2015 NHL Draft - Round One
Getty Images

Bruins’ top picks fail conditioning test


A summer rife with not-so-good headlines continued for Boston Bruins fans, as the team’s trio of 2015 first-round picks seem to be limping out of the gate.

All three of those top picks – Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk and Zach Sensyshyn – failed the team’s conditioning test on Thursday, according to CSNNE.com.

Here’s a quick description of the drill, which could be filed under “reasons fans shouldn’t always envy professional athletes.”

The test consists of a series of six back-and-forth 300 meter sprints with three minutes of rest in between each run, and all of them must be completed in under one minute’s time.

There are some caveats, as GM Don Sweeney told CSNNE.com that they were running on a “wet, slippery turf surface.”

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the trio fell short of the mark with that same test back in July.

DeBrusk was the closest one to pass the drill, and he seems confident that he’ll do better next time.

For naysayers, this is another bullet in the chamber after some labelled one or more of those picks as “reaches.”

More sober observers will probably laugh the whole thing off.

Let’s not forget that:

  • People freaked out about Calgary Flames prospect Sam Bennett being unable to do pull-ups, and he’s looking like a gem. (He’s also able to do pull-ups now.)
  • The Bruins’ training staff once worried that Milan Lucic was too much of a “string bean” to make it in the NHL. Yes, that Milan Lucic.
  • These players are very young and the Bruins probably want to bring them along gradually rather than throwing them right into the fire.

Hockey fans will look back at this off-season as turning point for the Bruins, but few will remember anyone’s sprint times.

At least we got some jokes out of it.

Report: Bruins extend tryout offer to Gustavsson

Jonas Gustavsson

The Boston Red Sox have “The Green Monster” and now the Boston Bruins might add a Swedish “Monster” as a backup goalie.

The Bruins extended a professional tryout contract offer to Jonas Gustavsson, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Some greeted the announcement with sardonic responses while others wondered if the offer is an indictment of the Bruins’ pipeline beyond Tuukka Rask.

Really, though, it’s a pretty low-risk move by the Bruins.

Gustavsson, 30, is far removed from the hype he brought to Toronto back in 2009-10, and it’s true that his overall stats are lacking (no one’s too excited about a netminder with a career save percentage of .901).

If you want to stretch the boundaries of optimism a bit, you could point to Gustavsson’s sneaky-solid work in just seven appearances last season: his even-strength save percentage was .939. Many believe that’s a more honest indicator of a netminder’s effectiveness, so perhaps he could revamp his career in Boston, at least as a backup?

It probably won’t hurt the Bruins to find out what he can offer.

In other Bruins news, Lee Stempniak and Daniel Paille were involved in an informal practice with Bruins players, according to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.

The Bruins are fighting the tax man over expensed meals

Jeremy Jacobs

The Boston Bruins are in a battle with the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. Tax Court, with the hockey team arguing that player meals on the road should be 100 percent tax deductible.

From the Boston Globe:

The IRS limits deductions for meal expenses to 50 percent in most cases.

The Bruins contend the 50 percent cap — contained in a section of the tax code for “entertainment, amusement, or recreation” — should not apply because fueling world-class athletes for competition is a fundamental part of their business.

“In short, the pregame mandatory meals and the meetings at away city hotels allow the club and the players to prepare for the upcoming game — both physically and mentally,” the petition by the Bruins owner said. “In this regard, the pregame meals and the meetings serve as a necessary component of the Bruins’ hockey operations.”

We’re no tax experts here at PHT, but we’d tend to agree with the team’s assertion that fueling Zdeno Chara is a “necessary component of the Bruins’ hockey operations.” Even more so next season!

Bloomberg BNA was the first to report on this story.