The Waiting Game...is Over
Tuesday, 10.7.2008 / 9:53 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Just a quick reminder. Marc Savard and Aaron Ward will reprise their visits to local radio morning shows tomorrow.
Savard can be heard on WZLX's Karlson & McKenzie Show at 8:20 a.m on 100.7 FM.
You can listen to Ward on WBCN's Toucher & Rich Show at 3:45 p.m. on 104.1 FM.
No word (yet) on the possibility of the Bruins might make another roster move. JB
Here are some more quotes from after practice:
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli
On the team’s depth...
It speaks to two things. One, that we’ve had these difficult decisions, it’s something that in my years here, we’ve never had those difficult decisions. So we do have depth, we have teams calling about these players so we’re in a good spot as an organization. But, you’re right, if you lose these players, your depth is tested. But we’ve had some good performances during camp from guys that we’ve already released and sent down that I’d be comfortable with in certain instances.
On the team’s plans for Blake Wheeler...
Again, right now we still might have one more move, but Blake has made the team. We’re going to take it slowly. I liken it to [Milan] Lucic a little bit last year, although Blake’s a couple years older. I haven’t talked to him about it yet, but I want him to continue working hard, continue practicing hard, and we hope to see a progression because the level of play picks up now. We’ll see how he does.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien
On the team’s identity...
I think we looked more like the team we’re trying to be. Especially in that last game, because we’re closer to the team that we’re going to start with. So it certainly clarified a lot of things obviously, but we still want to be stingy defensively and I think that’s an area we can certainly improve on at the start. Offensively, we’ve scored more than we did last year at this stage so hopefully that’s going to be an added addition to our team. We still have to be a hard team to play against. Hard team, I keep saying, it’s the work ethic, but also being really stingy and not giving other teams pucks, and eventually they get frustrated and that’s what being hard to play against is all about. We’ve got to continue that part of our game and hopefully at the other end be a little better.
On Wheeler’s readiness for the physicality of the NHL...
If you look at his physique, there’s no doubt that he’s strong enough, and he’s big enough. Where he really impressed us also was how strong he was with the puck along the boards. So that kind of explains your question, I think he is ready. He uses his body well and he’s a big, strong individual, so that should play in his favor.
On Wheeler’s unique ability to use his body down low...
I know we spent a lot of time working with guys to get that way. So, yes, it is, maybe for a young player coming into his first camp, first year pro, and to be already pretty good at it is definitely a great quality that he has. As I mentioned, we spent a lot of time teaching that to players and three years later we’re still working on those same players.
Bruins Forward Blake Wheeler
On his personal expectations coming into camp...
I think maybe a little bit. I think the biggest thing about it was my mindset coming into camp was that I never had any expectations, I never really set any goals, I just kind of went day to day, worked hard, and let the rest take care of itself. Because I think when you come with an expectation make the big club or bust, then I think that if you have any setbacks it can be really depressing and it can set you back quite a ways. You’ve got to take the peaks with the valleys and I think that’s the mindset you’ve got to have to be successful as an athlete There’s going to ups, there’s going to be downs. I just came into camp ready to accept both of them, and I think that was really beneficial for me.
“So we’ve made some roster moves today,” was how Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli began his comments to the media earlier this afternoon.
“We’ve released Peter Schaefer and he’s on waivers, today and will be designated for reassignment pending if he clears or not,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve put Jeremy Reich on waivers and we’ll see if he clears in 24 hours.
“(With) Nate Thompson and Matt Hunwick, Nate would go on waivers, too, for 24 hours. And Matt is just a pure assignment, no waivers.”
Chiarelli talked about the decision to waive Schaefer at length.
“Yah, it was difficult with (Schaefer),” said the GM. “I had a history with him in Ottawa and I brought him in here and it wasn’t working out.
“And I know he’s a good player, (but) these things happen.
“We talked yesterday, it was a good talk, and he may end up in another NHL city or he may end up in Providence,” he said.
Chiarelli was asked if he sensed a lot of disappointment from the veteran forward.
“Well, he’s been in the league a while,” said Chiarelli. “I think he knew what was coming, especially with the play of Blake Wheeler.
“So he pretty much expected it is what he told me.
“But he was disappointed that it didn’t work out here,” he said.
Cap wise and roster wise, Chiarelli said, “We’re still pretty tight (cap wise).
“This may not be our final roster, and there may be one more move before we leave tomorrow, but we’ll see how the rest of the day plays out.”
Click here to listen to Peter Chiarelli
The official release is coming, but here is the gist:
Forward Peter Schaefer has been released from the club and will be placed on waivers for purpose of assignment to Providence (AHL), forwards Nate Thompson and Jeremy Reich have been placed on waivers for purpose of assignment to Providence (AHL), defenseman Matt Hunwick has been assigned to Providence (AHL), and forward Carl Soderberg has been assigned to Malmo (Sweden2).
After these moves, 23 players remain on the Bruins roster...
More to come. JB
Reich, Schaefer, Thompson are on waivers. Hunwick has been assigned to Providence. More to come...
This is who is on the ice: Sturm, Axelsson, Wheeler, Lucic, Bergeron, Savard, Krejci, Yelle, Kessel, Ryder, Kobasew, Thornton, Thompson, Sobotka, Nokelainen, Reich, Chara, Ward, Ference, Alberts, Hunwick, Wideman, Stuart, Hnidy, Thomas and Fernandez.
That's 26 players.
Pardon the pun, but hockey is a cold business.
That’s especially so on days like today -- where people that you work with everyday, people who you like and admire, can be sent away, sometimes across the continent.
It just make this little icebox in Wilmington seem chillier than the deepest recesses of the Northwest Territories.
Frankly, it’s business and everyone involved understands that, but it stinks and I hope that I never get used to it.
By the way, I am seated in the birds nest (press box) up in the corner of Ristuccia Arena, and as I type I witness players coming in, but none going out. That said, as of 9:55 a.m. there is no news to report – yet.
The Bruins had a gutsy (if uneven) performance against the Capitals in Washington, DC on Sunday. The 5-4 shootout win over the Caps featured good performances from Manny Fernandez (20 saves) and Blake Wheeler (two assists) as well as goals from David Krejci (two) and Shawn Thornton.
The highlight of the day remains the shootout performances by Phil Kessel, Patrice Bergeron and Fernandez.
Kessel, who admits that his main goal in the shootout is not to miss, buried yet another opportunity against Bruins nemesis Jose Theodore (who took over in Washington for another B’s nightmare, Christobal Huet).
Bergeron did the same.
“I was just thinking about scoring a goal,” said Bergeron. “I was thinking that it was going to be a big goal, because Manny is always good on shootouts.
“So, I just tried to go out there and make him make a move first, and he did, so I continued with what I had in mind, which was five hole.”
Pressed for more of his thought process in the shootout, Bergeron said, “I don’t think. I just look at what’s in front of me and go out there and play.”
Bergeron, one of the leaders in the Bruins locker room, said he was pleased with his team’s play on Sunday.
“I don’t know if we had…plane leg’s or whatever, but the first ten minutes were sloppy,” he explained. “But we picked it up, I think, with some good shifts from Yelle’s line, with Thornton and Lucic.
“Then we all picked it up a little bit, and it was a good second period, I thought.
“In the third, well, we kind of exchanged opportunities, which I don’t think we (should) do against a team like that,” he said.
Bergeron’s thoughts returned to Fernandez.
“He’s playing great,” said Patrice of his partner in recovery. “We are feeling very confident with him behind us and it’s good to have him sharp like that.”
Now we are here in Wilmington waiting for news – any news – that will give us some clues as to the direction of the club in 2008-09.
You'll get the official word here as soon as I get it.