Mike Mottau had been a regular participant in the informal NHL skates in Boston over the last three months, and continues to hope that a slot will open up for him once the lockout is over. The 34-year-old Mottau had some offers to play in Europe over the summer if he committed to the entire season, but the veteran defenseman held out hope on a couple of things: the NHL work stoppage wouldnt be a long one and that perhaps there would be a chance to re-sign with the Bruins.
But neither of those things appear realistic now with the lockout rolling right into December, and Mottau confirmed to CSNNE.com that he signed a veteran tryout agreement with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage. The former Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston College signed with the Florida Panthers farm team in the hopes of getting in game shape once the lockout is over.
Perhaps that will be soon, and perhaps it wont. But Mottau left for San Antonio on Wednesday and will start playing in games after skating with Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and others for weeks in the Boston area.
I think I would be more valuable to a team if Im in game shape once the lockout gets settled, said Mottau.
That makes a lot of sense for the former Devils, Islanders and Bruins defenseman after he finished with a pair of assists and finished with a minus-11 rating in 36 games for the Isles and Bs last season. There should be room on an NHL roster for a dependable defenseman like Mottau, particularly if a lowered salary cap becomes an issue that teams are grappling with courtesy of any future CBA.
That would be the best outcome for a veteran like Mottau that was caught in a tough spot by the timing of the NHL lockout, but still has plenty to offer the right NHL team as a bottom-pairing defenseman at an affordable price.
Longtime TNT NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014. The Boston Celtics showed their support on Tuesday.
BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.
The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.
So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.
“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.
“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”
While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.