Fan attendance, knowledge during Bruins development camp 'wows' Tyler Seguin

tylerseguindraftday.jpgWhile I don’t fault new hockey fans for struggling with the nuances of the game, it’s pretty easy to spot a newbie. Take a typical fantasy hockey draft, for insistence; you know someone isn’t fully aware when they draft Nikolai “Ka-bib-ulin” as one of their goalies.

Boston Bruins fans impressed their first round draft pick (and potential future star?) Tyler Seguin during the team’s development camp when an usually large number of fans showed up to the arena. NHL.com captures the scene and some of the experiences of the young rookie-to-be.

Chants of “Say-gin, Say-gin,” echoed through the rink as the prospects and hopefuls took the ice each day, and got louder every time the 18-year-old phenom touched the puck or even stepped on the ice for a shift.

“I was surprised, and was like ‘Wow! This is a big crowd,'” Seguin said with a laugh. “It just shows this is a good market and there’s a lot of support here and the fans are great. Usually if anyone’s talking about me it’s like ‘Seguini’ or ‘Seegin’ or something. These guys, they have it right on point.”

Seguin was honored to have young Bruins fans paying homage to him and asking for autographs, but he didn’t expect any special treatment from the team or his fellow prospects.

“I thought it was pretty cool, a little kid saying my name,” he said of a youngster who greeted him the first day of camp. “Other than that, there’s no special treatment here. Everyone is treated fair. I don’t think it matters if you go first round or fifth round, everyone coming in here has the same opportunity to earn their spot and that’s just what I’m trying to do.”

(Eh, I’d say where you are drafted matters a little bit, but Seguin scores Typical Hockey Player Modesty points nonetheless.)

While the team is struggling to find salary cap sanity – and actually hasn’t officially signed Seguin yet, which is surprising considering the fact that rookies have a maximum salary in the NHL – the young center could help an offensively deprived Bruins team. I’m in the “Don’t panic with Marc Savard” camp because as long as he’s reasonably healthy, his contract is a steal. There’s no doubt that Boston needs to make a move, though, and it might just be Savard who gets traded.

If that happens, Seguin will have plenty of pressure on him, but the young player is saying all the right things at the moment. Frankly, I think Bruins fans have every reason to be excited.

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    Carolina re-signs ‘physical, smart’ McGinn — two years, $1.775 million

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    After a breakout campaign, Brock McGinn has cashed in with the Hurricanes.

    McGinn has signed a two-year, $1.775 million extension, the club announced on Wednesday. The deal carries a $887,500 average annual cap hit, and comes on the heels of a campaign in which he scored 16 points in 57 games, averaging 12 minutes per night.

    “Brock took a step forward last season and was a regular presence in our lineup,” GM Ron Francis said in a release. “He is a young player who plays a physical, but smart brand of hockey, and can contribute offensively.”

    McGinn, 23, is the youngest of the McGinn brothers. Tye spent last year with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse, while Jamie wrapped the first of a three-year deal in Arizona.

     

    Avalanche re-sign Andrighetto to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.8 million

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    Sven Andrighetto was one of the few bright spots on the Colorado Avalanche this past season — and he didn’t even join the last-place club until the beginning of March.

    On Wednesday, he was rewarded with a new two-year contract extension,  reportedly worth a total of $2.8 million, per Adrian Dater of BSN Denver. That’s a raise from the $650,000 he made in 2016-17 while on a one-year contract and a pending restricted free agent at its conclusion.

    Originally taken by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft, the now 24-year-old Andrighetto was traded to Colorado at this year’s deadline, after scoring just two goals and eight points in 27 games this season with the Habs.

    While the Avalanche was once again mired in a disastrous campaign, falling all the way to the bottom of the overall standings, Andrighetto put up some impressive numbers in a short amount of time in Colorado, leading the team in points (11 points in 14 games) during the month of March.

    He scored five goals and 16 points in 19 games following the trade, while posting strong offensive and puck possession numbers in nearly 200 minutes of five-on-five time with Nathan MacKinnon.

    “We were pleased with what Sven added to our team at the end of last season,” said Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic in a statement. “He sees the ice well and brings speed and scoring to our lineup. We’re excited to have him under contract.”

    Signing pending RFA Parayko is priority for Blues — and it won’t be cheap

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    The St. Louis Blues kickstarted their prospects camp on Wednesday, however their greatest offseason priority right now is getting pending restricted free agent defenseman Colton Parayko under contract.

    The Blues recently extended Parayko a qualifying offer to retain his negotiating rights, and general manager Doug Armstrong is fully aware that the 24-year-old defenseman will require a significant raise from the two-year, $1.85 million (including $925,000 in NHL salary this past season) entry-level deal he has now concluded.

    In two seasons, Parayko has transformed into a valuable player with the Blues. He not only brings size on the blue line at an intimidating 6-foot-6 tall and 226 pounds, but he’s been a strong contributor in the offensive end of the rink and boasts impressive puck possession numbers, as well.

    He set new single-season career highs for assists (31) and points (35) with the Blues in 2016-17, while taking on a larger role as a top-four defenseman behind Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo.

    “We’ve got a defenseman to take care of financially,” said Armstrong, per NHL.com’s Lou Korac. “Last time I talked to him, he wasn’t ready to play for the love of the game anymore.”

    Going back to the days immediately following their second-round playoff loss, Armstrong referred to Parayko as a “cornerstone player” and admitted he wanted to get him signed to a long-term contract. It was suggested that Parayko may be able to look toward Morgan Rielly (six-year, $30 million extension with Toronto) or Hampus Lindholm (six-year, $31.5 million extension with Anaheim) as possible comparables.

    The Blues currently have five defensemen under contract for next season, with about $17 million currently committed to the position. They also have about $11.6 million in projected cap space right now, per CapFriendly.

    The Blues also had some bad news on Wednesday, as forward Patrik Berglund underwent shoulder surgery and is out until December. His absence isn’t likely to be filled through free agency, based on Armstrong’s comments.

    “There are some internal options and we’ll explore those,” he said. “We’re always looking to see if we can get creative maybe.

    “We’re talking to some potential free agents, but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up that there will be a lot of change to this roster.”

    The Blues did, in fact, announce the re-signing of a defenseman on Wednesday, inking Chris Butler to a two-year, two-way deal. However, right now, the priority is to get their young blue liner Parayko signed to a long-term deal.

    Lightning re-sign journeyman forward Conacher

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    Cory Conacher has turned an impressive Calder Cup Playoffs run into a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Per the club, it’s a one-way deal in the first season and a two-way deal in the second, paying $650,000 annually at the NHL level.

    Conacher, 27, had 12 goals and 16 assists in 22 playoff games as the Syracuse Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final.

    The undrafted and undersized forward was also productive during the regular season, racking up 60 points (17G, 43A) in 56 games for the Crunch and four points (1G, 3A) in 11 games for the Lightning.

    Conacher has been quite the traveler in recent years, making numerous stops in both NHL and AHL markets. He spent the 2015-16 season in Switzerland, before returning to North America to sign with the Bolts last summer.