Halifax, NS —Brad Marchand had some tense moments as he, like the rest of North America’s East Coast, waited out Hurricane Irene’s fury on Sunday and when it seemed certain that planes wouldn’t be flying on schedule on Monday morning, he certainly had a few moments of worry.
But a few phone calls and a solid plan B put the Cup back on the road to Halifax on what turned out to be a gorgeous — albeit windy — sunny day in Nova Scotia for Marchand’s day with the Stanley Cup.
“My dad [Kevin] did a great job of setting up a car to take me, my uncles, my cousins and a few buddies up to PEI,” said Brad. “We drove up last night and spent the night there and we had a little hiccup this morning — the bridge was closed — and we couldn’t get back on the car we went over on.”
BostonBruins.com — Believe it or not, B’s legend Johnny Bucyk had never had a day with Stanley prior to August 20th, when he recieved the Cup at his summer home in British Columbia.
You see, players didn’t get the Stanley Cup to themselves when they won back in 1970 and 72, but that didn’t make winning any less special.
"Winning the Cup in the two years that we did win it, that made it complete," said Bucyk of his career. "And them having my number retired of course finalized it and being inducted into the Hall of Fame…but getting the Stanley Cup now and still being part of the team, it was just great."
BostonBruins.com — B’s defenseman Steve Kampfer began today’s interview about his Thursday with the Stanley Cup by thinking about the moments immediately following the Bruins Game 7 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
"It was an exciting time to receive the Cup and then take a victory lap," said Kampfer while wearing a wide grin in the visitors locker room of the University of Michigan’s Yost Arena. "It was fun to get the picture and raise it up over the head for the first time.
"Then, to hand it off to somebody else Knowing what your team accomplished is amazing," he said.
BostonBruins.com — Generally, Johnny Boychuk is the happiest person that you could encounter on any given day.
Add the Stanley Cup and, well, let’s just say that even the distance from Edmonton to Boston (and a so-so phone connection) couldn’t hide “the happy” in the defenseman’s voice as he talked about his time with the Cup.
Every moment of the day resonated with the Edmonton native, who brought “The Jug” back to Alberta on August 19.
BostonBruins.com — Defenseman Shane Hnidy said that if he had been told in January that he would rejoin the Boston Bruins and be a Stanley Cup champion in June he would have said, “I Better get to work! Because I wasn’t in shape yet.”
But Hnidy pointed out that in hockey, you never can tell.
"You cant predict the future," he said. "But when the Bruins showed interest and it started coming closer to being a reality, I made sure I was going to get ready."
BostonBruins.com — As he sat behind a desk for a press conference on the football field at his old high school in Davison, Michigan, B’s goaltender Tim Thomas was asked about his visit home and the many laurels that were bestowed on him in recognition of his Stanley Cup heroics.
"No I didn’t think id have a bridge named after me I was pretty surprised when that happened," said Thomas of the naming of a local span and the keys to the city given in his honor on "Tim Thomas Day” in Davison.
BostonBruins.com — One year ago, Tyler Seguin was preparing to enter an NHL team’s training camp for the first time. He had no idea what the year ahead would hold. Seguin didn’t know that the City of Boston would become his home. He didn’t know that, with the other men in Black & Gold, he would be part of a remarkably close, tight-knit team. He didn’t know that he would explode for three goals and three assists in two games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Tyler Seguin didn’t know that at the end of his rookie season, he would be a Stanley Cup champion.
But even after all that, after a rookie year that ended on the ultimate high note, Seguin isn’t complacent. He still looks to grow and improve as a player.
BostonBruins.com — Gregory Campbell and his teammates lifted hockey’s ultimate trophy at the end of last season. For the forward, that defines what it means to have a “career season.”
“Absolutely, it’s got to be a career year, what better can I do?” Campbell said. “The Stanley Cup is what you want. You can win any sort of individual awards you want, but at the end of the day, the major achievement is winning the Stanley Cup.
