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Claude Julien - Development in July - Weekend Wondering

Friday, 06.29.2007 / 1:26 PM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Claude Julien - Development in July - Weekend Wondering
John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Got a nice note in my inbox recently from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette and I'd thought I'd pass part of it along…

Bish,

You'll love Claude Julien: honest, loyal, helpful, a great hockey man and an even greater human being.

That's very good to know, Dave, thanks.

To boot, Mr. Stubbs just happened to have written a pretty nice piece about our coach as he started with the Habs.

Amongst the revelations…

Whilst playing in the minors, Claude had encounters with all three of the Hanson Brothers.

Julien told Stubbs "In the minors I played against all the Hanson brothers at different times. I got into a scrap with Dave Hanson -- and I did well. Steve Carlson was an assistant coach with Baltimore the year I was there. Jeff Carlson was the biggest. (Laughs) I just stayed away from him."

As far as the movie goes, he's seen it plenty -- thirty times, he told Stubbs.

"Every year someone put it in the VCR. As far-fetched as some of those scenes are, a lot of the things in Slap Shot were close to what you'd see in the minors in those days -- some of the on-ice tactics and the buses. (Grins) But I don't think I have much in common with (Chiefs coach) Reg Dunlup."

Despite being brought up a Canadiens fan, Julien's most cherished item would be close to any Bruins fan's heart.

When Stubbs asked him about his hockey souvenirs the coach said, "For me, it's been about team accomplishments, like winning the Memorial Cup. I have an autographed photo with myself and Bobby Orr, when I coached with him in a prospects game. That meant a lot to me, when you're talking about an idol."

Nice choice, Coach.

Although I am sure that many of you have seen it, either in its original context a few years back or a couple of weeks ago, it is worth a re-read. Go here and scroll down for a looksie.

Milan Lucic
Looking ahead…
I was thinking about this weekend. And then I was thinking about July. And then I was thinking about the Bruins Development Camp to be held from July 8-15.

Some of you were thinking the same thing (as I see in my inbox and online), so let's think on it together.

So, who could be there?

Looking at the prospects in the system, we stumble upon defensemen like Andrew Bodnarchuk, Tommy Cross, Alain Goulet, Matt Hunwick, Adam McQuaid, Radim Ostrcil and, of course, Denis Reul. 

There's goalie Kevin Regan.

And certainly forwards like Brock Bradford, Chris Collins, Zach Hamill, Jordan Knackstedt, Mikko Lehtonen, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand Levi Nelson, Vladimir Sobotka and the niftily named Wacey Rabbit could give B's fans much to talk about during the second half of the summer.

Obviously, this is not the list, nor should it be considered definitive in any sense. But, It is pretty exciting to think that I will be watching pux in a scant few days.

Mere moments before the madness
Funny how the landscape of the NHL could change in just a few hours time, isn't it?

Several people have mentioned that Kevin Allen of USA Today has a pretty good list of the top potential free agents, here.

Below are his top 5:

USA TODAY hockey writer Kevin Allen offers his review of the top 25 NHL unrestricted free agents available starting July 1 at noon, ET.

Chris Drury
1. Center Chris Drury:
Given his playoff history, leadership and image, teams will be lining up to bid. When the San Jose Sharks cleared some payroll this past week, it presumed they were getting ready to make a big pitch to land Drury. Perhaps he could help them overcome their poor playoff history. But there will be many suitors, including Buffalo attempting to keep him.
Age: 30. 2006-07 salary: $3.18 million. Projection: $7.5 million

2. Center Scott Gomez: He's not expected to return to the New Jersey Devils. This is going to be his home run contract, and he will be swinging for the fences. His playmaking is even more valuable in the new NHL. Because he's still young, he would be the safest bet on a long-term deal.
Age: 27. 2006-07 salary: $5 million. Projection: $7 million

3. Left wing Ryan Smyth: Every major contender would like a crack at Smyth because of his scoring ability and character. Few players drive to the net with more determination and purpose. He simply knows how to score.
Age: 31. 2006-07 salary: $3.5 million. Projection: $6.5 million

4. Wing-center Daniel Briere:
Highly skilled offensive player, coupled with great character. He is such a personable athlete that he will be as important to the marketing department as he is to the team.
Age: 28. 2006-07 salary: $5 million. Projection: $6.5 million

5. Defenseman Sheldon Souray: High-yield offensive defenseman with big shot from the point on the power play. He can clear the crease and, at 230 pounds, he's a physical presence and a commanding presence in the dressing room. He's not going to be confused with a shutdown defensive zealot. Teams will be acquiring him for his offense.
Age: 29. 2006-07 salary: $2.43 million. Projection: $6 million

I know that many of you, like me, will be watching Sunday's goings on, so make sure that you keep your browser here for the latest Bruins news.

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