Its officially a mass exodus of Boston Bruins to the European hockey leagues. Just hours after it was confirmed that team captain Zdeno Chara was headed to the KHL, CSNNE.com has confirmed that Patrice Bergeron has signed on with HC Lugano of the Swiss League on Tuesday afternoon. The team's web site had the initial report.
According to Chris Johnson of the Canadian Press, a portion of Bergerons salary will be funded outside the team and is likely going toward the sizable insurance policy needed to play overseas.
Bergeron will be reunited in Switzerland with former Bs teammate Glen Metropolit, who is tied for the team lead on Lugano in points scored. He'll leave the states on Friday, and is set to play fellow Bruins teammate Tyler Seguin, also playing in the Swiss League, on October 20.
Bergerons agent, Kent Hughes, had indicated to CSNNE.com over a week ago that Switzerland was the leading suitor for the Bs alternate captains services. But Bergeron waited to play in the opening game of the Quebec Caravan League last week in a match that pitted the hockey stars of Montreal vs. Quebec City, and then opted for a Swiss League that will pit him against linemate Tyler Seguin.
Its standard operating procedure in Europe for teams to hit up local companies or the ticket purchasing fans for additional funds if theres a certain standout player the team is interested in acquiring. Bergeron is the seventh Bruins player to sign a European contract joining Chara, Tyler Seguin, Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin overseas while the NHL sits in neutral due to the lockout.
Like all of his Bruins teammates, Bergeron has an out clause in his contract with HC Lugano that will allow him to return to Boston ifwhen the NHL lockout ends and the regular season begins.
Lugano's web site also indicated that Bergeron will be reporting to Switzerland for duty in the coming days.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL.
The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season.
It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents.
“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”
Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari.
“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”
That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo.
*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other.
*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week.
*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda.
*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out.
*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL.
*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.