The Montreal Canadiens are bringing an extra defenseman to training camp this week and, if he doesn’t crack the blueline, could contribute to the city’s thriving music scene.
Matt Lashoff — Boston’s first-round pick at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft — has been invited to Habs camp on a PTO, the club announced on Monday.
Lashoff, 26, spent last season playing for the ZSC Lions of the Swiss league.
A former OHL Kitchener standout, Lashoff spent four years with the B’s organization before being flipped to Tampa in 2009 as part of the Mark Recchi trade. After a brief stint with the Bolts, he was flipped to Toronto in 2010 and 11 games for the Leafs, spending the majority of his time with the AHL Marlies.
Montreal will have 16 defensemen at camp and are loaded with NHL contracts (projected top eight: P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Douglas Murray, Francis Bouillon, Raphael Diaz, David Drewiske, Jarred Tinordi).
The club is bringing in extras to fill the gap left by the injured Alexei Emelin but, even with that opportunity open, Lashoff will still be in tough to make the team.
But that’s probably OK. In addition to hockey, Lashoff is a budding musician who released his first album, “Living On Heart,” in early 2011.
No word if he passed along his demo tape to Starla at KZOG 530.
Torey Krug has been an underdog most of his professional hockey career, and that hasn’t changed despite a breakout post-season this past spring.
The undersized defenseman who emerged from almost out of nowhere to score four goals and six points in the Boston Bruins run to the Stanley Cup Final is still fighting for a job in the starting lineup with the NHL club as a new season comes upon us.
“My goal is to be on the team opening night and throughout the season,” Krug told ESPN Boston, “but management is the one making that decision, so I’m just going to keep my head down, remain confident and do what I do.”
The 22-year-old Krug, listed at 5’9” and 180 pounds, was never drafted and had only three games worth of NHL experience to his credit prior to the 2013 playoffs. He spent most of last season with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, and began the playoffs there as well.
But he turned heads in the Eastern Conference semifinal against the New York Rangers, going on a tear that included scoring four goals in five games to help the Bruins advance.
His performance earned him the nod for top rookie at the halfway point of the playoffs, as decided by NHL.com writers, as per John Kreiser of NHL.com.
“It’s unbelievable, the poise he has with the puck. It’s nice to see a guy like Torey play so well,” Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg back in May.
“I don’t know if it’s out of nowhere. There’s got to be a reason [the Bruins] wanted him so badly. I think they knew what they had.”
Months later, Pittsburgh Penguins stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin looked back at that Eastern Conference finals sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins with ESPN. There’s no denying it; it’s taken a while for them to recover.
“It stung,” Crosby said.
“It was one of those ones that definitely took a while to wear off. Looking back, probably right until Chicago won, it was pretty tough to go a day without it crossing your mind when you’re seeing the finals going on. I didn’t watch a game until Game 6. I tried not to think about it too much, but it did pass through my mind. I think until I started working out and started to get ready for this year, it was tough to turn the page there.”
Malkin emphasized the shock of going from being the highest scoring team in the NHL to a squad that could manage just two goals in four high-profile games, wondering if it was more a matter of luck or Boston’s great play.
Still, with Kris Letang re-signed and Rob Scuderi back in the fold, the Penguins are excited about 2013-14.
“We know [we] have great chance to win one again,” Malkin said.
Back in June, Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell made a last impression by staying on the ice despite breaking his leg while blocking a shot in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. It should come as no surprise that teammates were delighted to see the 29-year-old take the ice with teammates for the first time since suffering that injury on Thursday, then.
“Seeing him out there today, he’s finally smiling, so it’s nice to see him and just have him in the room being himself and being part of the team and doing everything with us,” Johnny Boychuk said.
Campbell seemed confident that he’d be ready to return for training camp when asked in August, and it looks like that will indeed work out.
In case you didn’t soak it up enough during the playoffs, check out that courageous effort from Game 3 of the Bruins’ eventual sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the video below:
Loui Eriksson didn’t make the call to be traded from Dallas, but it sounds like he’s embraced the move to Boston.
He skated with the Bruins for the first time on Monday and told reporters about his eagerness to start on Tuesday, as CSNNE.com reports. Part of that excitement seems to have been stoked by former Bruins forward (and fellow Swede) P.J. Axelsson.
“[Axelsson] really loved it here. It’s a great town to play in, great fans and a really great organization,” Eriksson said. “I’m excited to be here, and really ready to go. Playing my first game here [in Boston] is going to be awesome. [It will be] a great feeling.”
Eriksson, 28, is frequently mentioned among the most underrated forwards in the NHL. Playing in Boston could very well change that, which might just be another reason for him to get excited.