Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

MIDDLETON — Summer Tuukka Rask is different than the one we’€™ll see in the fall, winter and spring. Summer Tuukka Rask isn’€™t as fiery, perhaps because he isn’€™t at work.

As such, when he said that he isn’€™t concerned about the state of the Bruins’€™ defense — a group that made his life hard last year before it lost Dougie Hamilton — his outlook should be taken with a grain of salt.

“I don’€™t think there’€™s a reason to worry,” Rask said of Boston’€™s defense Monday at Shawn Thornton‘€™s Putts and Punches for Parkinson’€™s golf tournament. “I haven’€™t been worried.”

Rask knows better than anybody how much the Bruins needed to improve on the back end, as his play had to make up for a rough season on the blueline. Between having to play nearly every time the B’€™s took the ice (70 of 82 games) and facing tougher challenges as a result of the team’€™s defense, Rask was overworked as a result of the team’€™s shortcomings.

So when Boston’€™s defense lost Hamilton, a 22-year-old restricted free agent who wanted out, it would have been understandable for the 2014 Vezina Winner to head to the dairy section of his local grocer and go H.A.M. on some milk crates.

Instead, Rask took an it-is-what-it-is attitude when asked about Hamilton’€™s trade to the Flames.

“Obviously I was surprised,” Rask said. “I think everybody was surprised, but there’€™s always the truth somewhere. I haven’€™t heard what happened, but if he felt like he had to move on, he had to move on.”

While there was something (however small) to the chatter that Hamilton wasn’€™t the most popular guy in the Bruins’€™ dressing room, it would have been hard for Hamilton’€™s teammates to take issue with the way he played. Hamilton was clearly Boston’€™s second-best defenseman behind future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara and he was in line to eventually take the torch from Chara as the next in a long line of great Bruins blueliners.

Hamilton’€™s fit with his teammates was not a big deal in the Bruins’€™ eyes, which is evidenced by the fact that they tried to re-sign him. Whether it was his teammates, the city or coach Claude Julien, it has not been made clear why Hamilton wanted to leave.

“I thought he felt comfortable with everybody,” Rask said, “but what you feel deep inside is a different thing and he felt like he needed to move on.”

Thornton laughed off a question about the Hamilton situation by saying he didn’€™t care, but he admitted he found the departure to be a bit odd.

“Listen, I’€™m a little surprised,” Thornton said. “I loved Boston, obviously, and for someone to want to get out of it, I don’€™t get it ‘€” especially in the first few years. But it’€™s his world. He had decisions to make and that’€™s the one he made. Hey, hopefully he’€™s happy in Calgary.”

The Bruins received a very underwhelming package of three draft picks in exchange for Hamilton, who will co-star on a terrific blue line in Calgary. The deal did not help the Bruins for 2015-16 at all, as the team used the three picks on prospects Zachary Senyshyn (15th overall), Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (45th overall) and Jeremy Lauzon (52nd overall).

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Major League Baseball Advanced Media will take over the NHL‘s web operations, apps, streaming video and more in 2016, a source tells WEEI.com’s DJ Bean. The move is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

In addition to running MLB.com and all 30 MLB team sites, MLB Advanced Media runs the websites for Minor League Baseball, the YES Network and SportsNet New York. It also provides the backend infrastructure for WatchESPN, the WWE Network, CBS Sports’ March Madness and HBO Now, among others.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Jeremy Jacobs and Charlie Jacobs say they're happy with the Bruins' moves. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)Part of this week’s Winter Classic announcement was a post-press conference feeding frenzy for the hockey media.



Torey Krug feels he can be a solution for the Bruins on defense.</p>
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Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman

FOXBORO — Since Capgeek.com was taken down in the final months of founder Mathew Wuest’€™s life, hockey fans all over have been without a state-of-the-art, up-to-the-minute destination for the NHL‘€™s ever-changing salary cap scene. They have options, but none are as good.

With Capgeek, Wuest created a site that listed where teams were in relation to the cap down to the dollar in a format that displayed team rosters in terms of individual players’€™ cap hits.

When the ailing Wuest took the wildly popular site down before succumbing to colon cancer in March, many wondered who would step up with a proper replacement. The NHL‘€™s official site seemed like one feasible option, but Gary Bettman poo-pooed that in late February, saying that such a feature was ‘€œnot something that seems to be driving fan interested as much as perhaps the [media].’€

That foolish statement was rightfully criticized and has been proven wrong time and time again in the months since. Not only do fans want it, but even B’€™s president Cam Neely made a tongue-in-cheek reference to GM candidates not being able to prepare for job interviews as well without the site.

Given all of this, Bettman was asked Wednesday if any more consideration has been given to making cap information available in a one-stop destination.

“No,” he replied.

There was no elaboration, so in the meantime everyone will have to settle for the myriad of sites doing their best to manage the nearly impossible task of carrying on Wuest’€™s work.

