If you thought that this off-season for the Boston Bruins was a busy one, it might not hold a candle to what next year could bring. The Bruins have a handful of very notable potential unrestricted free agents next year including captain Zdeno Chara, center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Mark Stuart. While no one will be worried about losing Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder next year, Chara and Bergeron present potentially huge. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli today gave Bruins fans a reason to relax a little bit.
During his conference call to discuss the Seguin signing, Chiarelli noted that negotiations for extensions for both veteran center Patrice Bergeron and captain Zdeno Chara are continuing. Both players are entering the final years of their deals this season.
“We’ve had talks, recent talks, and we’ll continue to have talks,” said Chiarelli. “And we’ll see where things go.”
While the Bruins salary cap situation for next year isn’t anywhere near as dire as it is this year, it’s welcome news to hear that the Bruins are planning ahead to make sure they can keep the guys that have helped make the team successful recently. How long of a contract they go for with Chara will be of some interest, however. Chara is 33 years-old and while he’s playing solid now, you have to wonder where he’ll be at in the semi-distant future.
As for Bergeron, his contract demands can’t be outrageous as he’s now one of the team’s better defensive forwards. After going from a guy that was drafted and thought to be counted on for points and scoring into being a defensive match-up guy, it’ll be tough to throw heaps of money at him for his play. Then again, the Bruins have shown a history of paying up gobs of money out of the blue at random. Perhaps they’re using the Wheel of Fortune to decide contracts on occasion to keep it lively in the front office and to drive owner Jeremy Jacobs crazy.
Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks
The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee added some big names on Tuesday — most notably, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.
Ron Francis (inducted in 2007) and Jarri Kurri (2001) have been appointed to the committee, the Hall announced. Longtime hockey scribe and hockey insider Bob McKenzie was also named; together, he and Francis and Kurri will replace an outgoing trio of Lanny McDonald, Mike Emrick and Peter Stastny.
Francis currently serves as the GM in Carolina while Kurri holds the same title with Jokerit of the KHL.
McDonald resigned his spot on the committee to become chairman, while the terms of Stastny and Emrick expired.
The Hall also announced Eric Duhatschek, Michael Farber and Bill Torrey were reappointed to the selection committee for a further three-year term.
The next big meeting for the new members of the selection committee comes in late June, when everyone gathers to consider candidates for the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame.
The announcement for new inductees will be made on June 27. As we’ve written about in the past, the list of first-time eligible entrants isn’t exactly overwhelming, so this could be the year some “passed over” candidates get in.
Among those in that category? Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick, to name a few.