Bruins haven't made progress with Chara or Bergeron on contract extensions

zdenochara-elsa-gettyimages.jpgThe Boston Bruins have had their own adventurous summer of sorts. After getting bounced out of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games after once holding a 3-0 series lead, the Bruins’ summer has consisted of fighting off Marc Savard trade rumors, going to arbitration with Blake Wheeler and dealing with losing Marco Sturm until at least November. If you think that sounds like a daunting off-season, a summer where you’re trying to re-sign Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron sounds as equally appealing and it’s why the Bruins are already talking to those players.

Of course, talking and making progress are two entirely different things as ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy finds out.

That’s why it’s not surprising to hear that there is nothing new to report on the Bergeron and Chara extension talks. Chiarelli and Chara’s agent were unavailable to comment on the matter Tuesday but a source told ESPNBoston.com that it’s status quo on Chara, and Bergeron’s agent Kent Hughes said the same regarding the center.

“Nothing to report at this point on the contract front,” Hughes told ESPNBoston.com.

There has been speculation that the recent arbitration ruling that rescinded Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal for circumventing the spirit of the CBA, and the subsequent focus and continuing investigations of similarly front-loaded deals like that of Bergeron’s teammate Marc Savard could have an effect on the extension talks with Bergeron and Chara.

But Hughes said he doesn’t expect that issue to impact Bergeron because the 25-year-old isn’t about to sign a “retirement” contract.

“Kovalchuk is unlikely to impact Patrice on this contract,” Hughes said. “He is 25 years old and I don’t anticipate him signing past his 40th birthday. I don’t expect this to be his last contract.”

We’ve hit on the potential Kovalchuk impact on the Bruins future deals earlier, but the Bruins do have some good things going for them in that there’s a ton of money coming off their cap after this season so the stress to get a “creative” deal done with Chara and Bergeron is low. They certainly don’t need to get a deal done sooner than not, but you’d always like to avoid having two unrestricted free agents avoid making it to July 1 in the first place. Let’s just hope for the Bruins and their fans’ sake that Chara and Bergeron aren’t opposed to negotiating new deals during the season.

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    McDavid says Lucic gives Oilers ‘that swagger’

    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 09:  Milan Lucic #17 of the Los Angeles Kings looks on during the second period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on February 9, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    Sure, being close to home doesn’t hurt, but Milan Lucic cited Connor McDavid‘s presence in Edmonton as a big reason why he signed with the Oilers.

    ” … To have that opportunity to play with a player like that doesn’t come around so often,” Lucic said of McDavid.

    It’s to the point where Lucic almost looked like a run-of-the-mill fan himself:

    The good news for Lucic and the Oilers: the feeling seems mutual.

    McDavid expressed his excitement to NHL.com that Edmonton added a big, intimidating presence earlier this week.

    “It means so much,” McDavid said. “It kind of gives us that swagger, that meanness that we have been looking for …”

    The towering winger does tend to make an impression. Just consider what happened in his first game with the Los Angeles Kings:

    He also gave Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse something of a welcome to the NHL, as this was the blueliner’s first fight:

    Look, in a brutal sport like hockey, just about everyone wants to be feared. Just look at the Montreal Canadiens’ polarizing off-season direction.

    When the adrenaline wears off after a big hit or violent fight, fans will want to see results on the scoreboard and in the standings. It remains to be seen if the Oilers truly made strides in that regard during a summer of change.

    On the bright side, their wunderkind star and expensive new addition are at least on the same page.

    Report: Las Vegas NHL team asked permission to speak with Capitals assistant GM

    NEW YORK - APRIL 20: George McPhee, VP and GM of the Washington Capitals speaks with reporters following the National Hockey League Board of Governors meeting at the Westin New York Hotel on April 20, 2005 in New York City. Representatives from all 30 NHL teams met in New York for the second time in seven weeks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    It’s been 10 days since George McPhee was officially announced as general manager of the expansion Las Vegas franchise.

    Based on a report Friday, it appears he’s looking to possibly add a familiar face from the Washington Capitals to his staff.

