Video: Schlemko converts on one-handed shootout move, Flames beat Bruins

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The Calgary Flames waited until the eighth round of the shootout to unleash their secret weapon — David Schlemko.

Yeah. That guy.

The 27-year-old defenseman Schlemko once scored four goals in an NHL season. That was for the Arizona Coyotes, back in 2010-11.

Making his Flames debut, and with Calgary needing a win to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race, Schlemko scored the shootout winner in the eighth round to give his new team a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

The Flames, without Mark Giordano for the remainder of the season and a below average puck possession team at even strength, continue to hang in there, third in the Pacific Division.

Words don’t do the Schlemko move justice. See for yourself.

Bruins sign former WHL captain Justin Hickman

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The Boston Bruins announced today that they’ve signed forward Justin Hickman to an entry-level contract.

From the release:

Hickman, 20, has spent the previous five campaigns with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League from 2010 to 2015, establishing career highs last season when he notched 22 goals (tied for fourth on the team), 24 assists (tied for sixth on the team) and 46 points (sixth on the team) with 154 penalty minutes (first on the team). Hickman served as team captain for the last two seasons.

No word what the B’s have planned for Hickman, who played five AHL games for Bridgeport in 2013-14 on an amateur tryout agreement.

Here’s Hickman earning a decision over Brandon’s Taylor Green back in 2013:

Julien talks up Bergeron as next Bruins captain

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There’s been plenty of talk about Zdeno Chara’s future in Boston this year, given his injury issues and the fact he turns 38 this month.

While nobody’s ready to write B’s captain yet — a title he’s held for nine seasons —  head coach Claude Julien acknowledged the club has a replacement candidate in mind.

“It’s probably undeniable that down the road when [Chara] is done with his career, if Bergeron is here it would be pretty hard to not make him the next captain,” Julien said, per CSNNE. “So I think he feels comfortable in dealing with issues that maybe he didn’t two or three years ago. I think that’s just a player being a little more of a veteran player every year, and that we’ve got some young players that need some leadership.

“So he’s kind of taken over a little bit.”

Wearing the “C” in Boston is a fairly big deal. Franchise icons like Terry O’Reilly, Rick Middleton and Ray Bourque all served as captains and, dating back to the earliest days of the franchise, legends like Dit Clapper, Milt Schmidt and Johnny Bucyk all held the title as well.

Bergeron does seem to be a nice fit to replace Chara when the veteran blueliner calls it a day. The 29-year-old has spent his entire 10-year career in Boston, winning a Stanley Cup (in 2011) and two Selke Trophies as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron has also served as an alternate captain since the 2006-07 season and has represented Canada at each of the last two Winter Olympics, helping the country capture gold both times.

(Video) PHT Extra: Cup contenders bolster blue lines, except for handcuffed Bruins

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The trade deadline came and went, with the blue lines of numerous Stanley Cup contenders growing deeper with additions.

But the Bruins’ defense stayed the same.

Related: Bruins ‘cap crunch’ made it ‘tough’ to get trades done

Chiarelli: Bruins ‘cap crunch’ made it ‘tough’ to get trades done

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When the dust settled on Monday’s trade deadline, Boston failed to land the impact forward or defenseman some envisioned, opting instead for Tampa Bay youngster Brett Connolly and Colorado veteran Max Talbot.

To hear GM Peter Chiarelli explain it, the lack of moves wasn’t for a lack of trying.

“It’s been tough as far as getting a trade done, getting any sort of transaction done,” he explained in his post-deadline media availability. “For us, we’re obviously under a cap crunch, but it’s just hard to get a deal done and you see the prices are so high.”

At forward, the B’s were linked to the likes of Chris Stewart (who went to Minnesota) and Cam Atkinson (who re-signed in Columbus on a three-year, $10.5 million deal). On defense, where the club has struggled this year and is shorthanded, the B’s were tied to a number of rentals — none of which panned out — and that was partly due to Chiarelli balancing the club’s immediate needs against it’s long-term health.

“We’re looking to the future and also to the present,” he said. “Our moves were necessitated by the prices and if we’re going to spend the picks that we spent, let’s look at all options, not just rental options.

“If I could fill every need, I would. It’s not a surprise or a revelation that our D, by losing [Johnny] Boychuk and [Kevan] Miller, our D is not what it was.”

When questioned about this approach given all the heat around his job security, Chiarelli was blunt.

“We’re all under pressure,” he said. “You’re a professional, you do what’s best for the organization.”

It was pretty clear, though, that finances dictated the day. It’s a financial situation that Chiarelli himself created; the bonus overages from Jarome Iginla’s contract put the B’s in a bind and led to jettisoning Boychuk prior to the start of the season, and also led to an inability to land rentals, like the club did prior to previous playoff runs (think Jaromir Jagr, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, Tomas Kaberle).

This year, different story. The Talbot acquisition relied on Colorado retaining 50 percent of the veteran’s salary, and Connolly — the sixth overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — was viewed as someone that could help some now, but probably pay more dividends down the road (as a RFA making just $850,500, the B’s can control his cost to a certain degree.)

“He’s going to be a top-six player,” he said of Connolly. “There’s a future for him here.”

As for the playoffs, Chiarelli said the focus hasn’t changed. He thinks the B’s are still good enough to get in, and the fight to qualify should serve the team well in the future.

“I feel we have a team that can make the playoffs,” he said. “They’ve been through a lot of adversity. The young players have grown and will continue to grow.”