PHILADELPHIA - On Friday night, the Bruins picked Czech native David Pastrnak 25th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
When Bruins President Cam Neely announced his name, the camera panned to the forward in the crowd. His reaction was simple, and powerful. He kissed his hands and pointed up to the sky. His father, Milan, passed away last May and could not be with him to witness his dream coming true.
Pastrnak walked up to the stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, walked down the line of Bruins' brass doling out strong handshakes to Neely, GM Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Boston staff. He then slipped on the Spoked-B for the very first time.
"It’s unbelievable," said Pastrnak, beginning his trek through what's often termed as 'The Gauntlet,' first doing interviews with media, followed by photo shoots and autograph signings.
"I was getting nervous after every pick more and more and I’m really proud that Boston believed in me and they picked me. They’re a good organization and great people."
From the Bruins' perspective, he was higher on the draft list than where they thought they would get him.
PHILADELPHIA - The NHL Draft kicks off tonight on Friday, June 27 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with Round 1 set to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
The Bruins own the 25th overall pick.
Rounds 2-7 will take place on Saturday, June 28, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Bruins own the 56th overall pick in the second round, the 116th pick in the fourth round, 146th in the fifth round and 206th in the seventh round.
Their third round pick (86th) was a conditional pick traded to Philadelphia for Andrej Meszaros on March 5, 2014 at the trade deadline. Their sixth round pick (176th) was traded to St. Louis for Wade Redden at the trade deadline on April 3, 2013.
Boston didn't have a first-round pick last year in 2013. The Black & Gold selected defenseman Linus Arnesson 60th overall in the second round. He was signed to an entry-level contract on June 1.
As the Bruins get set for the first round, General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke on Friday morning about this year's draft and the expectations.
"It’s a different draft. It thins out, and when it thins out, teams have a lot of different lists," said Chiarelli. "So normally, if we’re 25, we’re looking at the 17th or 16th player on our list, normally. But maybe we’re going to get the 13th player on our list now because it kind of branches out once you get down past 10 or 11, and everyone has their own kind of favorites because it thins out."
PHILADELPHIA - The Bruins want to sign Jarome Iginla, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. As Iginla said during his final media availability of the 2013-14 season, he hopes to remain a Bruin as well.
"This is not about what Iggy wants and what he should do and what morally he should do. This is nothing about that. This is, can we find room to fit him in? And that's what it's about," said General Manager Peter Chiarelli, addressing media from the team's hotel in Philadelphia on Friday prior to the NHL Draft.
Chiarelli met with Iginla's agent, Don Meehan, on Thursday night in Philly.
"This shopping period is the shopping period, so that doesn't surprise me that he's talking to other teams," said Chiarelli, when asked about reports that Iginla's agent was speaking with other clubs in addition to Boston.
"But as I've said, this a guy we want to try and sign. But we'll see how that goes."
While the salary cap for the 2014-15 season has yet to be announced, it's estimated to be around $70 million. The Bruins are at roughly $67 million with their current roster, according to CapGeek.com. That includes the estimated $4.75 million in bonus overages incurred this season that will carry over into Boston's 2013-14 cap hit. With Marc Savard placed on long-term injured reserve, that allows the Bruins about just over $7 million in cap space.
LAS VEGAS - It was a big night in Vegas for the Bruins on Tuesday at the 2014 NHL Awards, as Patrice Bergeron was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the League's top defensive forward and Tuukka Rask took home the Vezina as the top goaltender.
Bergeron also won the NHL Foundation Player Award and the EA Sports NHL 15 Cover Vote,
The Bruins nearly earned the defensive hat trick, but Zdeno Chara finished second in the James Norris Trophy voting behind Chicago's Duncan Keith.
The awards show took place at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
"I thought Bergy was hosting the event there for a little bit, because he was up there all the time," joked Rask.
For Bergeron, it marked his third straight Selke nomination and the second time he's won the award in the past three years, last earning the honor in 2012.
In a landslide win, he took first place in the voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Associations with 1,283 points, including 112 first-place votes. LA's Anze Kopitar received 840 points (20 first-place votes) and Chicago's Jonathan Toews received 624 points (two first-place votes).
LAS VEGAS - Patrice Bergeron will grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL 15 video game, as announced at the 2014 NHL Awards on Tuesday by Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk.
