Bruins banking on Bourque with 2-year deal

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Bruins banking on Bourque with 2-year deal

It was hoped that the Bruins would come to an agreement with Chris Bourque after dealing with the Washington Capitals for him last week, and that hope turned into reality when the Bruins announced a two-year deal with the minor league forward.

The 26-year-old Bourque nearly reached 100 points in an outstanding AHL season with the Hershey Bears last year, and will have two years to follow the footsteps of his Hall of Fame dad, Ray, and became a cog for the Bruins. The deal includes a two-way contract for the 2012-13 season that will pay Bourque 550,000 if he makes the Bruins out of training camp, and 200,000 if he spends the season with the Providence Bruins.

Then the contract becomes a one-way deal in 2013-14 and will pay him 550,00 with the expectation hell be playing in Boston.

Given his offensive abilities demonstrated in the minor leagues and his ability to play up-and-down the lineup, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said theres a legitimate chance that Bourque could make the Bs next season.

I told Chris that I think he has a good chance of making our team. I told him that hes just not there to go to Providence, said Chiarelli. If he goes to Providence then thats great, but giving him a one-way deal in the second year speaks to how we feel about Chris. Hes got a couple of areas to work on and I told him that.

Hes very keen and Im happy to have him in the organization. Obviously his dad was huge for our organization, but Chris has his real positive traits and parts of his game that well all be happy to see in a Bruins uniform.

As with many players attempting to make the jump from established AHL player to a card-carrying member of the NHL, versatility will be one of the keys for Bourque.

He does have the ability to shoot and find seams, but he also has a grit element to his game where he can play lower down in the lineup if he has to, said Chiarelli. I told him among other things that he needs another quarter-step to maintain it at this level, and hes a young guy so I think he will.

The Bruins are banking on the contract theyve handed to a very familiar-looking last name for the next two years.

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

Chara on slumping Bruins: Players shouldn't have to be told to work hard

BRIGHTON -- The on-ice portion of Bruins practice kicked off about an hour later than scheduled at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning.

The B's are reeling, having lost four games in a row for the first time this season after getting dumped by the Penguins, 5-1, in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Their standing in the Atlantic Division, and the playoff picture, is tenuous at best with so many other teams holding games in hand over them, and it truly looks like they're going to slide out of the race if they can’t reverse their fortunes.

So Claude Julien, saying "desperate times call for desperate measures," summoned the players to a video session where flaws, mistakes, half-hearted efforts and bad systems-play was pointed out in front of everyone. The team then took the ice to iron out those problems in an hour-long practice that the embattled Bruins coach hopes will lead to better results in the final two games, against Detroit and Pittsburgh, before the All-Star break.

“He was showing details that we were doing well early on in the season to have success, and little things that we’ve gotten away from that we need to correct,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “We need to start doing them again. It’s a game of little details and we need to make sure we do them right.”

While Chara wouldn’t comment on the tone of the video session, it’s clear that things like effort, determination and desperation were probably talking points just as much as fine-tuning Julien’s long-held offensive and defensive systems.

“It’s commitment," said Chara. "That’s for sure, that we need to have everybody doing that. We shouldn’t . . . at this level, at this time of the season, [have to be] asking guys to work hard. We’ve got to make sure that everybody is working hard, and everybody is paying his dues to be in the lineup and earn a spot.

“That’s the No. 1 priority: You have to compete and you have to work hard. Usually when you do those things, good things happen. We’ve got to back to those little things [with] hard work, commitment and competing every shift.”

Will an honest, direct video session between head coach and players be the key to stopping the team’s most demoralizing stretch of the season, and lead to a prolonged winning streak? Only time will tell.

But the Bruins need something to get spinning in an entirely different direction.