Lockout dashes Axelsson's hopes of an NHL return

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Lockout dashes Axelsson's hopes of an NHL return

Add another former Bruins player to the names of hockey players that have fallen victim to an NHL lockout thats unfortunately gaining steam in September: P.J. Axelsson.
The Sweden native and former Bruins forward was denied a chance to return to the NHL one last time due to the uncertainty of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and he instead reported back to his hometown team of Frolunda.
I think I could have closed a deal, but the lockout was such a certainty by mid-August that it made no sense to take a chance and walk away from Frolunda, said P.J. Axelssons Boston-based agent Neil Abbott to CSNNE.com. He is off to a good start with two points in his first three games For Frolunda.
According to Abbott, the defensive forward specialist had an interested NHL suitor over the summer rumored to be the Philadelphia Flyers. Axelsson also had a desire to return to the NHL after spending the last three years in Sweden following a parting of ways with the Bruins.
But it wasnt meant to be this time around for Axelsson.
The 37-year-old Swedish forward spent 12 years with the Boston Bruins before leaving the NHL after scoring 30 points in the 2008-09. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Axelsson has played three seasons for Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League including posting 14 points in each of the last two seasons while skating for his hometown team.
Axelsson played in 797 career games for the Bruins while putting up 103 goals and 184 assists, and became a dependable third line left winger known for his defensive capabilities and strong leadership qualities. Axelsson has played for only the Bruins and Frolunda during his 19-year professional hockey career in a clear display of location consistency.
Axelsson will be a free agent following the final year of his deal with Frolunda after this season, and perhaps the NHL will once again beckon the affable Swede if of course the CBA snafu has been solved by then.

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.