BostonBruins.com - Peter Chiarelli is heading into his eighth season as the General Manager of the Boston Bruins. He's only the seventh person in club history to ever be given that title, and he'll be keeping it for at least another four years, as the B's announced a contract extension on Thursday that keeps him overseeing the Black & Gold's hockey operations through the 2017-18 season.
Chiarelli has been the Bruins' GM since the summer of 2006 and with him at the helm, the Bruins have made the playoffs in the past six seasons, including the organization's first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011 and a second Final appearance in 2013.
Only two other B's General Managers - Art Ross and Milt Schmidt - have brought the Cup to Boston.
The GM's last extension was a multi-year deal he received in the June of 2009 that would have kept him in place through 2013-14.
BostonBruins.com - When the July 4th seven-player trade with Dallas was announced, most of the focus was on the proven NHL players in the mix - most notably, the B's acquisition of Loui Erkisson. But Boston acquired a trio of young prospects on that day as well that included winger Reilly Smith.
"He’s a slick player who will challenge for a spot on our team," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said of Smith.
"Kind of a silky smooth type of right winger, very smart, good vision."
Slick. Silky smooth. Speaking with forward for the first time since joining the B's organization, I wanted to see if he thought of himself in the same light.
"Yeah, I think I envision myself that way," said Smith. "I’m not a guy that’s going to beat most people up, but I try to help out my teammates, be a playmaker, and, when I get the opportunity to score, make sure it goes in the back of the net."
BostonBruins.com - When Jarome Iginla arrived to the Bruins' practice facility at Ristuccia Arena on Tuesday in Wilmington, MA, he put on his equipment, laced up his skates and pulled a black jersey over his head with the spoked-B on the front.
"It feels really good," said Iginla, who was there taking part in the B's "Captain's Practices" before training camp officially begins in 15 days on September 11.
"It felt good and it's great to be here at the facility and get a chance to meet some of the guys, and just starting it up again."
The new Bruin joined David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask and Dennis Seidenberg out on the ice, as they ran through shooting, passing and battling drills. Iginla helped lead the group through a few sequences, and whether it was a smile while standing next to 'Seides' at the blueline, or a laugh while talking with Rask before the goalie skated off the ice, you could see him being acclimated into the group.
WILMINGTON, MA - There was a welcome sight on the ice Tuesday morning in Wilmington at Ristuccia Arena, the training home of the Bruins.
While organized practices won't begin until training camp in early September, a handful of Bruins, including Tuukka Rask, Daniel Paille, David Krejci, Dennis Seidenberg and Jarome Iginla, hit the ice for an informal skate.
It marked the first time these eyes had seen Iginla in the spoked-B.
Shawn Thornton was also around the rink, presumably going through his off-ice training routine.
These dubbed "Captain's Practices" consist of mostly skill work on the ice, with shooting, passing and skating drills (along with the occasional battle drill). Depending on how many B's are in town or what stage a particular player is at in his summer conditioning, the time on the ice and the amount of drills can vary.
BostonBruins.com - Patrice Bergeron is still on track to join his teammates for the Bruins' training camp when it kicks off on Wednesday, September 11.
|Related: Bergeron Gives Recovery Update
Watch: Bergeron Checks In from Quebec City
In Calgary this week for Team Canada's Olympic Orientation Camp, Bergeron was in a select group of invites who spoke to the media during an introductory press conference on Sunday. He told reporters that he was "feeling pretty good."
"I'm pretty much 95 percent to where I'd like to be," said Bergeron. "Took a little bit of time to get back to feeling good and normal, but workouts, and now I've been on the ice too, so everything's going well."
"[I'm] confident I'll be ready for camp and ready for October."
When Patrice Bergeron checked in with BostonBruins.com from Quebec City about two weeks ago back on August 13, the B's alternate captain said he had suffered no setbacks as he was recovering well from the broken rib (along with torn cartilage, separated shoulder and collapsed lung) he had played through during the Stanley Cup Final.
