Tuesday proved to be captaincy day across the NHL.
With new sweater letters being assigned in Buffalo, Edmonton and (eventually) Tampa Bay, Boston got in on the action by announcing that David Krejci and Chris Kelly would fill the alternate captaincy void left by Andrew Ference — who’s now captaining the Oilers.
Krejci and Kelly will rotate wearing the “A” and join a Boston leadership group featuring Zdeno Chara and the club’s other alternate, Patrice Bergeron. Their appointments make plenty of sense — Krejci has spent his entire seven-year career in Boston, appearing in over 500 games, while Kelly has been a key role player since arriving from Ottawa in 2011.
Contractually speaking, both players will be in Boston until at least 2015, at which time Krejci is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency (Kelly’s up in 2016).
It’ll be interesting to see how the alternate captaincy will affect Krejci’s negotiations when it comes time to create a new deal — the B’s already have some big-ticket contracts on the books for 2015-16, including Tuukka Rask ($7 million), Chara ($6.9 million), Bergeron ($6.5 million), Milan Lucic ($6 million) and Brad Marchand ($4.5 million).
Tampa Bay to name new captain tonight
Buffalo names Vanek, Ott co-captains
A’s for everyone: Oilers name six alternate captains
Carl Soderberg has been ruled out of 2014 Winter Olympic contention because of his decision to leave Team Sweden for the Boston Bruins, according to a report from Sport-Expressen.
Swedish head coach Par Marts said Soderberg has been “disqualified” after bailing on the national team in April, prior to the 2013 World Hockey Championships (which were being held in Sweden). Soderberg left to play with Boston in the late stages of the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs, signing a three-year deal.
Soderberg, 27, faced issues upon trying to join the Bruins. His transfer was temporarily blocked by the Swedish Ice Hockey Association — based on his selection for the Worlds — but was eventually green-lit, allowing Soderberg to appear in six regular season and two playoff games for the B’s.
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound skill forward, Soderberg has been a curious figure in the world of international hockey. Originally drafted by St. Louis in 2004, he’s spent the last eight seasons in Sweden and lead the league in goals last year. His breakout campaign coincided with Boston’s increased interest in bringing him to North America.
In speaking with Expressen, Marts said the decision to exclude Soderberg was his own — not the SIHA’s — and noted that Soderberg was not named to the 35-man orientation camp announced in late July.
The race to be the 13th forward in Boston was won by the incumbent rather than the outside challenger.
22 year-old Jordan Caron, Boston’s 2009 first-round pick, locked down the job as the team is putting Nick Johnson on waivers.
For Caron, winning the job as the extra forward could be a sign that coach Claude Julien believes he has it in him to thrive staying with the organization. It could also be his last chance to show the team he belongs as well.
Johnson, 27, was coming off a season that saw him score four goals in 17 games with the Phoenix Coyotes. Chances are good that he can clear waivers and remain in the organization. That means if Caron doesn’t keep his play up, the two can wind up changing places if needed.
Boston Bruins’ forward David Krejci will not play in tonight’s exhibition game against the Winnipeg Jets.
As Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reported on Twitter, Krejci is out with back spasms.
Krejci, 27, is coming off yet another sterling playoff performance for Boston. In the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup Final, he led to the NHL in playoff scoring with 26 points in 22 games.
Boston Bruins prospect Malcolm Subban faced his brother P.K. Subban on Monday and received a rude awakening via an 8-goal shellacking by the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, but now his NHL lessons appear to be over. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports that Bruins demoted Subban along with three other players on Sunday.
It appears that the Bruins are content to roll with Chad Johnson (or Niklas Svedberg) as Tuukka Rask’s backup. Subban, 19, and the rest of the B’s prospect will get more seasoning via training camp with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
Other cuts included Justin Florek, Carter Camper and Zach Trotman.
Haggerty points out that Trotman had an especially strong training camp despite not making the big squad.
Trotman had a sensational rookie training camp in Florida, potted a goal last week against the Canadiens on a searing blast from the point, and really entered himself into the conversation among Boston’s organizational depth along the blue line. But the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder also showed he might have some work to do in his own zone during the lopsided loss to Detroit on Thursday night, and will continue to work on those things at the AHL level.
Haggerty believes that Trotman could be the first Bruins’ call-up if needed.