NEWARK, NJ - When Ryan Fitzgerald heard his name called by the Boston Bruins at the 2013 NHL Draft, he had a flood of emotions.
From growing up around Boston in North Reading, Mass., from running around the locker room as a kid when his dad, Tom, finished out his 17-season NHL career with the Bruins, from watching games and dreaming of one day wearing the spoked-B. He was also, just excited to be drafted.
"I think, every round, I was kind of holding my breath when the Bruins were picking," said Fitzgerald, a centerman who was chosen by the Bruins with their 120th overall pick in the fourth round.
"And finally they called my name, and it was definitely something special."
"I grew up with this. A lot of kids didn't have this growing up with a dad who played and the bloodlines I have, so honestly, to come to this day and be part of the Bruins' organization, is huge."
NEWARK, NJ - Entering Sunday's one-day NHL Draft at the Prudential Center, the Bruins' first selection was coming at No. 60 in the second round.
Their first rounder (29th overall) was owned by the Dallas Stars. When the Bruins traded for Jaromir Jagr at the deadline, Dallas acquired a conditional second-round pick that became a first-round selection if the Bruins reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
As such, General Manager Peter Chiarelli said "of course" he would have interest getting into the first round.
"I think any GM who went into the draft without a first round would have to do that," he said.
When trade talks slowed on Sunday, the Bruins stayed firm to their picks, which included a selection in each round, 2-7 (overall picks: 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210).
JERSEY CITY, NJ - With the NHL Draft on tap Sunday in Newark, NJ (3:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TSN), General Manager Peter Chiarelli addressed media from the team's hotel in the morning.
Chiarelli confirmed that Nathan Horton's camp had told him the forward was planning to go to free agency. Horton is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, when the NHL's free agency period begins.
"Yeah, I was surprised," said the Bruins' GM. "And I respect someone's decision to go to free agency. I think it was a real tough decision for him and his family."
"And I guess I could never say never. Maybe he'll want to come back and revisit it, but the message I got was that he was going to test free agency and wants kind of a new beginning."
In Chiarelli's season-ending press conference, he shared with media that he told Horton he'd like him to come back. "We'll see how it goes," the GM had said.
JERSEY CITY, NJ - After a lengthy postseason, there is no rest for the weary as the Bruins' brass traveled to New Jersey this weekend for the 2013 NHL Draft, commencing on Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
The Bruins currently have six picks in the draft, beginning with pick No. 60 in the second round. Their first rounder (29th overall) is owned by the Dallas Stars. When the Bruins traded for Jaromir Jagr, Dallas acquired a conditional second-round pick that became a first-round selection if the Bruins reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
As such, the B's have a pick each in rounds 2-7 (60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210).
On Saturday morning, as General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff were hard at work in meetings, he took a moment to address media from the team's hotel prior to Sunday's Draft.
BOSTON, MA - There's no use in rehashing those final moments of the season again (sorry, really, to even bring it up).
But the past week has been a reflection of the entire season as a whole, and, as General Manager Peter Chairelli would say, from the broader view of 30,000 feet above, it was quite a sight to see.
Success is usually defined by championships, by the amount of Stanley Cups.
But, it too, can be defined by impact. And the Bruins certainly had a successful impact this season - on each other, the team, the organization, Boston, greater New England, and maybe a further extension than that.
So, when Bruins' Owner Jeremy Jacobs, Principal and Alternate Governor Charlie Jacobs and President Cam Neely addressed media Friday morning during their usual year-end press conference, there was disappointment at what could have been, yes, but there was also an immense amount of pride in what the Bruins accomplished this season.
BOSTON, MA - On Friday morning, Bruins' ownership and President Cam Neely addressed reporters at TD Garden for their end-of-season press conference.
During the media availability, Neely said that Patrice Bergeron is now out of the hospital, after being held there for observation following Game Six.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli had revealed during the team's "break-up day" on Wednesday that, in addition to the broken rib and torn cartilage Bergeron entered Game Six with, and the separated shoulder he sustained in the first period and played with, the center also had a small puncture in his lung that was found following the game. He added that the center was fine.
"He played through all of this, and he was a warrior," said the GM. "I can’t say enough about his performance and what he did while being injured."
BOSTON, MA - When Andrew Ference was traded to the Boston Bruins from the Calgary Flames on February 10, 2007, the team in the spoked-B had a much different make-up than its 2013 form.
"I don’t know a whole lot about style of play. But who doesn’t know about the history and the great pride of the fans?" Ference had said, upon joining the storied franchise in 2007. "It definitely softens the blow by coming to a city so rich in sports history. This is a team that is scratching and clawing its way back up to have some respect in this city."
The team had not made the playoffs since 2004.
In the 2007-08 offseason, Claude Julien was hired as Head Coach by General Manager Peter Chiarelli. The Bruins would then start their rebuilding journey by making the playoffs in 2008, and never looking back, enduring three straight Game 7 elimination losses before climbing all the way to the top in 2011. They had a new identity, and a new place in the city.
He knew he could it, his team knew he could it, the management knew he could do it.
But he still had something to prove.
"I’m just trying to be my best out there, and see where it leads," the netminder had said.
A shortened season and lengthy postseason later, Rask has solidified his status as the Bruins' lead goaltender, the 'backbone' of the team, as often called by his teammates, who are in constant awe of his composure and emotion between the pipes.
With the one-year contract, Rask is set to become a restricted free agent come July 5, with the NHL's free agency period begins. But if the goaltender and his general manager, Peter Chiarelli, had their way, it wouldn't get to that.
BostonBruins.com - For the Bruins, coaches, management and staff on Wednesday, during the team's 'break-up day,' it was still difficult for it to sink in that their run to a second Stanley Cup in three years had ended so abruptly.
Some B's were beginning to accept it, others still couldn't believe it yet - but altogether, one thing they could all reflect on was the close-knit nature of this group, and how they enjoyed being able to share this experience with one another, battle for one another, and ultimately, bring their group closer together.
Soon, though, news would spread around that a member of their team for the past seven seasons, Andrew Ference, would be unable to re-sign for next season, given the new salary cap restrictions for 2013-14.
Currently, the Bruins sit just about $5 million under next year's cap hit of $64,300,000.
BOSTON, MA - On Wednesday, the Bruins all gathered at TD Garden for their exit interviews, physicals and final media availability of the season, before soon going their separate ways for the offseason.
The infamously labeled "break-up day" is a chance for players, General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Head Coach Claude Julien to reflect on the season to gathered reporters. It often marks the final time that particular group - in this case, the 2012-13 Bruins - is together.
This year, it was tougher to take.
"It’s definitely a lot better than losing in the first round, but it’s still disappointing," Brad Marchand told media, assessing this ending, compared to last year's, both much different than the day in 2011.
"Whether you lose in the first round or the Finals - you didn’t win. So it’s definitely different in ways where we made it here and had the opportunity, but, still didn’t win."