Sunday, August 9, 2009
Click here: THE NEW SPOKED B
Thank you all so much for your continued support and I look forward to more of the same in the future!
One of the Chicago Blackhawks top forwards, Patrick Kane, has reportedly been arrested according to the Buffalo News. Here's the story...
"Chicago Blackhawk right winger and South Buffalo native Patrick Kane and a relative face robbery and other charges after allegedly assaulting a cab driver and failing to pay their fare after getting a ride from Chippewa Street early this morning.
Kane, 20, and James M. Kane, 21, were arrested about 5 a.m. on Eastwood Place, according to Buffalo police reports.
The pair allegedly punched the cab driver and grabbed money they had handed him after he told them he didn't have twenty cents in coins to give them their change, the report said.
Their fare was $13.80 and they handed the driver $15, according to a report."
McKeon's Take: I'm shocked by this. Kane is one of the up and coming players to help represent the United States. Some times 20-year-olds act as such...
Yesterday, during a scrimmage at Team Canada's World Junior camp, Boston's 1st round pick in the most recent draft Jordan Caron was hospitalized after a very questionable open-ice hit by Los Angeles Kings prospect Colten Teubert. Here's the video.
McKeon's Take: I am very much on the fence with this situation. Obviously, I am upset that the one going to the hospital is a Bruins prospect but, as a coach myself, I am a firm believer of you practice how you play. However, there is a time and a place to "play hard" in practice i.e. in the corners, going for loose pucks, etc. Laying an open ice hit on a teammate when the guy has his head down should never happen, ever. Caron should not have his head down but, who is expecting a hit like that during a scrimmage with your own team? The more that I think about it, I think I am siding with Teubert albeit unfortunate for Caron, he needs to play that scrimmage like it's an actual game. To be cliché, keep your head up kid, you'll bounce back...
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Today, the Boston Bruins announced that they will now be affiliated with the ECHL's Reading Royals in Pennsylvania. The following announcement was announced by the the team:
BOSTON – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has entered into an affiliation relationship with the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Under the affiliation arrangements, the Bruins will be able to designate players within their development system for assignment to the Royals during the 2009-10 season.
The Royals have played in Reading, Pennsylvania since 2001 and are also the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
More info at www.royalshockey.com
McKeon's Take: It's too bad the Red Wings didn't grab him off waivers to save the Bruins from having to buy out Eaves. However, it really isn't too much of a cap hit ($258,333) but, I guess at this point, every little bit counts with Phil Kessel still left unsigned.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A wise man once told me that the ocean is always calm before the storm and this is what we have here with the Phil Kessel situation. Mum is the word on Causeway St. and one can only wonder what Peter Chiarelli is going to do moving forward. There are a few options here.
1.) Phil Kessel signs a low-ball deal under the $1.3 million that the Bruins have available under the cap (if this happens Satan skates to work from that point on).
2.) Another move is made to clear cap space to sign the Bruins top goal scorer (see: Aaron Ward/Derek Morris).
3.) Kessel gets packaged in a trade because the Bruins know they are out of options and want to get some kind of tangible value for him this season.
4.) Kessel signs a qualifying offer sheet from an opposing team and the Bruins get draft picks.
Those are primarily the options right there. I, and everyone else wondering, truly have zero clue as to what Chiarelli & Co. are planning as they run a tight ship over there at the TD Garden. That is a true sign of a strong and stable front office. My gut feeling is that option two happens. Chiarelli has expressed in the past that he would love to keep the rising star in Boston and I truly believe he feels that way. Kessel's all around game is progressing and he is still just 21 years old. Chiarelli needs to find a way to keep him in Boston.
What does your gut tell you?
Monday, July 27, 2009
After 797 career NHL games, all with the Boston Bruins, PJ Axelsson is heading back to his motherland to play professional hockey in the Swedish Elite League. Axe has been with the Black and Gold since 1995...amazing.
McKeon's Take: I will miss Axe dearly in a Bruins uniform. He left everything out on the ice and always did so many thankless jobs out there. I will look forward to him (hopefully) playing in the Olympics this coming February for Sweden and wish him the best of luck going forward. We'll miss you Axe!
Friday, July 24, 2009
TSN is reporting that the Bruins and Derek Morris have agreed to a one year, $3.3 million contract. Peter Chiarelli did say that he was going to be getting another defenseman to replace Ward and this seems to be the guy. There has been no official announcement from either Morris's agent or the Bruins brass. Here is what sportsnet.ca has to say about Morris:
AssetsPossesses a well-rounded package of top-level skills, specifically an excellent skating stride and booming shot from the point. Is very strong and aggressive along the blueline.FlawsHas a tendency to lose his concentration in the defensive zone and give the puck away at the most inopportune moments. Must learn to better harness his aggressive nature.No. 2 defenseman.Career potential
Now that I have calmed down a bit from losing someone I viewed as a great character guy, I have come to the realization that this was a great move for the organization. Not only did Peter Chiarelli send out an aging, injury prone defenseman but, he created some more cap space with the buyout of the newly acquired Patrick Eaves (sucks to be him!). You can see the updated salary breakdown on the right side and you'll find that there is roughly $4.6 million available to complete this team for the upcoming season.
I'm not going to get into the monetary specifics because A.) I don't know exactly what Kessel is looking for because only the Bruins front office, Kessel, and his agent really know what that number is. B.) I am completely unsure of what the defenseman I would like to come here is looking for. So, with that being said, here is the scenario I would like to see, be it through trade, signing, etc. to fit under the salary cap.
1. Signing Kessel is an absolute must here. Kessel lead the team in goals last year with 36 and he has improved immensely since being benched in the playoffs against the Canadiens in 2008. He has also come a long way in improving his two-way game and from what I've seen he's not done with his advancement. Kessel is a young dynamic player and under the strict tutelage of Chiarelli, Neely, and Julien he is going to continue to get better. I think Kessel is going to end up taking the majority of that $4.6 million left under the cap, so, some kind of trade is going to have to take place to sign the next free agent defenseman.
2. Marc-Andre Bergeron. Bergeron has been a guy who has been looked to for being a top tier defenseman and clearly that has not panned out. However, if he comes here he won't need to be that guy. He can come here and fill a roll on the second pairing, even the third if need be. Here is what sportsnet.ca has to say about Bergeron:
AssetsHas the ability to rack up points if given enough ice time. Makes a crisp first pass out of the defensive zone and joins the rush with aplomb.FlawsAt 5-10, 197 pounds, he'll always have trouble handling big NHL forwards. As a result, it's a struggle for him to receive regular ice time.Power play specialist.Career potential
I could handle that without a doubt. Last year, when the Bruins struggled it was when they had trouble getting out of their own zone, Bergeron aids to that glitch in the breakout of the defensive zone and he joins the rush. This would be a very beneficial signing for the black and gold and if these pieces fall together, the Eastern Confrence Finals will not be out of the question.
There is no official word from the Boston Bruins as I write this, however, the Carolina Hurricanes are reporting that they have acquired Aaron Ward for Patrick Eaves and a fourth round draft pick in 2010. Scratch that, the Bruins have now made an announcement on their website. Eaves has been placed on waivers and Peter Chiarelli will be addressing the media this afternoon.
McKeon's Take: I hate this deal with a passion right now. I absolutely loved what Aaron Ward brought to the table. He was a character guy in the locker room who loved leading his team and he was also one of the most entertaining interviews to watch/listen to. This leaves the defensive corp very thin and creates a log jam at forward. I have to think there is another deal coming here. At the very least, this does free cap space and it does give more breathing room to sign Phil Kessel. I have to say that there will be more to come because this doesn't make complete and total sence without another deal. We'll see what else Chiarelli has in that hat of his...
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today, the Boston Bruins and defenseman Matt Hunwick avoided arbitration and came to an agreement on a two year contract with an annual cap hit 0f $1.45 million. The Bruins were looking for a puck-moving defenseman and they stayed within the organization to fill the void.
McKeon's Take: I am very happy with this signing. Hunwick has shown a lot of promise in such a short period of time with the big club. The Bruins needed someone who can generate a breakout with the pass as well as with his legs. The only issue that is left is Phil Kessel. The remaining cap space does not seem to be enough to sign Kessel who wants to cash in on a big pay day (and deservingly so). A move will have to be made to either keep Kessel or send him packing. Either way, something has got to give here...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Today, the Bruins announced their schedule for the 2009-2010 season that will kick off on a five game homestand that begins with the Washington Capitals on Thursday October 1st at 7:00 pm at the TD Garden.
The Bruins will play each team in the Northeast Division six times, each of the other Eastern Conference teams four times, and every Western Conference opponent at least once. Western Conference teams they see twice are Anaheim, Chicago, and Los Angeles who they will be participating in a home and home (not consecutive nights) series.
The most notable game of course is the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic which is brought to you by Fritos, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gas-X, Valtrex, Spandex, Convex shapes, and a group of Water Buffalo in a North-Northeast New Mexican Zoo. Perhaps I have gone too far? Never. Either way, if I haven't said it enough on here it is taking place on New Year's Day (January 1st for you beginners out there) in the cold and icy outdoors of Fenway Park.
One of the major missing pieces to this year's schedule is the insanely long Western Conference road trip to start the season. Normally the circus is in town the beginning of October. Is the circus upset about not being involved with the silly Willy Wonka promotion the new "TD Garden" is having? Are the elephants on strike? Are the monkeys throwing too much poo? Are the monkeys not throwing enough poo? Are the Zebras nervous because they don't know whether they are black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Are some of the animals holding out to be in a future "Madagascar" film? Perhaps I've gone too far, either way, that long road trip is missing.
Also, there is no game on my birthday, again, this year but, I wouldn't be mad if someone brought me to the Kings game on January 30th.
For more a more in-depth look at the upcoming season's schedule, click here.
(Don't worry, as the season draws closer, there will be some juicier stuff on here)
Ok, so I over-exaggerated a little bit there, however, this will be nearly as exciting as the birth of your first born. The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2010 will be a major event for the Boston area and certainly for anyone in attendance. According to NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, more details will be coming regarding ticket sales and outside events to coincide with the "Classic." Bettman also mentioned that the NHL is trying to do things that they've never done before in regards to outside events.
Speaking of first borns...I will be willing to sell the child (actual baby TBD, hint: ladies) for a pair of tickets to this event.
Question of the Day: How did Mayor Menino pass the second grade?
Reminder: At 2:00 EST today, the NHL will be announcing that the Bruins will be hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010. You can catch all the action on the NHL Network and you can also get information at www.bostonbruins.com. I'll give an update on here as soon as possible following the announcement.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Today the Boston Bruins announced a radio change to start this upcoming season. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing because 1030 reached out pretty far for lengthy road travels. So, if 98.5 can reach out to the better part of New England, then I'll be very content with the move. Here is the full story:
BRUINS REACH AGREEMENT ON TERMS TO EXTEND CONTRACT WITH CBS RADIO BOSTON; B’S GAMES TO BE BROADCAST ON BOSTON’S NEWEST AND ONLY FM RADIO SPORTS STATION, “98.5 THE SPORTS HUB”
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins announced today that they have reached an agreement on terms to extend their contract with CBS RADIO Boston, which has been the radio home of the Bruins since the 1995-96 NHL season. Additionally, CBS RADIO Boston announced today the arrival of “98.5 The Sports Hub,” which will debut on Thursday, August 13 at 98.5 on the FM radio dial. This new FM sports station - the only FM station of its kind in the Boston marketplace - will serve as the radio home of the Boston Bruins beginning in the 2009-10 season and the New England Patriots of the NFL beginning with their 2009 season.
“This is an exciting day for not just Bruins fans, but for fans of all of Boston’s sports teams,” said Bruins Principal Charlie Jacobs. “For the first time in Boston, listeners will have an all-sports station on the FM dial which will be the home of the Bruins and the New England Patriots. CBS RADIO Boston has truly been a great partner of the Bruins over the last 14 years and we are thrilled to continue this partnership with them as they launch their new Sports Hub venture.”
“98.5 The Sports Hub” will feature a wide assortment of sports talk and play-by-play programming and showcase personalities including Toucher and Rich in morning drive. The station will assume the call letters WBZ-FM upon launch, pending FCC approval. A full talent and programming schedule for the station will be available at a later date.
Adding to the distribution of the station, “98.5 The Sports Hub” will also be an online destination and interactive experience powered by CBSSports.com (www.cbssports.com). For the consummate Boston sports fan, www.985thesportshub.com is a one-stop hub for everything related to Boston sports featuring an array of local content including blogs from the station’s personalities, sports videos, scores, polls, message boards, community groups and the most up-to-date sports news, as well as on-air schedules, team schedules and talent information.
On Wednesday, August 12 MIX 98.5 will change its dial location and move to 104.1 FM, becoming MIX 104 and will feature the same music and personalities familiar to listeners, while WBCN will sign off after 41 years on the air.
Prior to this new arrangement, Bruins games could be heard on WBZ Radio 1030 AM since the 1995-96 NHL season.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This is a little bit delayed but, I came across this signing today as a peruse the internet amidst a lazy Sunday. Anyhow, on Friday, the Bruins signed Trent Whitfield to a two year, two-way contract. The center, who was the captain for the Peoria Rivermen for the past few seasons, seemed to be a very hot commodity in the Rivermen locker room.
Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal Star stated that the team "suffered a major loss" and that the team is losing it's "best player."
Sure it's the best player on a marginal AHL team in a fairly unsettled organization but, it's a character signing and obviously not the signing of the next big thing. Sidenote: St. Louis is definitely on it's way up and I absolutely love what John Davidson brings to the table, I kind of wish he was still commentating.
I'm not sure where he got the idea that Boston is short on centers but, I like his attitude and from what I read, I approve highly of this signing. I love having guys like this down in Providence to help the youngsters along. Nicely done Peter Chiarelli.
“Boston needed veteran players, and they needed guys in the middle, and they have guys injured who might not make it back for the start of the season,” Whitfield, 32, said. “I have a chance to stay with them."
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The Bruins have signed camp invitee Zach McKelvie to a one-year entry-level contract. The defenseman didn't participate in on-ice activities during development camp because he is recovering from labrum surgery. McKelvie tore the labrum and underwent the procedure two months ago.
The 24-year-old McKelvie played four years of college hockey at Army. Last season, McKelvie scored five goals and 12 assists in 33 games. McKelvie is considered an excellent skater and a character player who should provide defensive depth for Providence. McKelvie is hoping to participate in rookie camp if he's cleared for contact. (courtesy of the Boston Globe)
McKeon's Take: Good signing by the front office. Right now the P-Bruins do need some extra help and some competition on the blue line so, this will prove well for that. If anything, this team needs signings like this because as close as they are to the cap, they do need to find one of those cheap diamonds in the rough...Matt Hunwick? Let's hope he resigns in an affordable fashion...
On Wednesday July 15, the National Hockey League will announce their next location and match-up for the annual Winter Classic to be held on January 1, 2010. It's no surprise that it is going to be at Fenway Park and having the home team wearing black and gold. However, the opponent has been up for debate and tossed around quite a bit. It looks like it is going to be the Philadelphia Flyers and even though it is not official yet, I would bet the farm on it. I am very willing to sell children, limbs, and stolen goods to get a ticket for this event and it will be completely worth severe frostbite. Tune into the NHL Network or www.bostonbruins.com at 2pm on Wednesday to see the official announcement.
Here is a advertisement for last year's Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago. I'm looking forward to those Fenway Park ads and what the league is going to do with those...