“I don’t think I can do any better than that. Matching it would be winning it again.”
BostonBruins.com — It wasn’t the usual timing for a trade. Squeaking in before the deadline, in the midst of a six-game road trip last season, the Bruins picked up Rich Peverley, who had to hop on a plane and join his new teammates on the road. While the result of that trade is a Cup-winning history, the timing was challenging for the forward, who joined the Black & Gold’s roster well into the season.
So almost more than anyone else, Peverley cherished the bonding and team unity allowed by the Bruins Cup run.
“I really enjoyed the time with the guys. I kind of missed the bonding part at the start of the year,” Peverley explained.
BostonBruins.com — Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille is always looking to please his coaches, teammates, and of course the Black & Gold fans.
While those fans were on an emotional high this spring, going forward Paille looks to please by not just contributing to his team’s efforts in a repeat season, but by also maintaining the phenomenal play he demonstrated over the course of last season’s playoffs.
“I think they like to expect the last couple of rounds, how I played and I think trying to base on that type of effort and that type of speed,” Paille said.
BostonBruins.com — The first time Shawn Thornton met Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli, their conversation provided an eerie foreshadow as the enforcer prepared to don the Spoked-B for the first time.
“I mean, I remember when I first signed here. I came in to meet Peter [Chiarelli] and he was like, ‘How is your conditioning,’ or whatever, I said, ‘It’s probably not as good as it would be had we not went into mid June,’” Thornton said.
“But he says, ‘Well, if we have that problem here one day, that’ll be a good problem,’ and I agreed.”
BostonBruins.com — Despite all of his years in the NHL and his three Stanley Cup championships, Mark Recchi admitted that he was a little nervous as he waited for Lord Stanley’s bowl to arrive on Saturday morning.
"We’re going to make it as laid back a day as I can," he said. "But I’m still really excited and still getting nervous [because] the Cup is coming here."
Even with the excitement, Recchi said that he is definitely not thinking about giving it another go come September.
One more shot: Players trying to come back (S. Burnside, NHL.com)
Every year at this time, the air in NHL cities is full of shimmering dust mites. The mites are called hope. Those glittering specks of expectation shine for the likely and the unlikely all the same. They also shine for those players who hope for one last shot at glory or redemption or, heck, just another paycheck.
The way Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was stroking his face, it’s a good thing the Edmonton Oilers don’t figure on an extended playoff run anytime soon. “I don’t shave around here,” he said, rubbing his cheeks and his chin. Then moving to the upper lip, he said, “I have to shave here a couple of days a week, but not much more than that.”
In Thursday’s Puck Daddy series, “Hockey Guilty Pleasures,” I listed this ‘91 Ryan Vandenbussche/Tom Sullivan fight my favourite of all time and stand by it. One thing I’m planning on doing in The Sheet blog is highlight some of the best fights I’ve come across in hockey at every level and also do a series blowing up this idea that respect ever existed in the game of hockey. Not sure about you but one of my pet peeves is hearing people talk about how once upon a time, players had respect for one another when they played hockey unlike the punks of today’s game.
Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner among talented youngsters earning spots on preseason top 10 Bruins prospects list (Douglas Flynn, NESN.com)
The Bruins built much of the foundation for their Stanley Cup championship by drafting and developing key contributors to that title run. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were among the standout playoff performers who came up through the Bruins’ system.
Around the League…
Ten candidates for a bounce-back season (John Kreiser, NHL.com)
Disappointing seasons happen to almost everyone. Sometimes they’re because of injuries, sometimes they’re just bad luck, and other times they are a combination of circumstances.
Sabres re-sign defenseman Gragnani to one-year contract (AP, TSN.ca)
The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year contract. Gragnani was a restricted free agent, whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. He’s an offensive-minded player who had a goal and six assists in seven games to lead Buffalo in a first-round, seven-game playoff series loss to Philadelphia in
If you cultivate an appearance that resonates negatively with people, there will not necessarily be blood, but there will be a backlash making your path less pleasant to traverse. But at a time in history where entertainment options are myriad and serve to splinter off segments of society into tiny target groups, there is a sin worse than being stuck with a bad image: having no image at all.
