More bad news for the B’s — Hamilton out ‘indefinitely’


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

No word if Hamilton will be able to return before the regular season is over. But according to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s feared the injury is “significant.”

It sounds like Wisniewski is doing his best to stay in Columbus


Every sign points to the Columbus Blue Jackets wanting to trade James Wisniewski, but the defenseman is doing what he can to avoid such a fate, as the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports.

The 31-year-old is cleverly trying to use his 10-team no-trade clause to kill trade possibilities. According to Portzline, Wisniewski is approving teams with limited cap space and/or a lack of defensive needs to try to avoid being traded.

(Wisniewski’s $5.5 million cap hit runs through the 2016-17 season.)

If true, it represents a stark contrast between no-trade clauses for potential trade deadline targets. At one end of the spectrum, you have Wisniewski trying to wiggle out of a move; on the other, Dennis Seidenberg is shrugging his shoulders and saying “If my team doesn’t want me, I don’t want to be here.”

Portzline points out another interesting wrinkle to this situation:

Interesting stuff, huh?

One can understand why Wisniewski wants to stay. The Blue Jackets are dealing with what might be a bad-luck-infested bump in the road, as the team’s shown glimpses of being competitive even with a ridiculous slew of injuries.

Beyond that, it’s possible he’s put down roots in Ohio and simply is tired of uprooting his life. Here’s a quick road map of his career so far:

2005-06 to 2007-08: Chicago Blackhawks
2008-09: Part of the season with Chicago, part with the Anaheim Ducks
2009-10: Anaheim Ducks
2010-11: Bounced from Anaheim to the New York Islanders to the Montreal Canadiens
2011-12: Signs long-term deal with Columbus

That’s not “Mark Arcobello playing for four different NHL teams” material, but Wisniewski indeed faced quite a bit of turmoil a few years ago.

Players only have so much power to avoid moves they don’t want, and it could get awkward if Columbus really wants to get rid of Wisniewski. It appears as if he’s doing what’s within his limited rights to stick with his team, though.

Seidenberg would waive trade clause if Bruins asked


Dennis Seidenberg has a no-trade clause in his contract, but if the Boston Bruins want to trade him, he won’t stand in their way.

The German blueliner told that much on Thursday.

“People have mentioned those rumors to me, but all I can do at the end of the day is play hockey and work hard. That’s what makes you strong,” Seidenberg said. “If they feel like they want to move me, then there’s nothing I can do. Even if I have a no-trade clause, I don’t want to be here if they don’t want me.

“But my job is to play with full effort on the ice, and hopefully that’s enough for them to want to keep me. We’ll see.”

The veteran defenseman presents an interesting case if the Bruins decide to aggressively shop him.

From traditional standpoints, he has some serious selling points. He logs the second highest ice time per game (21:57) among Bruins defensemen behind Zdeno Chara, with 2:34 of that average coming on the penalty kill. The experience is there, and at 32, he’s either in his prime or just past it.

On the other hand, his possession stats argue that he’s not quite as effective as his reputation might suggest. More than a few people believe that he has been overexposed at times when he’s been on a top pairing with Chara.

Really, the biggest factor might be asking price, though.

Seidenberg’s current contract carries a $4 million cap hit and runs through the 2017-18 season. Much like his perceived value, some will look at that as a positive thing (he wouldn’t be a rental) while others would see him as a risk.

The Bruins’ cap situation is tight, and their situation is tense (if not desperate), so GM Peter Chiarelli has to be pleased that he has the option to move Seidenberg, if nothing else.

Banged-up Bruin — Miller sent home with shoulder injury


Winless in their last four, now the Boston Bruins have another problem — they’re down to just six healthy defenseman after Kevan Miller hurt his shoulder last night in Calgary.

Miller has reportedly been sent home for evaluation.

With three games remaining on their road trip (tomorrow in Edmonton, Friday in St. Louis, Sunday in Chicago), the B’s are expected to call up a defenseman (Zach Trotman?) from AHL Providence.

Against the Oilers, the Bruins’ could line up something like this on the back end:

Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg — Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski — Torey Krug

Related: Changes coming to Bruins’ defense?

Changes coming to Bruins’ defense?


Claude Julien wasn’t showing his cards this morning, but after three straight losses — including Saturday’s defeat in Vancouver that featured two “mind-boggling” mistakes, one from Dougie Hamilton and another from Dennis Seidenberg — the Bruins’ coach didn’t rule out the possibility of changing his defense tonight in Calgary.

Julien said any changes would be a game-time decision. The Bruins have seven defenseman on their active roster. That includes Matt Bartkowski, who hasn’t played since Dec. 31.

Though Julien insisted the two mistakes in the Vancouver game were entirely the responsibility of the two individuals who made them, Hamilton suggested the Bruins need to play better collectively if they’re going to have success.

“The D aren’t really working with the forwards, the forwards aren’t working with the D,” he said, per the Boston Globe. “We’re kind of two separate units, not working as a five-man unit. There’s a lot of gaps in the neutral zone. Everything. We don’t come up as a unit, don’t support each other in anything. Obviously, it makes it tougher. There’s guys on islands and it just makes the game a lot tougher.”

Related: Bruins’ pair of Seidenberg-McQuaid is an issue