Bruins still at odds with another Stanley Cup title

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Bruins still at odds with another Stanley Cup title

The Bruins didnt change the composition of their roster much aside from the bizarre departure of goalie Tim Thomas, and their chances of winning the Stanley Cup havent changed all that much according to the odds-makers in Las Vegas.

Per the good people at Bovada (www.Bovada.lv) the Pittsburgh Penguins hold the best 8-to-1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup next season despite no major upgrades on their roster aside from the expected good health of Sidney Crosby. The New York Rangers are just behind with 9-to-1 odds after trading a few non-essential players and parts in exchange for Rick Nash after falling in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

The Philadelphia Flyers are 14-to-1 as the next East team most likely to win the Stanley Cup, and the Boston Bruins still sit as the fourth-most favorite team in the East with 16-to-1 odds to capture their second Stanley Cup in the last three years.

The Bs and Flyers both sat with 14-to-1 odds of winning the Cup at the beginning of June, and the Tim Thomas exodus is the most logical reason for Bostons odds of winning it all dropping ever so slightly. Its interesting to note how little change theres been among the Eastern teams from June to August as most of the best available free agentstrade pieces have moved to Western Conference teams aside from Nash moving to Madison Square Garden.

Also of interest on the other end of things the Columbus Blue Jackets have gone from 75-to-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup to an NHL-worst 100-to-1 odds after dealing away their franchise player in Nash.

Here are the odds team-by-team with no adjustments made for a potential work stoppage thats creeping up on the league if theres not a CBA in place by the Sept. 15 deadline:

Pittsburgh Penguins 81

New York Rangers 91

Vancouver Canucks 111

Los Angeles Kings 121

Philadelphia Flyers 131

Chicago Blackhawks 141

Detroit Red Wings 151

Boston Bruins 161

St. Louis Blues 161

Minnesota Wild 181

San Jose Sharks 201

Buffalo Sabres 221

Carolina Hurricanes 221

Nashville Predators 251

Tampa Bay Lightning 251

Washington Capitals 251

New Jersey Devils 281

Edmonton Oilers 301

Toronto Maple Leafs 351

Florida Panthers 401

Anaheim Ducks 401

Colorado Avalanche 401

Montreal Canadiens 401

Ottawa Senators 401

Phoenix Coyotes 401

Calgary Flames 501

Dallas Stars 501

Winnipeg Jets 501

New York Islanders 751

Columbus Blue Jackets 1001

Ray Bourque arrested and charged with OUI Friday

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Ray Bourque arrested and charged with OUI Friday

Bruins Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque was arrested in Andover this weekend, and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol according to multiple reports.

Andover Police told CBS Boston that the former Bruins and Avalanche defenseman was taken into custody around 11:30 p.m. Friday night on Lowell Street. The Bruins legend has lived on the North Shore with his family since retiring from the NHL, and has been a constant presence in the community at charitable events and Bruins functions.

Bourque was released on bail. No additional information was immediately available

Sweeney on chasing Stamkos, Lucic: 'We will make all the calls'

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Sweeney on chasing Stamkos, Lucic: 'We will make all the calls'

BUFFALO – While it certainly doesn’t feel like there’s any chance of it realistically happening, the Bruins plan to reach out to some of the bigger fish on the free agent market with roughly $21 million in cap space to work with.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney lost out on a defenseman trade target in Dmitry Kulikov on Saturday when he was dealt by the Panthers to the Buffalo Sabres and appears far away from acquiring top D-man target Kevin Shattenkirk.

So, the Bruins will turn their attention to the free agent market opening on July 1, and with that in mind Sweeney didn’t rule out the Bruins making a run at Stephen Stamkos, or potentially welcoming back power forward Milan Lucic.

“The interview period has already begun, and we were on the phone today with players that we had targeted. It was our first opportunity to speak with them, and see if things line up. It will play out over the next few days and we will be aggressive about it because we want to improve,” said Sweeney, who was adamant that the Bruins would make all the necessary exploratory phone calls when specifically asked about both Stamkos and Lucic. “We will take the temperature of whoever will help our hockey club, and it if lines up then that’s what we’d like to do.

“There are a lot of coveted ones on the market, and we will make all of the calls. It’s everybody. The city would embrace it, and the organization has great respect for [Lucic]. So there’s no question that we would explore all players.”

There may be some sentimental interest from Lucic's camp in returning to Boston, but there's also a sense the left wing has become comfortable back on his native West Coast. The Canucks in his home city of Vancouver and the Edmonton Oilers are expected to push hard for his punishing, board-rattling services. Wooing Stamkos would be particularly difficult given that the Bruins seem years away from truly competing for a Stanley Cup and have two frontline centers in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

While either one would certainly help a Black and Gold team likely to be losing Loui Eriksson in free agency, much of their existing cap space is going to be eaten up by a contract extension for RFA Torey Krug, a deal for whatever replacement they have in mind for Eriksson should he sign with a different team and the top-four defenseman that Boston has needed since trading Dougie Hamilton at last June’s draft weekend in Florida. 

Bruins wrap up draft by picking Koppanen, Clarke, Steen

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Bruins wrap up draft by picking Koppanen, Clarke, Steen

BUFFALO – The Bruins continued their drafting of big centers, defenseman and potential bottom-six forwards on Day 2 of the NHL draft with their final three selections,  including a pair of European prospects.

With back-to-back picks in the fifth round, the Bruins took 6-foot-5 Finnish center Joona Koppanen with the 135th pick, then tapped 20-year-old late-blooming defenseman Cameron Clarke with the next pick. The big-bodied, defense-minded Koppanen sounded quite a bit like fellow countrymen and ex-Bruin Joonas Kemppainen as an overall player, but clearly the Bruins are hoping he can develop more of his offensive game over the next few years.

A 5-foot-9, 187-pound Swedish forward Oskar Steen was the pick in the sixth round. The Bruins then traded their 2016 seventh-round pick to the Florida Panthers for a seventh-round pick in 2017.

Add those three players to the first three players selected in the first two rounds (Charlie McAvoy, Trent Frederic and Ryan Lindgren), and the Bruins clearly pursued big, bottom-six centers and defensemen as their main target areas.

“I think we addressed the defensive part of our game, and we addressed our centermen. We got some speed and some compete, and those are things [we liked] from all of us,” said Bruins head of scouting Keith Gretzky. “Charlie likes to get up and give the big hits, and makes big plays with the puck. He was a young kid that played in an older league, and you’ve got to have the ability to do that. His game just got better as the year went along.

“With [Frederic] we wanted a center with some size and heaviness, and we really believe he’s going to a good program. His teammates all talked highly of him, and character is a very big thing. You want guys that will pay the price, and when you look at him and Lindgren [those are the type of guys]. Lindgren isn’t the most skilled guy like McAvoy, but he brought an element that we really liked as an organization. We believe he’s a leader, and you win with those guys.”

All six of the players will be in Boston for development camp a couple of weeks from now, along with the rest of the Black and Gold prospect group.