Chad Johnson #31 of the Phoenix Coyotes makes a save against the St. Louis Blues in the third period at the Scottrade Center on April 18, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues beat the Coyotes 2-1 in a shootout.
(April 17, 2013 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

There’s competition for Bruins’ backup goalie gig

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There’s no question that Tuukka Rask will enter the 2013-14 campaign as the Boston Bruins’ undisputed starting goaltender. He was superb in the lockout-shortened season after spending years as the overqualified backup of Tim Thomas.

The fact that the Bruins signed him to an eight-year, $56 million contract speaks volumes about their level of confidence in him and it’s warranted. But Rask’s understudy will still have relevancy next season.

After all, while the Bruins will lean on Rask, the 26-year-old has never played in more than 45 NHL games in a single season. If you expand those numbers to include the minors and professional European leagues, Rask’s regular season career-high was in 2008-09 when he played in 57 contests with the AHL Providence Bruins.

So the Bruins might be cautious about overworking him and with Anton Khudobin gone, they don’t have a clear backup netminder. Chad Johnson, who is 27 years old and has 10 games worth of NHL experience, signed a one-way contract, so he would seem to have the inside track going into training camp, but he’s not the only candidate.

23-year-old goaltender Niklas Svedberg is coming off a great season where he recorded a 2.17 GAA and .925 save percentage in 48 games with Providence. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has confirmed that Svedberg will get a shot to win the number two spot, according to the team’s Twitter account.

Malcolm Subban, 19, would be an exciting candidate, but the Bruins aren’t looking to rush him to the NHL. He will start the 2013-14 season in the AHL after a superb campaign with the OHL Belleville Bulls.

Chiarelli says Bruins won’t bring back Jagr

Jaromir Jagr
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Jaromir Jagr’s time as a Boston Bruin is officially at an end.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli spoke with reporters today and confirmed the team is done with Jagr and looking to go with younger players to fill the roster on the wing. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty has the update.

“I was asked a couple of times about [Jagr], and we’re done for now,” said Chiarelli. “Obviously you want to develop your talent and bring them in and let them play. Sometimes there’s not room for them and sometimes you use them as chips in deals, but you always have to develop. To be in a position where they’re ready to play breathes new life into everybody.”

One thing the Bruins don’t have to worry about is bringing in new people. Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton, Anton Khudobin, and Jagr are all off to new locations for next season.

With so many openings and not much going on via free agency (sorry Jarome Iginla), competition figures to be fierce in training camp amongst the youngsters.

After agreeing to contract extension with Bruins, Bergeron says recovery ‘going well’

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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He was suffering from a broken rib, small puncture in the lung and a separated shoulder, and still he played in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The price paid trying to win it all.

On Friday, after it was announced that Patrice Bergeron agreed to an eight-year extension worth $52 million with the Boston Bruins, the skilled two-way center opened up about the recovery process from his injuries sustained during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

There’s no quick fix, no easy solution. It will take time to for these injuries to heal.

“It’s going well. It’s going the way that it should be. I still have — it’s going to be three weeks next Monday – so I still have another week after that. I need to be off for four weeks,” said Bergeron, according to CSNNE.com.

“I spoke to the doctors earlier this week, and they said I should not do anything for four weeks.

“It’s longer than expected I guess, but things are going well. I’m feeling good and I can’t wait to start working out again. [I can’t wait] to just get started to get ready for next year.”

Bruins aren’t likely to make salary-shedding trade

bradmarchandsmirkgetty
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After signing goaltender Tuukka Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract, the Boston Bruins are up against the salary cap. In fact, they’re technically over it, which has led to rumors that Chris Kelly or Brad Marchand might be on their way out.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli attempted to kill those rumors by saying that he’s comfortable with the Bruins’ current cap situation. Furthermore, he doesn’t anticipate making significant moves of any kind for the remainder of the summer.

“I think right now we’re going to stand pat. I like the fact that we’re going to have competition on the third line. We have some good young players already in the organization that we just recently acquired,” Chiarelli told CSN New England. “You never know what happens after the summer, but [off-season transactions] will slow down. It has slowed down [already].

“As of right now, we’re going to stand pat. Things may change, but that’s just where we are right now.”

As mentioned above, the Bruins have exceeded the cap ceiling, but that’s not true in practice.

That’s largely because Marc Savard will spend another season on the long-term injured reserve list due to his career-ending concussion. Jarome Iginla’s contract is also bonus-laden, which means that his cap hit for 2013-14 can be as low as $1.8 million. However, if Iginla fulfills enough bonuses to exceed the cap, then the difference will be put towards the Boston Bruins’ 2014-15 cap hit.

That might not sound ideal, but given that the cap is projected to raise significantly in 2014-15, they likely view it as a tolerable outcome. At least, they seem comfortable enough with it to keep Marchand and Kelly.

Bruins sign Rask — eight years, $56 million

Tuukka Rask
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The Boston Bruins have signed goalie Tuukka Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract, the club announced today.

The contract — which should come as no shock, given it was reportedly in the works last week — features a cap hit of $7 million. Only one other goalie in the NHL has a cap hit that high: Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (also $7 million).

In 2013, Rask went 19-10-5 with a .929 save percentage during the regular season. Then, in the playoffs, his .940 save percentage in 22 games was tops among all starters as the B’s made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Rask, 26, is coming off a one-year, $3.5 million deal that he signed last summer. The Bruins had wanted to lock up their young netminder for longer, but ultimately both sides kicked the can down the road a season.

For Rask, it turned out to be a good gamble to take the “prove it” contract.