josetheodorewincegetty

Update: ‘No truth’ to reports of Bruins signing Theodore

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Update: TSN’s Bob McKenzie was told there’s “no truth” to the Bruins signing Theodore, which agent Don Meehan backed up to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press.

For a while, it looked like inexperienced netminder Chad Johnson might be Tuukka Rask’s backup in Boston. While it’s by no means a done deal, TVA Sports reports that the Bruins are closing in on a one-year contract with veteran goalie Jose Theodore.

The pact is expected to fall somewhere between $800K and $1 million, according to the report.

Theodore, 36, has 648 regular season games under his belt, including a particularly injury-prone and difficult 2013 season with the Florida Panthers. He generated nice numbers as a backup in Florida and Minnesota the previous two seasons, however, so he could very well provide Rask with a nice safety net.

(He also has a Hart Trophy on his resume.)

It’s unclear what this means for Johnson if this deal does come to fruition. He has a one-way deal worth $600K, so perhaps the Bruins will be comfortable stashing him in the AHL.

Then again, Theodore faced some serious injury problems last season, so Johnson might still receive reps at the NHL level this season.

Rask’s quietly effective 2013 backup Anton Khudobin signed with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this summer.

Bruins’ Thornton: I won’t retire ‘until they rip the skates off of me’

shawnthorntongetty
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When Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton’s current contract expires next summer, he’ll be 37. Thornton told CSNNE.com that he won’t be riding off into the sunset if he has it his way, though.

“I’m going to play until they rip the skates off of me, and tell me that I can’t anymore,” Thornton said on Monday. “I’m aware of how old I am, but I definitely don’t feel it. I’ve been fairly consistent over the last few years, I think. People probably have varying opinions about that, but I’ll continue to do everything I can do to show up in good shape.”

(Don’t feel bad if you picture someone trying to literally rip Thornton’s skates off. Bonus points if you imagine Thornton sticking his feet up in the air to aid the process, much like a small child would.)

While Thornton has bounced around the NHL, he’s only had one significant run of games that didn’t come in a Boston Bruins uniform (He played 48 games for Anaheim in 2006-07 before becoming a regular with the B’s in 2007-08).

For a player with limited skills like Thornton, approaching the 500 regular season games played mark is a nice accomplishment, but he’s clearly hungry for more.

Video: Bruins’ Campbell should be ready for start of training camp

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Three
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With one play, Gregory Campbell epitomized what players will do to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Boston Bruins forward suffered a broken leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin slap shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Campbell, in extreme pain, somehow struggled to his feet and finished his penalty-killing shift before hobbling off the ice.

The Bruins’ fans, in appreciation, began chanting ‘Camp-bell! Camp-bell!‘ Courageous as it was, the injury forced him out of the playoffs.

However, as Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports, Campbell is “…on track to be ready for the start of training camp next month.”

“He was in town a couple of weeks ago, and he borrowed my car because he’s too cheap to go out and rent one,” Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton CSNNE.com.

“He looks pretty good. He’s up walking around, and he said that he’s working out. He looks good, so I’m hoping he’s ready to go at the start of camp.”

Poll: Where does Julien rank among Bruins’ coaching greats?

Claude Julien
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On paper, few Boston coaches have achieved more than Claude Julien.

He ranks second all-time in wins and made the playoffs every season since taking the gig in 2008. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011, advanced to the Final last year, became the third coach in franchise history to win the Jack Adams and was recently named to Team Canada’s staff for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

But remember, this is Boston.

It’s not easy to be considered among the greats.

There are 11 Hockey Hall of Famers that have served as head coach (Art Ross, Cy Denneny, Frank Patrick, Lynn Patrick, Cooney Weiland, Dit Clapper, Georges Boucher, Milt Schmidt, Harry Sinden, Tom Johnson and Gerry Cheevers.)

Those not in the Hall — Don Cherry, Pat Burns, Terry O’Reilly — hold a special place in the organization as well.

Then there’s Julien himself. He lacks the flamboyance/personality of some of his predecessors and comes across as extremely humble. Consider what he said back in March upon passing Schmidt for No. 2 all-time in Bruins’ wins.

“I certainly don’t perceive myself to be in the same category as Milt Schmidt. You’ve got to understand, it’s a different era. Ties were ties and that’s the way it ended.

“We play 82 games and they played somewhere around the 60 mark, if not less, but it’s a lot different era.

“It’s a number, a number of wins, but I’m certainly not ready to compare myself to him and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Milt, and even for Grapes [Cherry, third on list with 231 wins]. Those guys have done a lot for the game.

“It’s nice to know that you’re with them in regards to the number of wins, but certainly not willing to say I’m in the same category as them, yet.”

Let’s turn the discussion over to you, the readers. Where do you put Julien among the greatest Boston coaches of all time?

It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
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Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins.

The Boston Bruins came as close as you can to winning the Stanley Cup without doing so. They were moments away from winning Game 6 against Chicago but gave up two goals 17 seconds apart with about a minute to go and saw their dreams dashed on their own ice.

Now they’re heading into next season with a drastically different team and the same lofty level of expectations of winning another Stanley Cup. It’s never not boring in Boston.

Offseason recap

What didn’t happen to the Bruins this summer? They sent apparent party boy Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas for Loui Eriksson. They watched Nathan Horton (Columbus), Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey), Andrew Ference (Edmonton), and Anton Khudobin (Carolina) all walk away in free agency.

Their lone signing in free agency didn’t come without drama as they signed the guy who turned down a trade to go there last season in Jarome Iginla. That makes for an awkward return to Boston, especially after the Bruins knocked out the team he did opt to go to (Pittsburgh) in the Eastern Conference finals.

Two areas they didn’t tweak were ones they’re all set at. Losing Ference may hurt them on defense, but guys like Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, and Torey Krug are ready to tackle big minutes regularly.  Tuukka Rask was snubbed for a Vezina Trophy finalist spot but proved he’s the man in goal. They’ll have healthy competition to see who backs him up between Niklas Svedberg and Chad Johnson.

Next season will hinge on how the virtual new set of forwards works out. Coach Claude Julien’s ability to get his team on the same page will be more than tested.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series