    Building a front office beyond his position is among the top priorities on his list of things to get done, as that franchise prepares for key dates like next year’s expansion draft.

    There is a long history between McPhee and Mahoney from their days with Washington.

    From CSN Mid-Atlantic:

    Ross Mahoney was hired by McPhee to be the director of amateur scouting for the Caps which he did for 16 seasons before becoming assistant general manager. If you thought the team drafted well during McPhee’s tenure, Mahoney is a major reason why.

    The Caps are in a tricky position here. Denying employees the chance to seek other opportunities looks bad, but then again the Capitals don’t want to see their entire office raided by Vegas.

    Related: McPhee wants Las Vegas team to compete right away; history says it won’t be easy

    Fore! NHL referee makes the cut at PGA Tour’s Canadian Open

    OAKVILLE, ON - JULY 22: Garrett Rank hits his second shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club on July 22, 2016 in Oakville, Canada.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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    There has always seemed to be a connection between hockey players and the game of golf. Some are better than others when it comes to the links.

    Take NHL referee Garrett Rank, for example.

    Rank, also an amateur golfer, has made the cut at the 2016 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club just south of Toronto. He’s currently tied for 36th at even par heading into the weekend. He also sits seven shots behind the leader, Dustin Johnson, the future son-in-law of The Great One, Wayne Gretzky.

    Rank, who joined the NHL Officials Association in 2014, has split his time between officiating in the NHL and the American Hockey League. But, according to the PGA Tour website, he was hired as a full-time NHL ref the day before the opening round of this week’s Canadian Open.

    “I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t take my clubs with me when I was on the road,” he told the PGA Tour website. “I think it helps me and makes it a little easier for me because I know that this isn’t the end of the world, whether I shot 65 or 75.”

    Rank, 28, is also a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, after initially feeling discomfort while officiating a game.

    “When I got the news I tried to maintain a positive attitude,” he told the Toronto Sun. “And you know what, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise. You never want to have cancer wished upon someone but I think it gave me a little better outlook in terms of a bad call on the ice wasn’t as bad. Or hitting a bad shot on the golf course wasn’t the end of the world.

    “It has allowed me to stay patient and be grateful for the opportunities and things I have in life.”

    Related: PHT Morning Skate: James Wisniewski caddies for PGA Tour golfer Jason Day

    Price’s previous injury ‘no longer a concern,’ says Habs goalie coach

    Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price stops a shot during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in New York  (AP Photo/Paul Bereswill)
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    More good news when it comes to Carey Price.

    After Price had said last month he was 100 per cent healthy following an MCL sprain that ultimately ended his season, Montreal Canadiens goalie coach Stephane Waite reaffirmed that earlier this week in an interview with RDS. That should provide Habs fans with at least a little bit of optimism when it comes to the goalie position after a rather tumultuous summer.

    “I’m not a doctor, but all I know is that on the ice it was perfect,” Waite told RDS, as per The Hockey News. “It is 100 percent restored. We are happy and our medical staff did a great job with him to bring him to the top. It is no longer a concern, he is ready to go.”

    Habs fans have had a difficult few months. With Price injured, the Canadiens quickly fell out of the playoff race. The off-season has ushered in tremendous change, with the additions of Andrew Shaw and Shea Weber, while the departure of P.K. Subban in that deal with Nashville remains probably the most contentious development in the NHL during the summer.

    It is still reality right now that the Habs’ success is still dependent on their goalie Price.

    The 28-year-old Price last played a game on Nov. 25, so it’s difficult to imagine there wouldn’t be some initial rust when it comes to getting acclimated once again to game action.

    He is also among the three goalies named to Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, which starts Sept. 17. Braden Holtby and Corey Crawford were also named to the squad.

    Price started and starred for Canada in its gold-medal win at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, while Holtby and Crawford are established and accomplished NHL goalies.

    “It’s a long-ways off,” said Price earlier in the spring, as per NHL.com. “I know I’ll be prepared for that.”