Paille, 30, has been with the Bruins since 2009 and achieved some good success, emerging as a useful contributor during the 2011 Stanley Cup victory and the ’13 Finals appearance (Paille scored four goals and nine points during that latter run, averaging 12:32 TOI per night.)
Campbell, 31, spent the last five years in Boston. A gritty checking forward, he forever etched himself in Bruins lore with this shift against Pittsburgh in the ’13 Eastern Conference Final — in which he played on a broken leg:
This year, though, Campbell and Paille struggled. They were two of the club’s worst forwards in terms of possession (click here) and neither produced much offensively; Campbell scored just six goals in 70 games while Paille had six in 71.
In the wake of Boston missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years, Paille and Campbell aren’t expected to be the only changes — but their departures are still significant. Aside from being the first (and, speediest) moves by Chiarelli this offseason, the two veterans contributed largely to Boston’s identity over the last five years.
Maurice, it seems, took issue with two things. One, what he perceived as inconsistency between the Byfuglien ruling and other cross-check suspensions and two, how Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault portrayed Big Buff in the aftermath.
“Vigneault wanted the electric chair, and I’ve got a lot more time for Dustin than that,” Maurice said, per the Winnipeg Sun. “So we will always be a little agitated by what we feel is the unfairness of it.
“From my point of view, though, you can hand out heavier suspensions on all these events. The players will make the adjustment.”
Maurice mentioned a few incidents from this season for comparison purposes, including the cross-check Dallas’ Antoine Roussel landed on Boston’s Adam McQuaid in early February, which resulted in a two-game suspension for Roussel:
As for the Vigneault quote, Maurice appeared to be referring to what the New York bench boss said immediately following Tuesday’s tilt.
“[It was] violent, deliberate, could have broken his neck,” said Vigneault. “It was one of the most vicious cross-checks I’ve seen this year.”
Brad Marchand knows there will be “consequences” if the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs.
“This is a team where we’re expected to win every year. It’s been that way for a while. There’s a lot of pressure on this group,” Marchand said, per CSN New England. “But with that comes pressure that you need to live up to it, and if not you’re forced to deal with the consequences.
“We understand that this is a big situation. If we don’t pull together then this is going to be a much different group next year, I’m sure. I don’t think anybody wants that. Hopefully we realize that, come together and allow this group to stay together.”
The Bruins have a handful of pending unrestricted free agents, including three members of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup champion roster, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Adam McQuaid. All three veterans have had their struggles this season.
It’s even been speculated that Milan Lucic, under contract for one more season before he can become unrestricted, could be traded.
Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton is out indefinitely with a suspected shoulder injury.
That’s the latest bit of bad news from Boston, where the desperate Bruins, now outside the playoff picture with just nine games remaining, are preparing to face Anaheim on Thursday.
Hamilton missed Sunday’s loss in Tampa Bay; he played just 13:11 Saturday against the Panthers in Sunrise. The 21-year-old has been a fixture on the Bruins’ blue line this season, with 10 goals and 32 assists in 72 games while averaging 21:20 in ice time.
Hamilton joins defenseman Kevan Miller (out for the season) on the injured list, leaving the B’s with a defense that may look something like this against the Ducks:
Zdeno Chara — Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug — Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski — Zach Trotman