BostonBruins.com - Five members of the Black & Gold gathered in Calgary on Sunday for the start of Hockey Canada's Olympic Orientation Camp, a step in the preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, which runs through Wednesday, August 28.
|Related: NHL Players Set to Partcipate in Sochi
Five from Bruins Invited to Represent Team Canada
Gold-medal winner from 2010 in Vancouver, Patrice Bergeron, is one of the 47 players invited to the camp, along with teammates Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand. Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien is serving as an associate coach on Mike Babcock's staff for Sochi, and General Manager Peter Chiarelli, who has been advisor for Team Canada for years, has officially been added as a full-fledged member of the management group that will be involved in choosing the team heading to Russia in February. Steve Yzerman heads the seven-person group.
Players won't be hitting the ice together (due to the high cost of insurance on the NHLers' contracts), but the camp still offers an opportunity for management, coaching staff and Hockey Canada to present the players with the team’s plans for Sochi, including playing systems, international rules and regulations and logistics. The United States is also holding their camp during this time, from August 26-27 in Virginia at the Washington Capitals practice facility.
BostonBruins.com - On July 4, Matt Fraser was enjoying a summer day out on the golf course.
"My sister called me and she had asked if I had got traded; I said no, I kind of just brushed it off as I was busy," the 23-year-old winger said via phone from Alberta, recalling the whirlwind day he was involved in the seven-player blockbuster that sent him to Boston from the Dallas Stars.
Immersed in his golf game, Fraser wasn't following on Twitter and social media as the trade was rumored, and then reported - like most of the hockey world.
"And then, ten minutes later, a couple of holes later, my phone had ten missed calls and ten texts. That was just the start of it."
One of Fraser's next calls, of course, was to his sister, graciously apologizing. One of the calls came from Bruins Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney, welcoming him to the organization.
BostonBruins.com - Around this time last summer, the BostonBruins.com website and TV crew took a #BearTracks trip to visit Torey Krug in Connecticut, before hitting the Toronto circuit.
The blueliner had played two NHL games with Boston, after finishing his college hockey career at Michigan State. We took in his workout, as he was building his strength and building towards his first pro season.
"The Keiser Runner" was on the agenda. It's something NHLers often use in their training, and you likely won't find one who actually enjoys it.
So, when I caught up with the defenseman about his training and mindset heading into the season, I wanted to see how that exercise was going this time around.
"That was the second to last thing I did during the week, and it absolutely destroyed me again. That thing is unbelievable," laughed Krug.
BostonBruins.com - You get the sense that Torey Krug doesn't just welcome challenges.
He's the guy, halfway up Mount Everest, with his oxygen depleting at 27,000 feet, would somehow power his way to the top, never accepting anything less, while making sure his team of climbers also made it through the often deadly journey.
"Ice in his veins." That's the way Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had described him during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he weaved his skates through the slot, and dazzled with a laser shot that connected on four goals in his first five NHL postseason games.
His high level of confidence is what's given him the edge he's needed to make it to this level of the game. There are only two other 5-foot-9 blueliners currently on NHL rosters and one who is listed at 5-foot-8. Most league blueliners pass the 6'0" threshold.
BostonBruins.com - Like countless fans right now awaiting the season, Boston Bruins Principal and Alternate Governor Charlie Jacobs is no different.
When the puck drops on the 2013-14 season, he will be in his 12th season with the organization in his current role, where he guides the strategic efforts for the family and Delaware North Companies' holdings in Boston, including strong community involvement through the Boston Bruins Foundation, which he helped found in 2003.
He has been a part of countless moments with the team throughout the years - the highs and the lows - including the disappointment of this past postseason's outcome. But Jacobs made sure to note in his season-ending press conference what the team was able to provide the community into late June.
"I couldn’t be more proud of the guys in our locker room, our coaching staff, our GM, Cam [Neely], everybody that touched this organization this year," Jacobs had said.