Tag: Brett Connolly

Calgary Flames Vs. Boston Celtics At TD Garden

Poll: Has the Bruins’ Stanley Cup window closed?


Back in 2013, the last time the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Final, their leading playoff scorers were, in order, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchard, Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin, and Johnny Boychuk.

Of those 10 players, only four — Krejci, Bergeron, Chara and Marchand — remain on the roster. And Chara is 38 years old now.

Add to the fact Dougie Hamilton is gone too, plus the fact the Bruins missed the playoffs last year, and it’s no surprise that many feel their Cup window has closed.

But you won’t hear new GM Don Sweeney say that. Not with youngsters like Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly, Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak, and Alex Khokhlachev up front. And not after picking up 27-year-old Matt Beleskey in free agency.

Remember that the NHL is a young man’s league. Teams that aren’t constantly refreshing their lineups are teams that get into trouble.

“I don’t think it’s a rebuild. We didn’t strip this down,” Sweeney said in June, per NHL.com. “We have a tremendous core group of guys that are going to obviously carry an even heavier load here in the short term while these other kids can come in and start to take footing.”

OK, time to vote:

Related: Zach Trotman is looking to make the leap

Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning

A trio of young forwards have signed with the Boston Bruins.

The B’s announced today that Jimmy Hayes has inked a three-year deal with a cap hit of $2.3 million, while Brett Connolly has agreed to a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1.025 million and Brandon DeFazio has signed a one-year, two-way deal with a cap hit of $575,000 at the NHL level.

Hayes, 25, was acquired last week in a trade with the Florida Panthers. He had 19 goals and 16 assists in 72 games last season.

Connolly, 23, was acquired in March in a trade with Tampa Bay, soon after which he suffered a fractured finger and missed most of the remainder of the season.

Hayes will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires, while Connolly will remain an RFA. The latter’s $1.025 million cap hit could be a good bargain for the Bruins next season.

DeFazio was an unrestricted free agent. The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Canucks organization, mostly with AHL Utica.

Related: Chiarelli believes Connolly can ‘help us right away’

PHT Morning Skate: Kesler writes about trade, adjusting to new team

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ryan Kesler wrote a column about his first season with the Anaheim Ducks and what it’s been like for him to adjust to a new team after playing with the Vancouver Canucks for roughly a decade. (The Players’ Tribune)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 fantasy hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $3,000. Starts Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Enter Now!

The Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League came up with a unique jersey design involving fan selfies. (Puck Daddy)

Here are the highlights from the New York Rangers’ 1-0 overtime win against Chicago:

Jaromir Jagr wore a mullet wig in a picture with two young Panthers fans:

Here are the highlights from Boston’s 5-3 victory over Detroit:

The 1995 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils reunited over the weekend. (NHL.com)

Olli Jokinen sustained an upper-body injury in his first game with the St. Louis Blues. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

While we’re on the injury front, Brett Connolly talked to the media after he had finger surgery:

More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger

Tampa Bay Lightning v Calgary Flames

From TSN’s Aaron Ward, on the injury to new Bruins forward Brett Connolly:

From a few hours before that tweet, here’s CSN New England:

Claude Julien said following practice that Connolly was struck on the hand by a fired puck, and was being checked out by team doctors. You just can’t make this kind of stuff up for the bad-luck B’s.

“He got hit in the hand with a puck, so he’s gone to our team doctors to be evaluated,” said Julien. “That’s the only update I have, guys.”

Connolly, of course, was traded to Boston from Tampa Bay on Monday, with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli saying the 22-year-old winger could “come in and help us right away.”

Unfortunately, “right away” appears to have changed to “in six weeks.”

Update: The Bruins have confirmed that Connolly is out six weeks with “a displaced fracture in his right index finger.”

Chiarelli: Bruins ‘cap crunch’ made it ‘tough’ to get trades done

Peter Chiarelli

When the dust settled on Monday’s trade deadline, Boston failed to land the impact forward or defenseman some envisioned, opting instead for Tampa Bay youngster Brett Connolly and Colorado veteran Max Talbot.

To hear GM Peter Chiarelli explain it, the lack of moves wasn’t for a lack of trying.

“It’s been tough as far as getting a trade done, getting any sort of transaction done,” he explained in his post-deadline media availability. “For us, we’re obviously under a cap crunch, but it’s just hard to get a deal done and you see the prices are so high.”

At forward, the B’s were linked to the likes of Chris Stewart (who went to Minnesota) and Cam Atkinson (who re-signed in Columbus on a three-year, $10.5 million deal). On defense, where the club has struggled this year and is shorthanded, the B’s were tied to a number of rentals — none of which panned out — and that was partly due to Chiarelli balancing the club’s immediate needs against it’s long-term health.

“We’re looking to the future and also to the present,” he said. “Our moves were necessitated by the prices and if we’re going to spend the picks that we spent, let’s look at all options, not just rental options.

“If I could fill every need, I would. It’s not a surprise or a revelation that our D, by losing [Johnny] Boychuk and [Kevan] Miller, our D is not what it was.”

When questioned about this approach given all the heat around his job security, Chiarelli was blunt.

“We’re all under pressure,” he said. “You’re a professional, you do what’s best for the organization.”

It was pretty clear, though, that finances dictated the day. It’s a financial situation that Chiarelli himself created; the bonus overages from Jarome Iginla’s contract put the B’s in a bind and led to jettisoning Boychuk prior to the start of the season, and also led to an inability to land rentals, like the club did prior to previous playoff runs (think Jaromir Jagr, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, Tomas Kaberle).

This year, different story. The Talbot acquisition relied on Colorado retaining 50 percent of the veteran’s salary, and Connolly — the sixth overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — was viewed as someone that could help some now, but probably pay more dividends down the road (as a RFA making just $850,500, the B’s can control his cost to a certain degree.)

“He’s going to be a top-six player,” he said of Connolly. “There’s a future for him here.”

As for the playoffs, Chiarelli said the focus hasn’t changed. He thinks the B’s are still good enough to get in, and the fight to qualify should serve the team well in the future.

“I feel we have a team that can make the playoffs,” he said. “They’ve been through a lot of adversity. The young players have grown and will continue to grow.”