Bruins center David Krejci met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss the six-year, $43.5 million contract he signed with the team last week, and in doing so implied that it might be his last

Bruins center David Krejci met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss the six-year, $43.5 million contract he signed with the team last week, and in doing so implied that it might be his last NHL contract.

The deal, which begins in the 2015-16 season, will take Krejci until he is 35 years of age. Asked whether he planned to play past then, Krejci indicated that he did, but that he would like to play in the Czech Republic.

‘€œI want to win, and I really hope, I think we have the team to make a run, not just one year but the next few years,’€ Krejci said, ‘€œand in seven years from now, if we’€™ll have what we’€™re trying to achieve then it’€™s going to be an easier decision to go back home.

‘€œI’€™ve always wanted to finish my career back home in my hometown,’€ he added. ‘€œThat would be a way easier decision, but if not then I would have to think twice about my next move. That’€™s the reason why I signed here. I believe we can win not once, but more times.’€

Krejci has spent his entire professional career with the Bruins since they drafted him in the second round of the 2004 draft.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara was careful to not go into detail regarding a hand injury believed to be a broken finger when the Bruins were eliminated by the Canadiens in the second round, even asking his agent to not com

WILMINGTON –€” Zdeno Chara was careful to not go into detail regarding a hand injury believed to be a broken finger when the Bruins were eliminated by the Canadiens in the second round, even asking his agent to not comment on his injury back in May. On Monday, the Bruins captain finally confirmed that, as suspected, his shooting hand was in rough shape as the series wore on.

Chara said he did not have surgery, but admitted that both the ring finger and the pinky of his left hand were broken. Chara said Monday that the bone in his pinky was sticking out of his skin at the time of the injury and that he no longer has feeling in either finger, though he can now grip his stick normally again.

Though breaking two fingers isn’€™t the most gruesome hockey injury, it’€™s a much bigger deal than it sounds, especially considering the pinky was one of them. Without the use of the pinky, one can’€™t grip their stick, or anything for that matter.

That explains why Chara was so visibly weak on his stick, particularly late in the series. It also explains why wasn’€™t shooting; Chara had just one shot on goal in Game 6 and none in Game 7.

That makes for two consecutive postseasons in which Chara was hindered in a significant way in the Bruins’ final games. Chara had a hip injury that worsened over the course of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals, with the Blackhawks taking advantage of the weakened blueliner for the game-tying goal in their Cup-clinching Game 6 victory.

Chara has been in town practicing with his teammates since last week.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins

David Warsofsky has spent three-plus seasons in the AHL. (Jared Wickerham, Getty Images)

Being NHL-ready and stuck in the AHL because of organizational depth is tough, but sometimes there’€™s a solution.

If it were another player, it would be logical to thank the organization for the chance and respectfully ask the team to explore trade options, but it’€™s more complicated than that with David Warsofsky.

The chances of him cracking Boston’€™s lineup as long as Torey Krug is around and healthy are remote, but the Marshfield native grew up a Bruins fan and has family here, so the idea of parting with the organization isn’€™t as appetizing.

“€œI’€™ve got a big family around here, and everybody loves coming to the games, so that’€™s obviously easy for them,” Warsofsky said. “€œAt the end of the day, it is a business, so I think wherever hockey takes me, that’€™s where it is. Right now it’€™s Boston, so I’€™m pretty happy with that.”

Warsofsky, who played at Cushing Academy before heading to Boston University for three years, has spent three seasons (parts of four) in Providence since being acquired from the Blues in 2010 for Vladimir Sobotka. In Providence, he’€™s played his game ‘€” that of an undersized puck-moving defenseman ‘€” and last season put up 32 points in 56 regular-season games and added nine more in 12 postseason games.

He also held his own in six games last season for Boston, contributing offensively by scoring his first NHL goal in his fourth game on Dec. 28 against Ottawa and assisting of a Chris Kelly goal against the Senators on Feb. 8.

“Obviously to get a couple games in and get that confidence that you can play at that level is obviously good,”€ he said. “In my head I obviously thought I could play at that level, but the reassurance of coming up here and playing well definitely helped a lot too.”

This offseason, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he includes Warsofsky to be in the group of nine NHL defensemen he feels the Bruins possess. He’€™s probably right, but as long as Torey Krug is in town and healthy, none of us can be sure.

Both players possess similar size (Krug is listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Warsofsky is listed as being the same height and 10 pounds lighter). They’€™re both strong skaters and power play assets. Warsofsky, at 24 years of age, is less than a year older than Krug.

With all the defensemen the Bruins have, there isn’€™t room for that redundancy. Krug has spent the majority of his Bruins career as the team’€™s No. 5/6 defenseman in addition to his power play responsibilities. Warsofsky isn’€™t going to leapfrog him.

“It is a tough situation with all the defensemen they have here, and obviously Torey and me play a similar types of game,” Warsofsky said. “I’€™m just focusing on myself right now, [which] is all I can really do; control what I can control and I’€™ll see what happens [in training camp].”

So again, a player in Warsofsky’€™s position might look for opportunities elsewhere, much like how the Bruins have looked at trade options to give Jordan Caron an opportunity to be in an NHL lineup every night. As a restricted free agent this summer, Warsofsky could have tried to leverage his way to another team, but instead happily signed a one-year, two-way deal to stay with the B’€™s.

