B’s Are Back

It’s great to have the Bruin’s back, even if it is for a lockout-shortened season. The Bruin’s proved that keeping their team chemistry together over the off season was the right move after not signing any big names. They opened up the season versus the Rangers on Friday, taking tWinnipeg Jets v Boston Bruinshat game 3-1. Then, they took on the Jets on Monday afternoon, and won in a shootout.

Tuuka Rask has only allowed two goals and the B’s are playing like they typically do, as a team. Everyone either has 1 point or 0 so far. The Black and Gold will take on the Rangers again on Wednesday night and then the Islanders on Friday.

Look on the Bright Side

Not much good news in the NHL this season, but there is one thing that Bruin’s fans can be happy about. Nathan Horton is now healthy and will play if and when the season starts. He last played on January 22nd after his 2nd concussion in just 7 months. His first concussion came against the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. He scored 17 goals and had 15 assists last season before getting sidelined in January.

This will be big for the Bruins who struggled to score at the end of last season. Horton is a proven scorer with a 30+ goal season and many 20+ goal seasons. Can’t wait for the black and gold to get started again.

Hamilton Ready for B’s

According to Claude Julien, 19 year old defenseman Dougie Hamilton is ready for the NHL. Coach Julien went to see him play in the AHL and said that he belongs in the big leagues. He is a 6″5 defender who was drafted 9th overall by the Boston Bruins. He has Mcquaid’s size (not quite Chara’s), but is quicker and younger, and can do damage on both ends. “Dougie is such a big player and he’s gotten so much stronger”, said Julien. He will easily be in the top 6 for our defenders when (if) this lock out finally ends.

Non-Lockout NHL News

Although we are in a work stoppage for hockey, there has been some speculation of the NHL expanding. They’re not going into useless Maine or Montana or something, but into bigger markets. However, they are markets that most will probably not care about, in our neighbors to the north. They have been in talks to bring two new NHL teams to Canada (Quebec, and the Greater Toronto Area known as Markham). Keep in mind that Toronto already has the Maple Leafs up there, but with the popularity of the sport up there, it just might work. New York has multiple teams for virtually every sport and that seems to work out for them.

Could NHL Be Back?

The NHL has made an offer to the players’ union for a 50-50 split in all hockey related revenue. It is now on the players to decide if they think that this is a fair deal for everyone involved. There are many more stipulations than that, but as far as the lock-out goes, it is starting to look good. This offer was unexpected by just about everyone.

They said that they would play a full 82 game season and playoffs beginning November 2nd if the players accept relatively quick. This is a huge turn in the hockey world, one that just about everyone thought was never going to happen. By no means does this mean it’s over, but at least they are breaking ground!

Lockout Talk

Well, the NHL lockout is upon us and who knows when it’s going to end. Unlike last year’s NBA lockout, I’m putting all the blame on the owners for this one, but that’s a completely different story. Looking back at that last post about Rondo interning at GQ and seeing the above tweet from Seguin got me thinking. What would I do as a professional athlete if I were locked out of my sport? My first thought was absolutely nothing. Couch, TV, beverage, maybe sprinkle in a few vacations. But that would be too easy. I thought back to last year and did a little research to see what other athletes have done in the past during a lockout. Here are a few notable mentions.

Delonte West – Stock at Regency Furniture

Zoltan Mesko – Intern at Graham and Partners (private equity firm)

Troy Polamalu – Finished Undergrad History degree at USC

Paul Pierce – Played in Vegas’ World Series of Poker Tournament

Kobe Bryant, Chad Ochocinco – Play/Tryout for a professional soccer team

Blake Griffin – Intern for Funny or Die comedy website

Marcus Camby, Hines Ward, Pacman Jones – Get arrested

Chris Cooley – Opened a pottery studio

Kris Humphreys, Tony Romo – Get married (for no matter how long or short)

Ron Artest – Search for world peace and change name

A number of players – Travel overseas to play your sport

Clearly some athletes thought outside the box, intentionally or not. As much as it sucks, unfortunately lockouts happen. So it begs the question. As a professional athlete, what would you do with your time off during a lockout?

Seguin’s Here To Stay

Just as I stated yesterday while writing about the Bruin’s, the team has announced that they have continued to be in talks with multiple players in order to keep the core together for many years to come. They did so today by announcing that they have agreed to a new contract with star forward Tyler Seguin. The deal is averaged out to be $5.75 million over the next six years. He was supposed to be a free agent after this season.

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Bruin’s Notes

Bruin’s GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed late last week that their annual rookie camp and tournament have been cancelled for this season due to the expiring CBA and potential lockout. As of now, the regular camp is still set to begin on September 17th.

He also said that he is in talks with other soon-to-be restricted free agents after extending Brad Marchand’s contract last week. He would not specify who he has been in negotiations with but Tuuka, Lucic, and Seguin are all set to be Restricted Free Agents after next season (assuming we have one). Who would you lock up first?

Bruins Lock Down Marchand

The Bruins agreed to a 4 year deal with 24 year old star forward Brad Marchand. The deal is worth 18 million and begins after next season. This will keep Marchand in the black and gold until after the 2016-17 season.

Last season he scored 28 goals and added 27 assists in only his second season with the B’s. This will make Brad the 3rd highest paid forward on the roster, behind Krejci and Bergeron. If we did not extend his contract, he would have been a restricted free agent after this season (if there is one). 8 days till the old Collective Bargaining Agreement expires and we see our third sports lockout in under a year.

NHL Locking Out?

The NHL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in just less than two months.  So far, the players like what they are getting, but the owners want more.  The rich trying to get richer, sound familiar? (See NBA/NFL negotiations). The last report shows that the players would make 46% of the revenue for the league, when they made 57% last season. Contracts would also be limited to 5 years in the new proposal.  This is a big difference seeing as Zach Parise and Ryan suter both just signed 13 year deals with the Wild, worth $98 million each.

This sucks. Hockey is just becoming very popular again, especially after the playoffs of the past few seasons.  They already cancelled the 2004-05 season, due to negotiating problems. Commissioner Gary Bettman is actually a pretty decent guy, especially compared to NBA commissioner David Stern.  He said openly that he sees the players as 50-50 partners with the owners.

Since the season is starting on October 11 (hopefully), there isn’t all that much time to get things done.  All we need is another lockout to ruin yet another sport.