At this point, war-on-ice.com, perhaps the best NHL site these days for NHL statistics, does the best job. It isn’€™t perfect (ex. details of no-trade provisions), but that’€™s where the opportunity exists for the NHL to step in and make the perfect option. It’€™s silly for them not to.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

FOXBORO — Don Sweeney remains active in trying to find the Bruins help on defense. Whether that means signing top remaining free agent Cody Franson, seeking other free agent options or making a trade remains to be seen.

Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

FOXBORO — Don Sweeney remains active in trying to find the Bruins help on defense. Whether that means signing top remaining free agent Cody Franson, seeking other free agent options or making a trade remains to be seen.

“I’€™m not shutting the doors in terms of picking your team in July,” Boston’€™s general manager told WEEI.com at Wednesday’€™s Winter Classic press event. “We’€™ll continue to look and talk and have those types of conversations, not just in the free agent market, but around the league.”

The Bruins and Franson’€™s camp have had discussions, as Franson revealed last week. The 27-year-old 6-foot-5 right shot would figure to be a plug-and-play option to anchor Boston’€™s second pairing, which would at least move the B’€™s closer to what they had prior to trading Dougie Hamilton.

Asked whether he felt the team was close to signing Franson, who said there were four or five other teams in on him, Sweeney replied, “I don’€™t know whether or not anybody can say ‘€˜close’€™ because you don’€™t know what other conversations are happening.”

This has been something of an odd offseason throughout the league, but Sweeney acknowledged that the traditional waves of movement (the draft and free agency) have been as expected. A third wave may be presenting itself now, however, with at least one big name still unsigned in Franson and Tuesday’s trade of Brandon Sutter to the Canucks.

“There’€™s less chatter, but there’€™s some seeds being planted they we may want to revisit as well with our staff, and sort of going over all these – after I have one conversation, sending it out to our group and sort of seeing where we’€™re at. Coaches have some input in that as well. Now that we’€™ve had a little bit of time to see where our group is, we’€™ve got to forecast from here on out.”

Sweeney acknowledged the potential need to shed cap space if they do sign a higher-priced free agent. The B’€™s currently sit about $4.42 million below the salary cap’€™s upper-limit with 21 players on their roster. They have seven defenseman on one-way contracts as is (Zdeno Chara, Zach Trotman, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug, Matt Irwin and Kevan Miller), so a trade of a defenseman could be one way to clear space. Boston could also trade one of its veteran forwards, such as Chris Kelly.

Sweeney expressed a desire to shed cap space before making a signing, should such a situation present itself, as he did when he traded Reilly Smith and Marc Savard minutes before signing Matt Beleskey on the opening day of free agency. He also noted that if he feels the team would have space-saving options that could be executed at a later date if they were to pull the trigger on a signing beforehand.

“I think when you’€™re up against it, it presents pressure on the other side. Theoretically, you’€™d like to plan to be under and have some flexibility, but in the same vein, if you’€™ve had conversations that you think could foster something down the road, and you want to improve your club, then you may take that risk,” Sweeney said. “There will always be an assessment in that period of time.”

Should the Bruins not add outside help, a defense that figures to miss Hamilton dearly will be in for an uphill climb. It’€™s expected that Trotman will have a full-time job, but opportunities will be given to other young players such as former Penguins‘€™ first-round pick Joe Morrow and trade acquisition Colin Miller.

“We’€™ve got five of six guys returning,” Sweeney said in reference to Chara, McQuaid, Seidenberg, Krug, Miller and Trotman. “I think it’€™s been lost a little bit that Kevan Miller is coming back to our group because he’€™s been our for so long, and we’€™ve got young players that at some point in time have to recognize that a situation presents itself and take advantage of it.”

Added Sweeney: “We have institutional knowledge as to how much they’€™ve developed and where we think they can get to. Are they plug-and-play? No, [not] like you would describe some of the other guys that have had the the level of success that they’€™ve had. We have to balance that. There’€™s definitely a bit of forecasting involved in both of those decisions.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

FOXBORO — Among the most notable revelations from Wednesday’s Winter Classic press event were the logos that the Bruins and Canadiens will use when they play at Gillette Stadium on July 1.

FOXBORO — With the NHL set to hold a Winter Classic press event Wednesday afternoon, it appears one interesting bit has emerged: the logos.

The following image was displayed on the big screen at Gillette Stadium prior to the event, featuring what appears to be the Bruins’ logo from 1926 through 1932:

photo (1)

Courtesy of SportsLogos.net, here is a cleaner image of Boston’s 1926-1932 emblem:

1926 logoThe Canadiens’ logo in that image appears to be something of a new take on one of their older logos, with it most closely resembling the one the Habs wore for a brief time from 1917 until 1919.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Signing Adam McQuaid continues to be a head-scratcher.</p>
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