‘€œObviously I wanted to come back to the Bruins,’€ he said. ‘€œThis is my hometown and I want to play for the Bruins for a long time.’€

Whether that happens remains to be seen. The Bruins need to make some sort of trade in order to free up space if they want to give Krug and Reilly Smith, both unsigned entry level free agents, respectable contracts. Trading Warsofsky wouldn’€™t solve any of the team’€™s cap woes, but including him in a trade would both yield a better return and finally give Warsofsky the opportunity he seems to deserve.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins have limited cap space to sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (Jared Wickerham, Getty Images).WILMINGTON — David Krejci’s new contract doesn’t hurt the status of unsigned entry level free agent



WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Friday that the Bruins have signed forward Matt Fraser to a one-year, two-way deal. Fraser was at Friday’s semi-formal practice, making his first appearance.

WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Friday that the Bruins have signed forward Matt Fraser to a one-year, two-way deal. Fraser was at Friday’s semi-formal practice, making his first appearance.

Chiarelli also revealed that the bruins have invited Ville Leino to training camp on a tryout. The 30-year-old forward is coming off an unproductive three-season stint in Buffalo in which he totaled 46 points over 136 regular season games. His most productive season game in 2010-11, when he scored 19 goals and added 34 assists for 53 points for the Flyers. He is a native of Savonlinna, Finland, which is also the hometown of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Leino will join Simon Gagne as veteran wingers in Boston’€™s camp on a tryout.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Justin Florek will take any job he can get in Boston. (Getty Images)

Justin Florek did not spend the offseason teaching himself to shoot right-handed. Other than that shortcoming, he feels he has done his best to position himself for a spot in Boston this season.

Florek, the Bruins’€™ fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft, got into four regular season and six postseason games for the Bruins as he got his first taste of the NHL. It was almost immediately apparent when he got into the lineup during Shawn Thornton‘€™s suspension that the then-23-year-old was capable of handling fourth-line minutes in the NHL, but as he enters the upcoming training camp, he does as just one name on a list of players competing for a place with the B’s.

“It’€™s going to be a tough battle,” Florek said Thursday. “€œIt’€™s going to be a great camp, and I think the compete level is going to be the highest that I’€™ve ever seen. It’€™s going to be a lot of fun; it’€™s going to be a good challenge and all the guys that are fighting for that spot are really going to have to fight for it. It’€™s going to be good.”

Once Reilly Smith signs, the Bruins’€™ top two lines will be set in stone, but there are questions from there regarding who will play on the third line with Carl Soderberg (and presumably Chris Kelly), and which players will make up the fourth line.

The most glaring opening on Boston’€™s roster is on the third line right wing, but there’€™s also an open competition for other bottom-six spots, including the fourth line center position. Possibilities include Gregory Campbell being moved to wing and Daniel Paille being moved to the third line.

Amidst all the uncertainty, Florek just knows he wants to be in Boston. His chances might be better if he were a right shot. David Pastrnak and Seth Griffifth are right shots, but the Bruins’€™ young wingers with more experience, such as Florek, Jordan Caron and Matt Fraser, are left shots.

In his time in Boston last season, Florek played mostly left wing. He’€™s played on the right side, however, and he said that if he were to end up being needed on the right side on any line (perhaps replacing Shawn Thornton on the fourth line), he’€™d be able to do it.

“It is [different] but it also has it’€™s advantages, coming down, shooting one-timers off the off-side,”€ he said of playing his off wing. “It’€™s just going to take a lot of work along the wall in my own zone for breakouts, but that’€™s something I pride myself on. If I continue to work on it, I think I’€™ll get there.”

The most logical roles for Florek on the NHL roster would figure to be on one of the fourth line wings or as a 13th forward for now. The latter will become more possible if the Bruins are to find a trade for Caron.

Florek is a big boy at 6-foot-4 and 194 pounds, which would allow the Bruins to get younger on the fourth line while also remaining tough, and with two full years of AHL experience, using him as an extra forward wouldn’€™t hurt his development as much as it might hurt a less experienced player.

If it came down to being an extra forward in the NHL or playing regularly in the AHL, Florek’€™s preference is clear: Though he’€™s played only 10 games for the B’€™s, he doesn’€™t want to be anywhere else.

“My goal –€” everyone’€™s goal –€” is to make it to the NHL,” he said. “Whether I’€™m the 13th forward or I’€™m down in Providence, I’€™m going to work my hardest to get in that lineup and just contribute anywhere I can to help the B’€™s win.

“If it’€™s as a practice guy, I’€™m just going to help the guys compete every day and try to fight my [way] into the lineup. That’€™s kind of the way my whole career has been, is working my way up along the way. I’€™ll do whatever it takes, and from an organizational standpoint, I’€™ll do whatever they need me to do.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins and other NHL players contributed their semi-formal practices Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. Milan Lucic skated on his own for the second straight day, and he joined the other skaters for the first 15 minutes of the session before leaving the ice.

Lucic, who is recovering from wrist surgery, was sporting a new look. The 26-year-old, who has long worn a helmet without a visor, was wearing a visor on Thursday.

Not present among players previously in attendance were Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson and Daniel Paille. Bergeron, Eriksson and Paille were all scheduled to be at a Ray Bourque‘s golf tournament. Shawn Thornton, who skated with the group Tuesday and Wednesday, was not present, though Devils goaltender Cory Schneider took his place as non-Bruins skating with the team.

 

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean