Bruins recall top goalie prospect Malcolm Subban, Svedberg starts conditioning stint

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The Boston Bruins have decided to send goaltender Niklas Svedberg to AHL Providence so that he can participate in a conditioning stint, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Top prospect Malcolm Subban has been summoned to serve as the team’s number two netminder in his absence.

Svedberg is a 25-year-old rookie that’s had a strong season with a 2.22 GAA and .922 save percentage in 12 contests. However, the Bruins have been justifiably leaning on Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tuukka Rask and Svedberg has only gotten one January start as a result.

So this is an opportunity for Svedberg to stay sharp by getting some work in the minors, but it’s also a chance to reward 21-year-old Subban. He has a 2.47 GAA and .921 save percentage in 22 AHL games this season and was selected as the AHL Player of the Week for Jan. 19-25 after he recorded a 0.99 GAA and .967 save percentage in three starts.

Depending on how long Svedberg’s conditioning stint lasts, Subban might make his NHL debut during this stint as Boston is scheduled to play three games in four days from Feb. 7-10. Subban was taken with the 24th overall pick in 2012 and is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

Report: Bruins take step to release Gagne

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Simon Gagne’s attempt to stage a comeback after being out of the NHL for a season was successful as he participated in 23 games with Boston. On Jan. 12 though, he made it known that he was permanently leaving the Bruins.

“The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing,” Gagne said at the time. “To play in the NHL you have to be 100% mentally, emotionally and physically committed to the game. At this time I know that I cannot be close to those levels. The Bruins organization and my teammates have been great to my family and I during this time.”

The Bruins suspended him so that they could maintain a full roster. They took another step towards finalizing the process on Wednesday by placing him on unconditional waivers. If he clears, he will be released, according to an Associated Press source.

Gagne, who is a veteran of 822 NHL games, averaged 11:18 minutes per contest and recorded four points during his tenure with Boston. At the age of 34, he still might eventually attempt to return to the NHL once more.

Jacobs: Jury still out on Bruins

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The Boston Bruins may have gone into the All-Star break as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, but the team’s CEO, Charlie Jacobs, still isn’t satisfied.

Jacobs, of course, had previously called the Bruins’ season “unacceptable.”

And now?

“What are we, 6-1-3 in our last 10 games? I feel we’re certainly trending better. We’ll still have the odd game where we seem a bit uninspired, but I guess you’re going to have that in an 82-game schedule,” said Jacobs, per CSN New England. “Having said that all of that, the stuff that we’ve done with the better play has gotten us to eighth place.

“Do I feel better about it that we’re in a playoff spot? Yes. Do I wish we were in a better position than we are? Absolutely. Again, I’ll repeat that for this team to be even remotely close to missing the playoffs isn’t something we can be happy about. I would hope that this solid play continues for the next 10, the next 20 and for the rest of the season, frankly. We’re at where we’re at, we’ve dug ourselves a hole and we’re starting to get ourselves out of it. But until we have a nice playoff run, the jury is going to have to be out on this group.”

The B’s have a tough stretch coming out of the break with games against the Islanders, Kings, Rangers, Islanders again, and Montreal.

Leafs’ prospect Nylander using Bruins’ Pastrnak as motivation

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Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first-round pick William Nylander made his North American professional debut Friday night with the American Hockey League’s Marlies.

Not since the 2006-07 season when goaltender Justin Pogge made his AHL debut had there been such hype surrounding a Leafs’ pick in a Marlies sweater.

Unfortunately for the 18-year-old he was held off the scoresheet as the Marlies were blanked 3-0 by the Hamilton Bulldogs, the affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.

Nylander joined the Marlies after scoring eight goals and 20 points in 21 games for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League this season. He also appeared in seven games for Sweden at the world junior hockey championship scoring three goals and seven assists – leading his team with 10 points.

At the same tournament, Nylander’s close friend, and Bruins’ prospect, David Pastrnak had a team-leading seven points in five games for the Czech Republic. Following the tournament, the Bruins’ recalled Pastrnak, who had four goals and an assist in seven games prior to the NHL All-Star break.

Watching Pastrnak’s trajectory in such a short span has Nylander motivated.

“The work he’s put in, he deserves to be there,” Nylander said. “I’m really happy for him. We’re really close buddies back home so I mean seeing him score makes me happy and inspires me to keep working and hopefully one day I’ll get the chance. Even if it’s not this year, maybe next year. That’s your goal.”

One of the things the Marlies will work on with Nylander is adjusting to the physicality of the North American game.

“I think that’s one of the aspects of his game that we want him to improve upon,” said Leafs assistant general manager, Kyle Dubas. “It’s going to have to happen over here. I think at the world juniors you see he does put himself in positions with the puck where he gets run at and hit a lot. It’s not going to take long to take some hits from men where he’s going to know not to do it again.”

Nylander and the Marlies play host to the Bulldogs in the second half of a home and home Saturday afternoon before the American Hockey League pauses for its’ All-Star break.

Seguin blasts ‘party animal’ claims, says Bruins gave up on him

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In another great column by an NHL player in “The Players’ Tribune,” Tyler Seguin bared his soul – and at times, his teeth – regarding the trade that sent him from the Boston Bruins to the Dallas Stars.

While he explains that he let his play do the talking after the trade, Seguin took this opportunity to get some things off his chest. The rising star blasted critics of his character, stating that the Bruins parted ways with him for business reasons, not because he was some “immature, unfocused party animal.”

That business talk might imply that Seguin was going the hyper-professional, water-under-the-bridge route with his column, but not in every regard. At minimum, he was quite candid regarding his belief that Boston management quit on him.

Now that it’s all completely in the past, I can give you my honest answer. Do I think the Bruins gave up on me too early? Yes, I 100-percent believe that.

I had hoped to stay in Boston for a long time. I even put a deposit down on a house there just months before I was traded. I never got to move in.

But time has given me more perspective. Just about every professional athlete has an experience in which they learn firsthand that they indeed work for a business. The Boston trade was mine.

While the 22-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the team success with the Stars that came often (and early) with Boston, his individual game has only grown since that trade, as he’s developed an elite one-two punch alongside Jamie Benn.

Again, if you’d like to read up on his perspective, click here.

* – Former pro Sean Avery’s insight on a rookie’s financial pressures also ranks as a fascinating read.