been constant viewings of players throughout the season, conversations with coaches and a number of initiatives put into place to try and project the 18-year-olds’ potential.
One more piece to that process involves the 2016 annual NHL Scouting Combine. This year’s event is taking place all week in Buffalo, with 114 draft-eligible prospects interviewing with NHL clubs, and taking part in medical examinations and fitness testing.
The one-on-one interview portion occurs from May 30 - June 3 at the First Niagara Center, with several prospects sitting down with numerous NHL general managers and their staffs. The physical testing will take place on Saturday, June 4 at the HarborCenter across the street from the arena.
Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky provided some insight on the week after wrapping up the third day of interviews on Thursday.
“What we do is we bring in a number of players that we have interest in, just to gauge what they’re like,” said Gretzky. “All of our scouts in the areas have interviewed the kids before, so it gives us a second reading of what they’ve seen.”
“It’s a piece of the puzzle, is what we say,” said Gretzky. “You have the on-ice, you just want to meet them and see what they’re like, see what their growth is going to be, how they see themselves as a hockey player, really, and off-ice. You want good players and good people. This is part of it.”
BostonBruins.com — Unlike the seven other Bruins who were named to World Cup of Hockey rosters in early March, Brad Marchand held out hope for the final roster selection.
That final announcement came on Friday evening, with Marchand joining Patrice Bergeron on Team Canada’s squad for the much anticipated World Cup of Hockey 2016, taking place from Sept. 17 - Oct.1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Eight teams will compete in the two-week tournament with 23-man rosters comprised of 173 NHL players in total.
In addition to Marchand and Bergeron, six other Bruins are on World Cup of Hockey rosters, including Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on Team Europe, Loui Eriksson on Team Sweden, David Krejci and David Pastrnak on Team Czech Republic, and Tuukka Rask on Team Finland.
“It’s an incredible honor to play for Team Canada,” Marchand said on a conference call with media Friday evening. “It’s something that I think we all take a lot of pride in, and something that is — it’s not an easy accomplishment.”
BostonBruins.com — The Bruins will explore the marketplace in every way, shape and form this offseason.
General Manager Don Sweeney stressed that on a conference call with media Wednesday morning.
“I’ll explore whatever I have to do, in every way, shape, or form to continue to improve the club and find the blend and the balance that we need,” said Sweeney.
Improving the nature of the defense is a priority.
“We talked about it as a group — improving our defense is No. 1,” President Cam Neely said at the end of the 2015-16 season.
“We have areas that we want to address in the depth of our organization, likely in the forward position, either on the right wing or the center, or again, on the back end,” Sweeney said on the conference call, when asked by a reporter about the areas where they are looking to improve.
“We’re exploring a bunch of different things trade-wise. It’s difficult in this league, but I think that we’re in the position with two first-round picks to be either selecting really good players or to be in the marketplace.”
BostonBruins.com — On Wednesday, Head Coach Claude Julien and General Manager Don Sweeney were both available to media on a conference call to discuss recent news, including former Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and Director of Player Development Jay Pandolfo being named assistant coaches.
“We are excited about the impact that Bruce Cassidy, Jay Pandolfo, along with Joe Sacco, will have on our team and Claude’s staff moving forward,” said Sweeney.
“This restructure of the staff really was a collaborate effort to provide Claude with a group that will reinforce how he wants his team to play and we’ll also work to get all of our players, vets, young players, new players to the organization to perform to their highest level.”
“I want to first of all thank Doug Jarvis and also Doug Houda for their contribution to this team for the time that they’ve been with me,” Julien said on the call. “Obviously both those guys were part of a Stanley Cup run, they were also part of our Stanley Cup win in 2011.”
BostonBruins.com — Like the rest of the Bruins, Kevan Miller was frustrated following the 2015-16 season.
He’ll get a chance to help the Black & Gold bounce back in 2016-17.
On Tuesday afternoon, the defenseman was signed to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season.
“Obviously it’s a very exciting day for me and my family,” said Miller. “It’s a huge opportunity — I’m very blessed for that, and I obviously want to say thank you to the Jacobs family, Cam Neely and Don Sweeney. It’s a tremendous opportunity and I’m really happy to be in Boston.”
Miller is entering his fourth season in Boston. In 2015-16, he competed in a career-high 71 games and established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team at plus-15 and dropped the gloves on three occasions.
“I’d like to also say thank you to my family, my friends — they’ve all helped me get to this point,” Miller said. “Boston is a great city to play in and we have the best fans in the NHL, so I’m very thankful to them as well. I love playing here; it’s an honor to put that jersey on before every game.”
BOSTON — For the fifth straight season, Patrice Bergeron has been named a Selke Finalist.
It would have been more of a shock if he was not nominated.
The Bruins alternate captain has made himself synonymous with the award given to the league’s top defensive forward, winning it the past two seasons in 2014 and 2015, as well as in 2012. He finished second in the balloting in 2013.
The three finalists for June’s NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas were announced by the NHL on Thursday night. Bergeron joins Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and the LA Kings’ Anze Kopitar, who has been a fellow finalist the past two seasons.
“Being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy is a tremendous honor and one I am very grateful for,” Bergeron said in a team press release. “While it is an individual award, my teammates and coaches deserve a lot of credit as well.”
“Ryan and Anze are two elite players who both had great seasons and it is a privilege to be a finalist alongside them. Thanks to all of those who voted and I look forward to the NHL Awards Show on June 22.”
BOSTON — A week and a half has passed since the Bruins’ end to the season, and the disappointment has certainly not gone away.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Jeremy Jacobs, Charlie Jacobs and Cam Neely joined together at TD Garden for their annual season-end press conference to cap off the 2015-16 season and meet with reporters. They expressed the same sentiment that Don Sweeney, Claude Julien and the players previously voiced.
“I hate to lose more than I love to win,” said Neely. “I don’t like missing the playoffs. I want everybody else to feel the same way.”
“We know where our better players are in their careers, we have an idea of how many more good years they have left at the top of their game. It’s very important for us to put pieces around them to compete again for a Cup. That has to happen sooner rather than later.”
Heading into the 2015-16 season, Sweeney laid out a plan to get the Bruins back on that path.
“That plan included giving us some cap flexibility, stockpiling prospects and putting a playoff team on the ice,” said Neely. “And quite frankly, with 86 points and 13 games to go, we should’ve been a playoff team — we should be playing right now.”