Tag: Shawn Thornton

P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban: ‘I’m not trying to change the game of hockey’


P.K. Subban has emerged as one of the most electrifying players in the National Hockey League, playing the game at a frenetic and entertaining pace, bordering on reckless at times, one could definitely argue.

It seems like a fact of life that with star quality — on and off the ice — comes controversy. He’s a polarizing figure in the game. A difference of opinion on a player or a team isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, the racism directed at him on social media during the playoffs, has no place in the game or in life.

It’s next to impossible to deny his talent, considering at 25 years of age, he’s coming off a career season with the Habs, a team that upset the Boston Bruins in an emotionally charged seven-game series in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Subban played an integral role. He scored four times in the series, and averaged a point per game. He managed to frustrate his opponents — just ask Shawn Thornton.

And when despicable morons attacked him through social media with racial slurs because of the color of his skin, Subban handled it with the utmost class.

This summer, with his stock still on the rise following a breakout 2013-14 campaign that also saw him named to Canada’s gold-medal winning Olympic hockey team, Subban signed an eight-year, $72 million contract.

That was after an arbitration hearing, but before the presiding judge could make a ruling. And, with Brian Gionta now a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Subban could be in the running to become the Habs’ new captain.

While the 2013 Norris Trophy winner has become a star in the NHL — the league could use a few more players like him — he still strives to be himself.

“I’m not trying to change the game of hockey, I’m trying to be who I am, but the difference is when you’re an impactful player it does change things,” Subban told NHL.com.

“It does because there is a following in the NHL. Do I bring qualities that maybe the NHL hasn’t had before? Maybe. And people might find that appealing. That’s OK. But more than anything, I respect the NHL. I respect the game, the players in the game.

“That’s why I’m able to carry myself the way I do, because I have a respect for the game that the players before me, the legends before me, the superstars before me will all appreciate.”

PHT Morning Skate: Bruins prospect Pastrnak impresses Bergeron

David Pastrnak

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.

Patrice Bergeron is impressed with what he’s seen so far from 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak. (CSN New England)

Is having Zac Rinaldo, who signed a two-year extension yesterday, on the Flyers’ fourth line a negative for the team compared to some of their other options? Broad Street Hockey)

Here’s an in-depth look at how the San Jose Sharks did in the neutral zone last season and which players stood out in that regard. (Fear The Fin)

Boston Bruins fans got a glimpse of Shawn Thornton in a Panthers’ jersey as he practiced with his former teammates. (Boston.com)

Scott Hannan isn’t likely to play a big role with the Sharks in 2014-15, but he does provide the team with some insurance. (CSN Bay Area)

Mark Giordano will participate in the Calgary Italian Open to support the charities Team Giordano Points to the Future and the Calgary Italian Canadian Foundation. (Flames.nhl.com)

Looking to make the leap: Ryan Spooner

Boston Bruins v San Jose Sharks

It’s easy to look at the Boston Bruins’ offseason as a summer in which the team only got worse through subtractions, but the flip side is that those omissions also open up opportunities for others. One prospect who could be a big-time beneficiary is Ryan Spooner.

Various outlets paint him as the Bruins’ best prospect, with the 22-year-old inspiring rave reviews for his speed and skill.

The 2010 second-round pick (45th overall) already managed 11 assists in 23 games at the NHL level this season after failing to record a point in four games back in 2012-13. (He’s still searching for that first NHL tally.) Spooner bounced between the AHL and NHL last season, scoring 46 points in 49 games with the Providence Bruins.

Combine the departures of Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton with the Bruins’ noted salary cap worries and it’s easy to see a golden opportunity for Spooner, especially since he’s still on his cheap ($760K cap hit) entry-level deal.

While his ceiling is probably lower than that of Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin, the burning question seems familiar enough: can he put in the necessary work in the defensive zone to appease head coach Claude Julien? Stanley Cup of Chowder implied that he could be seen as a trade bait by the organization:

What can we expect in subsequent seasons? Seeing plays set up by Ryan Spooner in a different jersey, probably. First there’s the log-jam at center and an obstinance toward even consider him as a winger. Then there’s Julien’s remarks upon his demotion: “Love his speed, love his creativity and everything else but when you play in the NHL you need a little bit more than that.” Then there’s the fact that he’s joined [Alexander] Khokhlachev as the favorite forward name in trade rumors, including notably the [Alexander] Edler deal that wasn’t at this season’s deadline. Several signs point toward a team that views him more valuable as a commodity than player. Having zilch in the pipeline in this mold and a mid-career bunch at the position, the Bruins would be wise to hang on to their ELC depth, but with rumors of a team very active on the off-season market, it might behoove fans to loosen their attachment to this particular prospect.

Well, that doesn’t sound especially promising.

Of course, a lot can happen between today and the Bruins’ Oct. 8 season opener, so another roster move or two could force the issue of integrating Spooner into the lineup that much more.

Whether it’s in Boston or perhaps another NHL city, this could very well be the year that Spooner makes the leap to a full-time roster fixture. That doesn’t mean his work will be done by any stretch, though.