Morning Skate: Friday, July 20


Morning Skate: Friday, July 20

Adam Proteau from the Hockey News says that the Shea Weber contract magnifies the disparity between NHL markets, and that in itself makes a pretty strong case for strengthened revenue sharing.

Jesse Spector from the Sporting News takes us around the NHL with labor talks and Shea Webers offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers.

The experts say that the Nashville Predators will do whatever they can to match the offer for Weber, but Im not so sure that they can.

Tracking the biggest contracts in the NHL from Rick DiPietro to Alex Ovechkin, and everything in between.

Good piece on how frauds are impacting the way hockey fans follow news on Twitter. The funniest thing about the article: the example of @HockeyInsiderr getting it right with Jaromir Jagr-to-Dallas was a blatant copy job of a tweet Id originally sent out 5-10 minutes prior to him. Then he thumped his chest later about how he broke the news. What a clown.

Tragic final blog from Jessica Redfield (Ghawi) about narrowly missing tragedy at the Easton Centre shooting in Toronto months ago before she was reportedly among the dozen or so killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre in the early morning hours on Friday. Its eerie and horrific all at the same time especially considering that I clearly recall communicating back and forth with Redfield a few times over the last couple of years as she got a hockey media career started. Ken Fang of Fangs Bites also did a good job recapping the information known about the aspiring young sportscaster living and working in Colorado.

For something completely different: a nice piece from Forbes that includes an attaboy for the You Can Play movement about their attempts to push for social change within the world of sports.

Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'


Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'

ANDOVER, Mass. — Former Boston Bruins star Ray Bourque, who's facing a drunken driving charge, says he accepts the responsibility of his actions.

Bourque was charged Friday night with operating under the influence of alcohol and following too closely. He posted bail and was released.

"For the first time in my life, I find myself in unfamiliar territory," Bourque said in a statement released Sunday. "I am not happy about the situation I put myself into."

Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe said the 55-year-old Bourque was arrested about 11:30 p.m. after his Mercedes-Benz rear-ended a minivan in a construction zone in the city. No injuries were reported.

Bourque is to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court. Police haven't provided a date.

According to The Boston Globe, Bourque currently owns Tresca, a restaurant on Boston's North End.

'Everything is on track' with Bruins prospect Zboril


'Everything is on track' with Bruins prospect Zboril

Little more than a year after he was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Boston Bruins, some are whispering that 19-year-old Jakub Zboril isn’t going to live up to advanced billing. Clearly the Czech defenseman took a step back for the Saint John Sea Dogs after being taken 13th by the Bruins in last year’s draft, and dropped to six goals and 20 points in 50 games in the QMJHL while watching second round pick Jeremy Lauzon pass him by on the prospect hype chart.

Perhaps the more concerning thing have been the whispers about an erratic work ethic and bad habits in Zboril’s game, a couple of criticisms that haven’t exactly gone away since the Bruins signed him to a contract last summer following development camp. Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley was asked about those concerns with the young D-man as he heads into an important training camp with Boston this fall, and didn’t seem all that concerned about his first round pick being a “bust.”

“I think his offensive production was down, and that he struggled a little bit coming out of the gate” said Bradley of Zboril, who had 13 goals and 33 points in 44 games during his first season in the Quebec Major Junior League prior to getting drafted by Boston. “But he had a strong playoff. Everybody forgets that he’s a gritty guy, and a strong player that moves the puck. The thing that stands out about him are that his numbers are down from last year.

“But everything is on track with him. He’s going to come to camp and hopefully shines, and has a good year this year…patience.

“I think it’s great if the second rounders are on par with him: the [Brandon] Carlos and the [Jeremy] Lauzons. If you look at the whole of our draft last year you can’t rule out the first eight picks that they might play [in the NHL]. We’re excited. Donnie and I were at the Memorial Cup, and Lauzon raised our eyebrows every night that he played. You’d come away with a good feeling like this kid plays hard, plays the Bruins style, moves the puck and is tough. Obviously [you had to like] what Carlo did when he was brought in [to Providence] at the end. It just bodes well for what we have coming this year. Zboril and Lauzon are probably going back to junior, but Carlo is going to get a long look.”

The young Czech D-man is still at a point where his stock can still shoot higher than it’s ever been with a good showing at training camp, and a strong season for the Sea Dogs entering into his professional hockey career. But he can’t afford to go through another down season, or that talk of him being a first round bust is only going to get louder and stronger.