Report: Patrice Bergeron could receive lengthy extension this summer


When jaw-punching wasn’t being discussed, TSN’s Insider Trading segment produced some intriguing reports on Friday, including word that the Boston Bruins hope to lock up Patrice Bergeron to a lengthy contract extension this summer.

Pierre LeBrun reports that it could be an eight-year deal for the 27-year-old whose current $5 million cap hit expires after the 2013-14 season.

Such a pact would keep the 2012 Selke Trophy winner (and 2013 nominee) in Beantown for the remainder of his prime years, if not the rest of his career.

Bergeron is currently on a four-game point streak (three goals and two assists) to go along with his renowned work in the faceoff circle and generally stout defensive play. Quite a few of his six postseason goals have been memorable, especially one that Toronto Maple Leafs fans are unlikely to forget.

The two-way center has a worrisome concussion history, but his versatile play is crucial to Boston’s success, so locking him up makes a lot of sense.

Even so, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli might have more immediate concerns this summer in the form of players with expiring contracts. Tuukka Rask will be a restricted free agent and Nathan Horton could command a big raise considering his playoff production and unrestricted status.

Check out the full TSN Insider Trading segment for more talk, including rumors about the future for Claude Giroux, Sergei Bobrovsky and Jonathan Bernier.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?