Report: Former Bruins’ first round pick Hamill signs in Finland

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Former Boston Bruins first round pick Zach Hamill has signed with HPK in Finland.

The report comes from hockey agent Darryl Wolski, the president of the 2112 Hockey Agency:

Hamill, the eighth overall selection at the 2007 NHL Draft, appeared in 20 games over three seasons registering four assists with Boston.

The 25-year-old also spent parts of five seasons with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence.

Last season the 5-foot-11, 180-pound center split time between the Utica Comets of the AHL and Barys Astana of the KHL.

Video: Bruins participate in commercials to promote NHL 15

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Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is the EA Sports NHL 15 cover boy and this week the video game company released a couple hilarious commercials to promote the game.

Bergeron and teammate Brad Marchand participated in the commercials, which were released over the last two days.

In his commercial, Bergeron reads poetry professing his love for the game of hockey while Marchand sings a ballad describing his addiction for the game.

Have a look:

Bergeron beat out Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban for the honor.

The video game is due out next month.

Bruins’ quiet summer could have an eventful finish

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The Boston Bruins watched Jarome Iginla walk away as a free agent this summer, but as far as adding players go, they’ve done almost nothing. Christopher Breen and Jeremy Smith are the only two unrestricted free agents they’ve brought on board from other organizations and it wouldn’t be surprising if neither of them are on the opening game roster.

Boston’s quiet summer might end with a bang though.

The Bruins are roughly $800,000 over the ceiling, according to Cap Geek. They will get to shave Marc Savard’s cap hit of roughly $4 million off the books, but at the same time, they still have to re-sign restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug. Once you factor in Smith and Krug, who are coming off strong seasons and likely want to get paid accordingly, the Bruins’ situation looks murky.

With that in mind, the Bruins might resort to making a trade to give themselves some breathing room. It’s been an option that’s been discussed all summer, but with time running out until training camp, Boston might finally pull the trigger.

Among the players that have been mentioned before as potential trade candidates are forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Marchand would provide the Bruins with some long-term relief given that he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million for another three seasons, but moving Boychuk or another blueliner might make more sense.

The Bruins have a defensive logjam as it is with six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Dougie Hamilton or Krug and there are certainly teams out there that would be very interested if the Bruins made a top-four defenseman available. Trading Boychuk would create about $3.4 million in cap space.

Perhaps GM Peter Chiarelli has an alternate solution in mind. We won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT

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Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Boston Bruins.

After falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final in 2013, the Boston Bruins entered the season with high expectations. They faced some adversity as one of their key offseason additions, Loui Eriksson, suffered multiple concussions and one of their top defenseman, Dennis Seidenberg, suffered a knee injury that ended his season in December.

Despite that, the Bruins’ regular season couldn’t have gone much better.

Tuukka Rask excelled in the first campaign of his eight-year, $56 million contract, posting a 2.04 GAA and .930 save percentage in 58 games en route to winning the Vezina Trophy. Jarome Iginla, who signed a one-year contract with them for the 2013-14 campaign, also proved to be a great fit with 30 goals and 61 points in 78 contests.

Propelled by superb goaltending and a deep offense, Boston claimed the Presidents’ Trophy with a 54-19-9 record. The Bruins cruised past Detroit in the first round, but ultimately lost a bitter seven-game series against Montreal.

Because of their difficult cap situation, the Bruins watched Iginla sign with Colorado and they also decided to cut ties with Shawn Thornton, who instead signed with Florida. Boston made no move to replace them through the free agent market and was equally quiet on the trade front. Instead, the Bruins are hoping that a healthy season out of Eriksson will help them replace the offense lost by Iginla.

With training camp mere weeks away, they also still need to sign restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug.

Although their summer hasn’t been exciting so far, the Bruins remain a well-rounded team that figures to be very competitive in 2014-15.

Cunningham could solve Bruins’ problems

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We mentioned last week the salary cap crunch the Boston Bruins are currently under. Adding to general manager Peter Chiarelli’s problems is the fact both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (both restricted free agents) are unsigned.

The Boston Globe suggested moving one of the Bruins pending unrestricted free agent defensemen in order to both clear cap room and potentially add a right winger – an area the Bruins are currently lacking since the departures of veterans Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton.

However, Bruins’ prospect Craig Cunningham has another idea.

Cunningham, the Bruins fourth-round selection at the 2010 NHL Draft, has his eyes set on the Bruins roster for the upcoming season.

“Once you play and get sent back down, it makes you that hungrier,” Cunningham told Steve Ewen of  The Province. “The life is night and day, pretty much. It’s the life that I want. Everything’s different.”

The 23-year-old made his NHL debut on Dec. 17, 2013 and also suited up for the Bruins April 13 – the only two games he has on his resume.

Cunningham has been a model of consistency at the AHL level with the Providence Bruins registering three straight seasons of 20-plus goals. This past season he led Providence in goals (25) and was third in points (47).

In July, Boston rewarded him with a new, one-year, two-way contract, which pays him $85, 000 at the AHL level and $600,000 at the NHL level.

Cunningham hasn’t really had an opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level and though he’s a right-shot, right-winger – what the Bruins could use, he’s hardly a guarantee to make the team.

Boston also has Jordan Caron, Justin Florek and Matt Fraser, who are all likely ahead of Cunningham in the pecking order.

“You need to go to camp in the best shape possible and see where you fit in and what role you can play,” said Cunningham. “It’s always nice to know that there’s an opportunity. It pushes you that much more throughout your summer.”

Cunningham will need to have an excellent showing during the preseason to get any sort of consideration for time in Boston.

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