Chara, Bruins players in action overseas

910769.jpg

Chara, Bruins players in action overseas

Bruins fans got a tiny little oasis in the middle of their own personal hockey desert Tuesday when ESPN 2 broadcast one of several KHL matchups scheduled to air this season. Even better, the game was between Prague and Moscow at the very same O2 Arena that housed both Premiere League games between the Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes two years ago, and Bs captain Zdeno Chara was one of the highlighted players in the marquee game for the Prague Lions.

The 6-foot-9 defenseman was wearing his customary No. 33 uniform in an odd red Prague Lev jersey, and brought his trademark physicality to what was otherwise a fairly nondescript 1-0 win for the Dynamo. Chara finished with 19:34 of ice time and fired three shots on net in only his second game with Lev, but couldnt will his club to victory in only his second game played over in Europe.

In other Black and Gold news around the European Leagues, David Krejci has a pair of goals in his last three games for HC Pardubice in the Czech League after the two sides finalized an insurance flyer to properly protect the Bs center. Tyler Seguin has a goal and three points in four games for Biel in the Swiss League, but is also living in the reality of life without linemate Patrice Bergeron and is minus-4 in those four games as well.

There are no statistics currently available for Andrew Ference or Patrice Bergeron after they left Boston for the Czech Republic and Switzerland respectively over the last week.

Dennis Seidenberg is scoreless in a pair of games for the Mannheim Eagles in Germany, and Rich Peverley has an assist and four penalty minutes in three games for JYP in Finland. Anton Khudobin is 3-3-2 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average in eight games for Moscow Oblast in the KHL.

There are currently nine Bruins players over in Europe staying in shape during the lockout, and more could be on the way in the next few weeks as the CBA negotiations continue to move at a slow-moving snails pace.

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

felger_miller0523161464117692429_3450k_1280x720_691977283816.jpg

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

BOSTON -- The Bruins locked up a piece to a blue line that was godawful last season in announcing they’d signed Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract.

They also retained one of their own young restricted free agents, center Seth Griffith, by reaching agreement on a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL value of $625,000 per season.

Miller, 28, played in a career-high 71 games last season -- his third with the Bruins -- and established career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He also posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (plus-15) and generally seemed to be playing his best hockey down the stretch.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller was also forced into playing 19:04 of ice time per night while oftentimes serving as a top-pair D-man alongside Zdeno Chara. That resulted in a high number of mistakes and turnovers at critical times against the opposition’s best offensive players.

The rugged, hardnosed Miller obviously isn’t going to be judged solely by the numbers. He's also evaluated by the big hits, blocked shots and air of intimidation in the defensive zone. That said, a four-year contract is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Miller wasn’t expected to command that kind of deal as an unrestricted free agent on the open market.

That four-year deal, which carries a yearly cap hit of $2.5 million, would also seem to hint at the impending exodus of Adam McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, or both, given the number of limited stay-at-home defensemen on the roster now making decent NHL money.  

The bottom line: Miller’s contract will be a good one if he can settle into a steady, top-four role. But it will be another overpay if he winds up being the bottom-pairing D-man many see him as at the NHL level.

Griffith had 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points in 57 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and also had an assist in four games for Boston. He'll get another chance this year to compete for one of the winger jobs at the NHL level with plenty of competition.

Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while thoroughly enjoying “Chewbacca Mom.”

*Good piece on Bruins first round pick Jake DeBrusk, and his solid performance during Memorial Cup play.

*A couple of my friends over at NHL.com have attempted to put together a World Cup of Hockey roster for North America.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance on Jumbo Joe Thornton, and what those who know him best say about him.

*Speaking of the Sharks/Blues conference finals, Vladimir Tarasenko is scoreless through the first five games of the series. That doesn’t bode well for the Blues.

*Actor Will Arnett proves that nobody is better at predicting the outcome of Stanley Cup playoff games than him.

*Longtime Director of Player Personnel Scott Luce is out with the Florida Panthers as their restructuring continues in this spring and summer.

*Gustav Nyquist is disappointing with his scoring numbers from last season, and is looking for a bump up next year.

*For something completely different: Chewbacca Mom visited with James Corden on late night television, and the results were both funny and kind of heartwarming.