Bergeron: All Star snub "doesn't matter"

642422.jpg

Bergeron: All Star snub "doesn't matter"

RALEIGH, N.C. Most hockey players might have been upset about being snubbed for an All-Star game selection when they were so deserving of the honor.

But then again Patrice Bergeron isnt most players. In addition to being the most criminally underrated forward of his generation in the NHL, Bergeron is also perhaps the perfect teammate. The two-way center understands the complete game he has to play in all zones on the ice, and he completely buys into the team concept off the ice when it comes to individual accolades.

The 26-year-old admitted he would have liked being selected to the NHL All-Star game this because because it would have been his first time. But Bergeron knows there are bigger goals to a season that could very end with another deep run into the postseason, and knows a four-day rest in the middle of the season is something that will benefit him.

Instead Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and linemate Tyler Seguin will be headed to the NHL All-Star game weekend while Bergeron heads back to Quebec City for a few days of rest and relaxation.

I was happy for Seguin and obviously for Zee and Timmy, said Bergeron. It doesnt really matter. At the end of the day its one of those things where its all about the team. Last year the reason we won was because we were playing like a team and nobody was worried about individual stuff. So its the same thing this year.

It would have been nice because it would have been my first time, but if you look at the schedule in February and March that time off is going to be huge. Im always aware that people arent looking at the details of the game as much as the results, and thats fine with me. My teammates see it and thats all that matters to me.

Bergeron potted his 12th goal of the season in Saturday nights 4-2 loss and is second on the Bruins with 37 points this year, so his offensive credentials are where they need to be. The center is winning close to 60 percent of his face-offs and is among the NHL plusminus leaders with a plus-27, but still sits on the outside of the All-Star selection process despite the Stanley Cup resume.

Bergeron said he would go to Ottawa if asked to fill in as an injury replacement leading up to the event, but count his coach among the people that felt it shouldnt have even come to that.

With Bergeron its the whole package: when I talk about the whole package its his demeanor, his professionalism, how he shows up at the rink every day, how he practices every day and how he wants to work as hard as he can every day, said Claude Julien. He just carries that into the game. Hes as consistent a player as Ive ever seen and hes so reliable at both ends of the ice.

Everybody talks about those players that score 50 goals or lead the league in points, but if you look at the whole package theyre not as good defensively. I dont know if hes underrated, but if he is then hes starting to stick out more. He deserves in my mind to be acknowledged as a top player in the NHL. In my mind hes a player that easily could have been added to that All-Star list because hes deserving of that opportunity.

Theres no doubt Bergeron is deserving of the honor, but he may have wait another year before hes recognized for the All-Star hes truly become.

Report: Celtics offer Pacers deal for Paul George

Report: Celtics offer Pacers deal for Paul George

The Celtics reportedly have offered the Pacers a deal to acquire star forward Paul George.

According to Adam Kaufman of WBZ News Radio and 98.5 The Sports Hub, the Celtics offered the Pacers the first-round pick they received from the 76ers, either the 2019 Grizzlies or Clippers’ protected first-rounder, Jae Crowder and a money filler.

Kaufman also noted Avery Bradley could be on the move as well for financial reasons.

The C's, as reported by The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, are also working to sign Gordon Hayward this summer.

Blakely: Ainge's patience may hand Celtics a double payoff

Blakely: Ainge's patience may hand Celtics a double payoff

BOSTON -- When it comes to public opinion, Danny Ainge has never been one to be consumed by it or let it trickle into a decision he was thinking about for the roster.
 
So you can understand why the "What are they doing?" cries from Celtics Nation when he traded away the No. 1 overall pick earlier this month never resonated with him.

MORE ON GEORGE/HAYWARD


And you can understand why Ainge, when the Chicago Bulls became serious about moving Jimmy Butler on draft night, never put forth a competitive offer even though he had more than enough trade chips to do so.
 
He has patiently waited for his vault full of assets to increase, like blue-chip stocks, to a point where they had real value to a team open to moving a superstar talent to Boston.
 
That time appears to be now, with the Celtics well-positioned to add not one but two All-Stars in Utah’s Gordon Hayward and Indiana’s Paul George.
 
The Celts are pursuing both simultaneously, knowing they have to secure Hayward first in order to arrange to have enough salary-cap space to make a trade with the Pacers for George.
 
Not surprisingly, the first move in this 1-2 step is the hardest.
 
Boston will have to convince Hayward, who played for Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler and was named to his first All-Star team in February, to bypass an extra year and about $40 million --- which he could get by staying in Utah -- to sign here. The advantage the C's have, in addition to the lure of playing for his ex-college coach, is that the path towards the NBA Finals is a lot more realistic with them than with the Jazz, who are on the rise but not quite close enough to where they are a legitimate threat to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
 
Meanwhile, the Celtics are coming off a season in which they finished with the best record in the East and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. They also return the core from last year's team, led by two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas.
 
It’s likely that at least one member of the team’s core will be included in a trade for George, a pending free agent whose representatives informed the Pacers he was not going to sign a long-term contract with Indiana and that his preferred destination for 2018-19 (and beyond) was his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
 
The Lakers don't have the kind of assets the Pacers are hoping to secure for their four-time All-Star. The Celtics, however, are in position to potentially overpay for George and not have it devastate their growth in both the short and long term. They also feel that once they get him here, they can convince him to stay . . . and, indeed, some people in George's camp feel Boston is a better landing spot than Los Angeles.
 
However, the key in all this is Hayward, who will also get a strong pitch from the Miami Heat.
 
Complicating this even further for the Celtics has been the salary cap coming in at just $99 million as opposed to what most anticipated would be a couple million dollars more.
 
“It is hard,” Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told CSN’s Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely recently regarding the salary cap for this season. “With the cap going down, it’s a little bit of a jolt. It doesn’t seem like a lot and every team has to deal with this. But we were planning pretty close to the dollar, to have a good team this year but to max cap space flexibility going into the offseason.”

In order for the Celtics to pull this off, it likely means they will have to part ways with at least one of their core players to ensure there’s enough cap space.
 
But considering what they could look like roster-wise on opening night, having to trade a player because of the decreased salary cap is the kind of the collateral damage that the C's can live with.