Chara to play with HC Lev Prague of KHL

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Chara to play with HC Lev Prague of KHL

Zdeno Chara isnt heading to his home country, but hell be close enough. The 6-foot-9 defenseman and the most important player on the Bruins roster has signed a deal with HC Lev Prague of the KHL, and will be in the Czech Republic to begin playing games by this weekend.

The deal was confirmed to CSNNE.com by Charas agent, Matt Keator.

Chara's move ends a quick flurry of decision-making in light of the fact that it appears the NHL wont be ending their lockout anytime soon. In fact, the word that Chara is headed to the Czech Republic can only be seen as a sign that the NHL players feel this current work stoppage will be long-term, not short-term.

Keator originally said that the Bs captain and former Norris Trophy winner was mulling several different options, and it was widely speculated Chara might end up skating with Bratislava in his home country. That choice would have given him a chance to reunite with former Bruins teammate Miroslav Satan in his homeland, but instead Chara selected a different option. Chara went with a league in the KHL that has a vested interest in challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy a league that will now have televised games on ESPN3 and is also paying players up to 65 percent of the salaries guaranteed to them in the NHL.

Chara will be playing with fellow NHL players Jiri Hudler and Jakub Voracek on the Prague Lions team, and will also join countrymen and good friend Marcel Hossa on the Lions. Chara last played for Team Slovakia in April during the World Championships after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the Washington Capitals. Chara had four points in 10 tournament games.

Interestingly, Chara skated for Farjestads BK Karlstad of the Swedish Elite League during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, and told reporters he had a positive experience there when asked about it last month. Like all other Bruins players, Chara will have an out clause that will allow him to return to Boston once the NHL lockout has ended.

Bergeron ties it, Marchand wins it for Team Canada in World Cup final

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Bergeron ties it, Marchand wins it for Team Canada in World Cup final

Team Canada has the Boston Bruins -- two in particular -- to thank for a championship.

Patrice Bergeron tied the game on a power play at 17:07 of the third period, and Brad Marchand scored a short-handed goal with 43.1 seconds left to win it as Canada defeated Team Europe, 2-1, Thursday night and won the World Cup of Hockey title.

Click here for the complete story.

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston.