FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
Throughout the past few weeks, General Manager Don Sweeney told reporters that he’s had ongoing talks with Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry, about the contract situation.
Speaking with members of the media on Thursday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. prior to the NHL Draft on Friday and Saturday in Sunrise, the Bruins’ GM reiterated that.
“I met with J.P. [Wednesday] night, and had friendly discussions, as I will continue to do,” Sweeney told gathered reporters. “I won’t be revealing any of the things we’ve spoken about; we’re just trying to stay in real, real good communication and find the solution.”
“Dougie is a real important part of our organization, and I’ve made no bones about the fact that I want him to be part of that, and we’re going to explore every opportunity to do that,” Sweeney added.
Ideally, the priority would be to have Hamilton signed prior to July 1, when the free agency period opens.
LAS VEGAS - Patrice Bergeron is the Frank J. Selke Trophy winner for the second straight year and the third time in the past four years.
It wasn’t a surprise, when presenters Kathryn Tappen and Pat LaFontaine announced him as the NHL’s top defensive forward and presented him with the award that his name is now etched on in three places.
Bergeron led the League once again in faceoff percentage in 2014-15, winning 60.2 percent of his draws and winning a total of 1,175 faceoffs overall. He took more faceoffs (1,951) that any other player. Most of those started in the defensive zone.
Head Coach Claude Julien tasks him with the most defensive responsibilities of any forward, and at the most crucial times in games. When he’s on the ice, the centerman acts as a third defenseman. At the other end of the ice, the 29-year-old led all Bruins with 55 points in 2014-15, including 23 goals.
For Bergeron, though, it still came as a surprise.
LAS VEGAS - On Tuesday, the NHL and the NHLPA announced that the salary cap for the upcoming 2015-16 season will have an upper limit of $71.4 million.
The cap is increasing from the $69 million cap for the 2014-15 campaign. The lower limit is set at $52.8 million with a midpoint of $62.1 million.
Apart from now having a firm cap number, the Bruins’ preparation for the draft and free agency won’t be altered much as a result, as the organization looks to next season.
“I mean, obviously you were sort of guessing prior, but with concrete knowledge now, I think you can continue to do planning that we had been doing with clear understanding of where you have to be,” Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said while speaking with reporters following Tuesday’s GM meetings at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS - A June trip to the NHL Awards has become an annual occurrence for Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.
Nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the fourth straight year, Bergeron has consistently build his reputation as one of the NHL’s top defensive forwards.
Bergeron won the award given to the "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game" last year in 2014 and previously in 2012.
The B’s alternate captain spent Tuesday afternoon entertaining reporters (and the BostonBruins.com crew) during the 2015 NHL Awards Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The awards show is set for Wednesday night at MGM Grand at 4:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. ET).
DORCHESTER, Mass. - Travel to any community around Boston and you will likely find hockey. Hockey fans, hockey players, hockey rinks, hockey families.
“We grew up in Dorchester, a proud community here,” said Chris O’Sullivan, a proud part of what is fondly referred to as the "O’Sullivan clan" around the town that sits just south of Boston.
With six brothers and four sisters, the O’Sullivans grew up involved in sports, and involved in hockey.
“Growing up, there were seven boys and four girls in my family and we lost our parents when we were younger to cancer. My mother was 53 and my father was 57,” he said. “So as we grew up, and helped each other grow up, a lot of us played.”
On Wednesday evening, O’Sullivan and his family were gathered at Garvey Park in Dorchester in honor of just that - playing hockey.
They were joined by Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and state and city officials to unveil the newly renovated Garvey Park Street Hockey Rink. Dennis Seidenberg was also on hand to show his support, along with Dorchester native, Florida Panthers forward and former Boston College Eagle Jimmy Hayes.
The $100,000 project was made possible through funding by The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with Boston Parks and Recreation. The new rink, transformed from a basketball court, features new boards and a new court, along with bench, bleacher and fence repairs. It can now support more activities, including hockey clinics, tournaments and fitness programs. The Bruins Foundation donated equipment, hockey sticks and nets to outfit the new rink.
