The 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There has been speculation that the recent arbitration ruling that rescinded Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal for circumventing the spirit of the CBA, and the subsequent focus and continuing investigations of similarly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.
(Photo: Elsa – Getty Images)
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.