Bruins go for another power forward in Hargrove

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Bruins go for another power forward in Hargrove

PITTSBURGH The Bruins once again went back to the well with their final pick in the NHL Draft, selecting a prospective power forward in Colton Hargrove.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Hargrove is a power forward out of Fargo in the USHL, and he hails from Rockwall, Texas. Not exactly a hotbed of hockey in the Lone Star State, but it speaks to the draft-eligible talent coming from all over.

The 205th overall pick will be headed to Western Michigan University next season, so the Bruins will get a good long look at him throughout his college years. Hargrove makes no bones about what kind of player he is, and the Bruins are always happy to draft and develop size on the wing.

Id like to think Im a power forward. I like to hit, forecheck. I think Ive got some skill. I can score, said Hargrove. Thats kind of what a power forward is . . . kind of just a skilled grinder that likes to hit. So I think I can bring a physical game and some skill to the team.

He put up 16 goals, 38 points and 140 PIMs in 54 games for the Fargo Force last season, and its pretty clear the Bruins hope he can further develop his skills after four years of NCAA hockey.

As with any big man he'll need to improve his coordination and footwork to augment his skating abilities. His size and strength are already well in place for a 19-year-old kid.

Id like to improve upon my footwork. I dont have the quickest feet and I think I can definitely work on it this year. Being at Western Michigan the coaches are great, said Hargrove. The weight training has been awesome since Ive been up here. Its tough but its really good for me. So hopefully I can work on that.

Hargrove will also be reunited with Fargo goaltender -- and Bruins 2011 draft pick -- Zane Gothberg during next weeks Bruins Development Camp, and hes hoping to light up his former tender.

I actually just called him. He was like Hello? and I said Ill see you at camp in about a couple of days, and he was like Yeah I just heard about it, said Hargrove. So Im real excited finally get to see him again. I havent seen him in a while and hopefully were on opposite teams so I can score on him a couple times.

The Bruins are hoping Hargrove can do a lot of scoring, and potentially become a diamond-in-the-rough draft pick much like power forward Brian Ferlin, who has developed quickly over the last 12 months after the Bruins plucked him out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

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Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
 
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
 
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats