Bruins sign Khokhlachev to rookie deal, will play in Russia this season

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Bruins sign Khokhlachev to rookie deal, will play in Russia this season

WILMINGTON, Mass. There was finally some clarity on the Alex Khokhlachev To Russia with Love situation on Friday morning.

The Bruins 2011 second round pick will play for the KHLs Spartak club this coming season, and then will return back to the Bruins organization the following season. That became the new plan after Khokhlachev signed an entry-level rookie deal with the Bruins that becomes official on July 1.

If they hadnt signed Khokhlachev now, they would have been under the gun to sign him by June 1, 2013 in order to retain his rights.

Kokos year in Russia wont count toward the three-year contract with the Bruins, and instead wont be activated the following season when he returns to North American ready for pro hockey. The highly-skilled Russian forward showed his abilities while topping 30 goals in his first season for the OHL Windsor Spitfires, and was excellent after arriving in shape for last falls Bs training camp.

The 19-year-old will still take part in Bs training camp again this fall before heading back to Russia to be reunited with his father, Igor. The lacerated kidney Koko suffered while skating for the Spitfires at the end of last years junior hockey season is still affecting the Russian forward at development camp, but hes expected to make a full recovery by this falls full training camp.

Weve come to terms with Khokhlachev. Because of his injury he wont be taking any contact for seven or eight weeks, said Chiarelli. The plan is now for him to play in Russia. Hell attend our camp and then hell go to play in Russia for Spartak where his father is a manager.

After the one year hell be under his purview. His goal is still to play in the NHL and hes making strides toward that. What we decided with Koko is that its a unique set of circumstances with his dad being the manager there. We said its one year and back to North America. He felt it was the right move and so were going along with it and supporting it.

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. 

Monday, Jan. 23: Yandle endorses Coyotes

Monday, Jan. 23: Yandle endorses Coyotes

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while sorting through all the Bruins-related alternative facts out there.

*Matthew Tkachuk is having some disagreements with his parents about his mouth-guard usage with the Calgary Flames.

*Former Yotes D-man Keith Yandle says that the Arizona Coyotes “know what they’re doing” despite their decent to the cellar in the Western Conference.

*Insights on every goaltending situation in the NHL from the crack ESPN.com staff breaking down the fantasy rankings.

*The struggles continue for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they can’t seem to gain any traction in the Atlantic Division.

*Wayne Simmonds took the blame for a late penalty that led to Philly’s undoing as they battle for playoff position in the East.

*Sounds like Patrik Laine might be nearing a return to the lineup, and that’s a very good thing for the Winnipeg Jets.

*For something completely different: We have a title for the next Star Wars film. It’s going to be called “The Last Jedi.”