Peter Chiarelli

Bruins sign GM Chiarelli to four-year extension


There’s no point in fixing something that’s not broken and that’s just what the Bruins are doing.

The team announced they’ve signed general manager Peter Chiarelli to a four-year extension to stay with the organization through the 2017-18 season. He’ll also be the team’s Alternate Governor.

Since Chiarelli took over as GM of the Bruins back in 2006, they’ve made the playoffs in six straight seasons including winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the team’s first since 1972. Getting a team to the postseason in six of your seven seasons at the helm sounds like a success to me.

He’s spent this summer finding ways to re-work the Bruins roster by shipping out Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley for Loui Eriksson and signing Jarome Iginla. His time in Boston has seen its share of ups (Cup win) and downs (Tim Thomas and Marc Savard for very different reasons) but the Bruins have yet to crumble under the drama. That says a lot for the job both he and coach Claude Julien have done there.

Chiarelli has done well enough in his job with the Bruins to earn a spot on Team Canada’s executive staff to choose the 2014 Olympic team serving under Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

Bergeron feels ’95 percent,’ should be ready for Bruins training camp


Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron might have entered the 2013 offseason with the largest list of injuries to heal from of any NHL player,* but the good news is that he’s almost there.

In fact, the 28-year-old forward provides an amusingly specific assessment of his condition: he’s at about 95 percent. The CBC’s Tim Wharnsby provides Bergeron’s full comment via Sunday’s Team Canada press conference.

“I’m about 95 per cent,” Bergeron said. “I’ve been on the ice and feel confident I’ll be ready for training camp and the start of the season.”

This falls in line with Bergeron’s optimistic – if impatient – update from a couple weeks ago, which followed the news of the Bruins handing the elite two-way player an eight-year, $52 million contract extension.

Of course, Bergeron needs to be himself to live up to that hefty extension, so these positive steps are heartening for the Bruins. Opting against surgery/surgeries seems like a wise choice so far, but we’ll see how his rehab comes along.

Team Canada might just want to make sure that the versatile (yet less flashy) forward is at his best in 2013-14, too.

* – You never know with these guys, though.


Bergeron discusses playing with pain

Boston gives him a big extension

Bruins prospect Spooner will try to ‘open some eyes’ at training camp

2010 NHL Entry Draft - Day 2
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Ryan Spooner got his first taste of life in the National Hockey League last season.

It was a brief sample, only four games with the Boston Bruins. He didn’t register a point. But now he wants to turn that fleeting experience into a more long-term career, as training camp looms closer every day.

Spooner came to the Bruins as a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. Having an everyday impact in Boston appears to be a difficult feat for the 21-year-old center.

As Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen points out, there are four well-established NHLers ahead of Spooner, including Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Chris Kelly, and Gregory Campbell.

Though it’s worth pointing out that Campbell is coming off a broken leg, suffered when he blocked an Evgeni Malkin slap shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think the only thing for me to do in camp is play my game and just try to open some eyes, show them that I’m ready to play,” Spooner told the Ottawa Citizen on Thursday.

“I think if I do that, hopefully they’ll make a spot for me.

“If not, I’d be upset going back to Providence to play, but it’s a great league down there, too, and the coaching staff is great, so I can learn a lot of stuff down there.”

Bruins promote Gretzky’s brother, bolster front office


The Boston Bruins tweaked their front office on Tuesday, and while the moves will mainly make an impact behind the scenes, you might know a couple of the names.

To start things off, they promoted Wayne Gretzky’s brother Keith to director of amateur scouting, helping to fill the void of recently fired scouting head Wayne Smith. Keith Gretzky has piled up quite a bit of scouting experience. He began with a scouting position as a part of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001, eventually becoming their director of amateur scouting in 2006.

(Unfortunately, many writers still insist on noting that he’s Wayne Gretzky’s brother. Poor guy.)

The team also added former Bruins player P.J. Axelsson (pictured) as a European scout and Keith Sullivan as an amateur scout. Axelsson played 11 seasons for Boston, last playing for the B’s in 2008-09.

Sullivan spent four seasons as a scout for the Coyotes and one with the Winnipeg Jets.

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


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.