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Rask hurt in Bruins practice; Spooner out 4-6 weeks

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Well, the good news regarding injuries and the Boston Bruins didn’t last very long.

Earlier this week, PHT noted that forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Backes are expected to return in the near future, possibly as soon as Thursday. That’s great, but Wednesday turned out to be lousy thanks to one injury scare and one sure-thing that’s a negative.

The biggest concern is that of Tuukka Rask, and it’s something that might not clear up for a while. Rask was helped off the ice during practice today after being “bowled over” by young forward Anders Bjork.

The Bruins might dodge a bullet there, which would be huge if their backup work in anyway resembles the woes of 2016-17.

While we don’t know the severity of Rask’s issues just yet, there’s flat-out bad news for Ryan Spooner.

The Bruins estimate Spooner’s window of recovery at four-to-six weeks for a (cringe) “right groin adductor tear,” which he suffered on Oct. 15. Adam McQuaid suffered an injury in that same contest, so that could go down as a costly date for a Bruins team that has been fairly described as top-heavy.

Spooner, 25, was off to a slow start so far this season. He didn’t score a goal and managed one assist in five games, averaging 13:17 TOI per game. Even during that time, he was deployed in a very protected way, so the B’s can’t really claim that this is more than a body blow.

Even so, the Bruins might sport a patchwork lineup if Bergeron and/or Backes can’t play on Thursday. They’ll likely chalk it up as a win if Rask avoids anything significant, though.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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Bruins avoid arbitration with Spooner

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Heading into today’s arbitration hearing, Ryan Spooner was reportedly looking for a $3.85 million dollar deal. On the other side of this equation, the Bruins were only willing to offer $2 million.

With that kind of gap, it seemed almost certain that this dispute would be settled by an arbitrator, but the two sides have reportedly met somewhere in the middle, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Friedman is reporting that the two sides have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a deal worth $2.825 million.

Update: The Bruins confirmed the signing and financial details.

Spooner finished last season with 11 goals and 39 points in 78 games. The 25-year-old scored two less goals and 10 less points in 2016-17 than he did the previous year.

There’s no doubt that he has plenty of offensively ability, but consistency in his own end has always been an issue (just ask former head coach Claude Julien).

If Spooner can put it all together this season, he’ll be able to earn a much bigger pay day next summer.

Spooner seeking $3.85 million in arbitration

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Ryan Spooner‘s arbitration hearing with the Boston Bruins is scheduled for Wednesday. And if it goes ahead, it could be a rather contentious one.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Spooner is seeking $3.85 million on a one-year deal, while the B’s are thinking almost half that at $2 million.

Spooner, a 25-year-old forward, will certainly be able to sell his offensive statistics. He had 49 points in 2015-16, then 39 points last season.

“Ryan’s a talented player,” said GM Don Sweeney, per CSNNE.com. “He’s had a lot of success. Our power play is better when he plays as well as he’s capable of playing, and he can really be a good complement to our group.”

But the knock on Spooner has always been his defensive play. The past two seasons, he’s a combined minus-17. Back in May, it was reported that the B’s were entertaining trade offers for him.

Spooner’s last contract paid him $1.9 million over two years.

Report: Bruins talking Ryan Spooner trade with at least three teams

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When a team changes coaches, it often means that players get a clean slate, which is often an especially promising opportunity for “finesse” players.

Claude Julien made way for Bruce Cassidy in Boston, but it seems like the Bruins still view Ryan Spooner as less-than-essential.

He was reportedly on the trading block late in 2016, and the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy reports that the Bruins are shopping him again. More specifically, they’re essentially trying to trade Spooner’s negotiating rights, as he’s slated for restricted free agency this summer.

At the moment, three possible landing spots are to the New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks or Vegas Golden Knights, according to Kennedy.

Spooner was solid but unspectacular in 2016-17. He collected two assists in four postseason games while generating 11 goals and 39 points in 78 regular-season games, slightly down from 2015-16’s totals.

Nothing spectacular there, yet he could conceivably give an offense-needy team a boost.

Bruins sorta healthy scratch Spooner for Game 5

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After appearing in all four of Boston’s playoff games thus far, Ryan Spooner is taking a seat for tonight’s potentially season-ending tilt in Ottawa.

Spooner is technically a healthy scratch, being replaced by Sean Kuraly. But the “healthy scratch” part wasn’t initially clear. In explaining the situation, B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy first told reporters Spooner isn’t feeling 100 percent, which led to speculation of an injury-related swap.

But then Cassidy explained Spooner is healthy enough to play. Which means the Kuraly move is a coach’s decision.

Watch Bruins vs Senators Game 5

Overall, Spooner’s numbers reflect a decent series. He has two points — one off the team lead — through four games, while averaging over 13 minutes per night. But he was a virtual non-factor in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss, going pointless with a minus-1 rating and just one shot on goal in 9:34 TOI.

Kuraly, who hasn’t played since Saturday’s 4-3 OT loss, skated on a line with Frank Vatrano and Tim Schaller this morning.

Boston is facing elimination tonight, so dropping Spooner from the lineup is a fairly significant message. The club’s second-round pick (45th overall) in 2010, Spooner has shown flashes of real offensive talent — including a career-high 49 points in ’15-16 — but has underwhelmed at times, and wasn’t a favorite of former head coach Claude Julien.

When Cassidy first took over, Spooner’s production spiked. But the 25-year-old struggled down the stretch, scoring just one point in his last eight regular-season games, and is now a healthy scratch.