WILMINGTON, Mass. - For 719 games, Head Coach Claude Julien has been behind the Bruins’ bench. He’ll continue at that helm for his ninth season with the Spoked-B in 2015-16.
General Manager Don Sweeney confirmed that on Friday, June 5, at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
“I had really good discussions with Claude and all of our staff,” Sweeney told reporters in Buffalo. “And unequivocally, we’re moving forward with our group.”
Julien signed a contract extension with the Bruins early in the 2014-15 season, on Nov. 13, 2014. The season did not play out like he and the Bruins wanted it to. The team missed the playoffs for the first time during his tenure.
Before the Bruins hired Sweeney to be the next GM, Julien’s status appeared in limbo.
BostonBruins.com - Kevan Miller entered 2014-15 ready to tackle his first full NHL season.
After climbing the ranks through a four-year college career at Vermont, signing with the Black and Gold as a free agent and biding his time working hard in Providence for two seasons, Miller had earned his shot in 2013-14 when Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg faced injury trouble.
He earned a new two-year deal and played 47 games with Boston that season. After seeing his first NHL postseason action in 2014, the hard-nosed defenseman was primed for a full 82-game season at the NHL level.
But as so often happens, circumstances didn't pan out as Miller - and the team - would have liked.
Less than two weeks into the season, Miller dislocated his right shoulder (Oct. 18 in Buffalo) and was sidelined for a month.
"Obviously a little bit frustrating with the injuries and what not," Miller assessed at the end of the season, when the Bruins addressed reporters for a final time before heading their various ways for the summer. "And as a whole, as a team, not what we were looking for from the beginning."
BostonBruins.com - May 20, 2015 will serve as the date that Don Sweeney was named General Manager of the Boston Bruins, the eighth in the franchise's history.
There was much work that went into the month leading up to his introduction as GM -- a month-long interview process full of knowledge vetting and intense discussions -- and there will be much work moving forward, as Sweeney and the Bruins' management team look to get the organization back to being a Stanley Cup contender every year.
With that, let's take a walk through Sweeney's first day.
After all, this has only happened seven other times in team history, and marks just the fourth time since 1972. Sweeney joins a list that includes 'Ultimate Bruin' Milt Schmidt and Art Ross, the franchise's first coach and GM.
So, what has the past month been like for Sweeney, who was operating in his previous position as Assistant GM (and GM of the Providence Bruins), while also going through the exhaustive interview process?
A charity ping pong event, put on by Ninkovich, defensive end and linebacker for the New England Patriots.
Ninko's Ping Pong Challenge took place on Tuesday night at Game On! near Fenway Park, bringing together Boston's pro athletes from the Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, New England Revolution and the UFC.
Still in Boston, Lucic, Bergeorn, Rask and Seidenberg went to show their support.
"It's pretty cool we get to do events like this and we can come support a good cause like this and it's nice that we can get together on a lighter note and just kind of hang out and have some fun," Lucic said, of the camaraderie amongst the New England sports teams. "And obviously raise some money for a good cause."
BostonBruins.com - Torey Krug is coming back to Boston with new hardware from his first stint in the Red, White and Blue with Team USA.
Krug and the U.S. captured the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship on Sunday (May 17) with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.
The game took place at O2 Arena in Prague, with a home crowd backing the Czechs.
The win gave the U.S. its second medal in the last three world championships (bronze in 2013), marking the first time that feat had been achieved by the country since 1952.
Krug logged 19:58 in ice time en route to the victory and posted a plus-1 rating. His lone shot on goal came on the power play off a one-timer stopped by Czech goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. While the U.S. didn't score on the man-advantage, its momentum triggered a goal from Mass. native Charlie Coyle with just 49.8 remaining in the second period that provided an important three-goal cushion.