As the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate their second Stanley Cup victory in four years, they took a moment to write a full-page ad that appeared in the Boston Globe, praising the city and their opponents, the Bruins.
The ad says the following (per CSN New England):
“Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.
“On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the entire Wirtz Corporation, we want to personally express our heartfelt appreciation to your city, the Bruins organization, and especially the citizens of Boston for the remarkable welcome you showed our team and the many Chicagoans who visited.
“From Boston’s political leadership to every member of the Bruins organization, from the players to the people on the streets, you demonstrated respect, good sportsmanship, and a genuine love of the great game of hockey.
“Like the rest of the world, Chicagoans have been reminded in recent days of Boston’s strength. Please know we tip our hat to your city’s big heart and gracious spirit. You lead by example and have set the bar very high for others to follow.”
It was signed by Blackhawks CEO John McDonough and chairman Rocky Wirtz.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Jaromir Jagr will not be back with the Boston Bruins next season.
“I don’t think they want me back,” said the future Hall of Famer today, per Dan Cagen of MetroWest Daily News.
Jagr carried a $4.5 million cap hit last season, so it might not be entirely accurate to say the Bruins don’t “want” him back. With star goalie Tuukka Rask needing a new contract and the cap falling to $64.3 million, they may not have a choice. (Also see: Andrew Ference.)
“We do have some hard decisions to make, including on re-signing players and retaining players,” said general manager Peter Chiarelli.
Jagr is also 41. Among NHLers last season, only Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne was older.
Concerns about Jagr’s durability will only be heightened by the back injury he sustained in the Stanley Cup Final; however, he did say he wants to keep playing in the NHL.
Meanwhile, winger Nathan Horton’s future in Boston is less clear. It’s likely he’ll need surgery to repair his troublesome shoulder.
Horton, 28, is a pending UFA that finished the playoffs with 19 points in 22 games. Troublesome shoulder or not, he’ll have plenty of suitors should he hit the open market on July 5.
“I can’t predict what’s going to happen,” said Horton.
Update: CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty has more, including one source that says Horton may take less to stay with the B’s.
Andrew Ference will be moving on from the Boston Bruins, CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty is reporting.
Ference, 34, is a pending unrestricted free agent coming off a three-year, $6.75 million contract. With the salary cap falling to $64.3 million and young d-men Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski expected to be regulars in the Boston lineup next season, there isn’t room to sign the veteran who won a Stanley Cup with the B’s in 2011.
“With the current cap, [Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli] is not going to be able to keep me,” said Ference. “He’s got to re-sign [goalie Tuukka Rask] and obviously do his side of the business.”
The Bruins also have veteran blue-liners Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, and Adam McQuaid under contract through at least next season.
There was talk that Zdeno Chara was playing hurt in the Stanley Cup Final, which was proven as fact following Monday night’s Chicago Blackhawks Game 6 victory.
With the win, the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years.
It appeared to some, including CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, that Chara, the Bruins’ towering defenseman and captain was playing with some sort of injury during the final.
But, Chara would not confirm that. However, his coach did admit that Chara was not at 100 per cent health, which is common for players during the playoffs.
“You have to give them credit for putting a strategy together, but at the same time Zdeno is one of those players that unfortunately wasn’t 100 percent,” said Claude Julien, as per CSNNE.com. “So he battled through it, and that’s what I mean by being proud of those guys.
“Playing hurt is part of it, and our guys did that. That’s why I say you’ve got to be extremely proud of those guys. It’s going to take a little while before we can realize the accomplishment that we had in making it to the Final again, but right now it doesn’t feel good.”
Chara wasn’t the only member of the Bruins playing in discomfort or full-on injury.
Patrice Bergeron was playing with a broken rib and a separated shoulder.
The Boston Bruins were two wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Instead, they felt the crushing blow of defeat, as the Chicago Blackhawks, in thrilling but improbable fashion, snatched the victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
That gave the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup championship for 2013. For the Bruins, the process has already shifted to the club’s off-season plans, and that includes the compliance buyout, which every team is allowed two.
The buyout period begins Wednesday, just 48 hours after the Bruins lost the silver chalice.
According to a report from Joe Haggerty of CSN New England, the Bruins will not use the buyouts.
Instead, the players would like to see the group stick together going forward.
“We say the same things every season,” Bruins forward Shawn Thornton told CSNNE.com.
“Some things are probably going to change in the offseason, but we’re a tight group in there. We get along and we’ve loved each other for the last few years. [The Stanley Cup Final loss] is a tough pill to swallow right now, that’s for sure.”