The cover vote took place from May 5 through June 1, with eight NHL players "competing" for the cover. Fans cast their votes via NHL.com/covervote and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NHL15Bergeron. Posts containing the hashtag were counted as one vote. On Thursdays, the votes counted double.
The final round from May 26-June 1 saw Bergeron up against Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
Bergeron is the first Boston Bruin to be featured on the cover since Andy Moog was on the cover of the NHL 94 video game along with Tomas Sandstrom.
Prior to going up against Subban in the final round, Bergeron defeated St. Louis' T.J. Oshie and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
LAS VEGAS - The BostonBruins.com crew has arrived in Las Vegas to bring coverage from the NHL Awards, taking place on Tuesday, June 24 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
The show will air live at 7:00 p.m ET on NBCSN (CBC in Canada).
We checked in with nominees Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask on Monday afternoon during media availability at the Wynn, and we'll catch up with Patrice Bergeron at the Awards. The centerman was spending Monday in Vancouver at the Hockey Canada Olympic Gala, where members of the 2014 gold medal winning team were receiving their championship rings.
On Tuesday, we'll be on the red carpet for arrivals and then covering all of the action inside the Wynn as the awards are handed out.
Here's a rundown of the Bruins' nominations…
BostonBruins.com - On Monday, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the Bruins had signed goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one-way contract.
Svedberg was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1. His deal is worth an annual cap hit of $600,000.
The 24-year-old Sweden native made his NHL debut with Boston on January 2, 2014, in a 3-2 overtime victory over Nashville at TD Garden, recording a 1.97 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.
With a one-way deal, Svedberg is guaranteed his NHL salary, whether he plays with the big club or in the AHL. He first contract with Boston came in 2012-13, when he was signed as a free agent to a two-year deal after three seasons in the Swedish Elite League.
Svedberg earned AHL Goalie of the Year honors in 2012-13, becoming the first rookie to receive the honor since 1994-95. The netminder didn't have as consistent of a season in 2013-14, but has developed well in Providence and has proved himself to be calm and confident between the pipes. He'll come into September's training camp pushing to earn the backup role behind Tuukka Rask.
BostonBruins.com - Let the countdown begin.
The Bruins' home opener for the 2014-15 season is set for Wednesday, October 8 against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET, as announced by the NHL on Saturday.
The Bruins' full 2014-15 regular season schedule will be released on Sunday, June 22 at 4:00 p.m. ET, along with the League's complete 1,230-game schedule.
The Bruins previously announced their official seven-game preseason schedule on June 20. The puck drops for their first preseason game on Tuesday, September 23 in Montreal against the Canadiens. You can see the full preseason schedule here.
BostonBruins.com - On Thursday morning, BostonBruins.com and members of the media received an exclusive hard hat tour of the TD Garden's new two-year $70 million renovation project that is underway.
The project includes a complete overhaul of the concourse areas on the Loge and Balcony levels, along with renovated concessions areas and hospitality zones, digital video walls, updated food and beverage concepts, and a new wifi infrastructure.
The renovations also feature a new Boston Bruins ProShop with 6,000 square feet of space, and a comprehensive renovation of the Legends Club restaurant for season ticket holders.
The wifi is powered by Cisco, with 400 antennas set to be installed around the arena. The TD Garden is even exploring adding the antennas in the dasher boards to ensure that the wireless reaches everyone in the building - that would be an industry first. In case you were wondering how they would withstands a check from 'Big Zee,' they were tested during the playoffs.
As we walked around the Garden, it was clear that this is a massive undertaking. Construction currently spans all areas of the arena, with crews hard at work.
BostonBruins.com - When the 2014-15 season kicks off for the Bruins in October, Geoff Ward will no longer be behind the bench.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced via a team press release on Thursday that Ward has resigned as assistant coach, and is joining the Mannheim Eagles in Germany as head coach.
Ward has had two previous head coaching stints in Germany with Bad Nauheim EC in 2000-01 and the Iserlohn Roosters in 2006-07, amidst a 20-year coaching career in the OHL, AHL and NHL.
Mannheim plays in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). It's the same team that Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg played for during the 2012-13 lockout, and where he first began his pro career in 2000.
Ward spent seven seasons with the Bruins, first joining the organization in August 2007 as part of Head Coach Claude Julien's staff. He was an integral part of the Bruins' resurgence as a Cup contender, helping lead the team to the Stanley Cup in 2011 and a second Final appearance in 2013.