Bruins pick Benning trying to live up to family legacy

572246.jpg

Bruins pick Benning trying to live up to family legacy

PITTSBURGH The Bruins kept it in the family with their sixth-round pick, taking assistant general manager Jim Bennings nephew, Matt, a big defenseman with the 175th overall selection.

Benning is an interesting story in that hes also the son of longtime NHL veteran Bryan Benning, but the 18-year-old wasnt always sure if he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his hockey-playing relatives.

But Bruins scouting director Wayne Smith assured that Benning has become fully committed in the last couple of years, and provides the kind of size, strength and nastiness that Boston always needs along their rear-guard. The younger Benning said he was phoned by his overjoyed uncle on Saturday when hed been chosen by the Bruins, and was in the middle of studying for his math final exams.

No doubt the books were put down for a little while, and Benning envisioned what it might be like playing in a Bruins uniform.

With my uncle obviously playing in the NHL and my dad playing in the NHL too theres a bit of pressure, admitted Benning. But they support me in whatever I do and hopefully one day I can pursue my dream of playing in the NHL just like they did.

Smith said that Benning has a little bit of a nasty streak at 6-feet tall and 218 pounds, but he's still a bit raw around the edges as he enters into a season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL.

He plans to play college hockey following a year at the major junior level in the US, and has no illusions about his game. Its high on the defensive end and the physicality scale, and modestly improving on the offensive side of things.

Hes toured the TD Garden and the Bruins practice facilities as a guest of Uncle Jim, but he knows next week hell be there on business as part of the teams development camp.

I think Im more of a stay-at-home 'D'-man, kind of like a Matt Green. Just kind of like rough and tough, stay at home, and just hard to play against kind of 'D', said Benning. So over the summer Im going to try to work on my foot speed some more and my skating and hopefully I can improve.

Given the NHL bloodlines its a fair bet that Benning is going to improve now that hes committed to a hockey career, and there couldnt be a more perfect fit for his development than his uncle Jims Bruins.

Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener

boston-bruins-brandon-carlo.jpg

Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener

The Bruins had already let it be known that Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes wouldn’t be playing Monday night in their preseason opener vs. the Blue Jackets. 

Instead, all three will participate in their first day of training camp practice on Monday morning, and the Bruins will ice a young, prospect-laden group against Columbus at TD Garden.

“[Camp] has been really good,” said assistant coach Jay Pandolfo. “There are a lot of new faces around here, so we’re just getting them to understand how we want to play. I think they did a good job with it and they should be ready to go [against Columbus].”

Here is the lineup of players expected to suit up for Boston’s preseason opener on Monday night: Brandon Carlo, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Anton Khudobin, Sean Kuraly, John-Michael Liles, Zane McIntyre, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Peter Mueller, Riley Nash, Rob O’Gara, Tyler Randell and Jakub Zboril. 

Carlo, Cehlarik, Heinen and DeBrusk are all serious candidates to threaten for an NHL roster spot, and these preseason games will be a big test to see how roster ready they might actually be at their precocious young age.

The Bruins haven’t said when the first cuts of training camp are expected, but one round of early cuts are expected next week perhaps after Wednesday night’s preseason home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

“We’ll see how tomorrow night goes and then make a decision [on a lineup] for Wednesday, but I think we’ll try to give all the guys a pretty good look and go from there,” said Pandolfo. 
 

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what a crap shot this Presidential debate is going to be on Monday night.

*Brett Connolly has hooked on with the Washington Capitals, and the Caps hope they’ve found a “gem” in the former Bruins winger.

*John Tortorella is putting his Blue Jackets through an absolute boot camp thus far in Columbus. Bold strategy…I wonder how this will play out.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins appreciate the gifts of defenseman Kris Letang, even if Team Canada didn’t for the World Cup.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ken Wiebe has the details on Jacob Trouba asking to get moved from the Winnipeg Jets.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Saturday night’s World Cup of Hockey showdown between Russia and Canada as another chapter in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry.

*It’s sad to see respected veteran player Clarke MacArthur have to be helped off the ice after a vicious hit in a training camp scrimmage. What a dumb move by a guy that’s never going to crack the Senators roster.

*For something completely different: a good father/son piece on learning to appreciate things that your kids are interested in, and how rewarding it can be in the end.