BostonBruins.com —Dennis Seidenberg, asked to describe his most memorable moment from the Boston Bruins run to the Stanley Cup, said what stuck out most for him was the initial seconds after the final buzzer on Game 7 sounded the B’s victory.
"I mean it was the weird feeling that we had not knowing how to react," said Seidenberg. "That’s the one feeling I think about a lot…right after the game it’s kind of an empty feeling like you know you won the Stanley Cup but its not really real yet."
Now, it’s probably quite real now for Seidenberg, who spent Tuesday with Lord Stanley.
Oilers hope youth is ready to lead run at playoffs (S. Feldman, NHL.com)
Through it all, the Oilers have positioned themselves nicely for the future by developing a crop of young talent, highlighted by Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 selections in the 2010 and 2011 Entry Drafts, respectively, and complemented with other high first-round picks such as Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner.
Wisconsin’s Craig Smith could be Predators next star (K. Allen, USAToday.com)
Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz has given rookie center Craig Smith a promise and a challenge regarding his expectations to play in the NHL this season. “I do believe he will play games for us this season,” Trotz said. “I just don’t know whether it will be two, 22, 42, 62 or 82.”
Next week, the NHL will hold its second annual research and development camp in Toronto as the league looks to continually “massage” the sport. Some would say “improve” but considering how the taste of every single hockey fan differs, we all know this is impossible. So the sport that is constantly in a state of change will once again try out some new concepts using elite-level junior players.
BostonBruins.com — Boston Bruins forward and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron said that while nothing was going to beat the celebration after Game 7, his time with the Cup was very special because it allowed him to say “thank you” to the people who helped him along the way.
"I’m really happy," said Bergeron. "It was great.
"It was a chance for me to be able to spend some time with the Cup and enjoy it but also to…say to everyone around me, ‘This is because of you as well.’ And it was also a chance to say thank you for all of their support."
Alexei Kovalev to play in Russia (Scott Burnside, ESPN.com)
Veteran winger Alexei Kovalev has signed a two-year deal to play with Atlant Mytischi of the Kontinental Hockey League. Kovalev last played with the Pittsburgh Penguins after being dealt by the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline last season.
Coyotes Re-Sign Tikhonov to One-Year Contract (TSN.ca Staff, TSN.ca)
The Phoenix Coyotes have re-signed forward Viktor Tikhonov to a one-year, two-way contract. The 23-year-old native of Riga, Lativa, set career highs with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage last season, posting 23 assists, 33 points and 26 penalty minutes in 60 games. He appeared in 61 games for the Coyotes during the 2008-09 season, registering eight goals, eight assists and 20 penalty minutes.
Ducks extend Carlyle through 2013-14 season (D. Rosen, NHL.com)
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle has presided over a winning atmosphere in Anaheim since 2005. It doesn’t appear his reign will end any time soon. The Ducks announced Monday that Carlyle has signed a new three-year contract that will take him through the 2013-14 NHL season.
New Blackhawks Carcillo, Brunette eager to help team rebound from disappointing season (Canadian Press)
Daniel Carcillo is ready to stir it up in Chicago. The Blackhawks signed Carcillo, one of the NHL’s best-known agitators, to a one-year US$775,000 free-agent contract July 1. The 26-year-old forward was introduced to media Monday, along with fellow free-agent acquisition Andrew Brunette.
Report: Selanne to Make Decision on Return in September (TSN.ca)
As the Anaheim Ducks begin to prepare for the upcoming season, the future of Teemu Selanne will remain up in the air until September. According to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, Selanne will make his decision to play this season no sooner than next month as he continues to recuperate from knee problems that he experienced last season.