Morning Skate: Wednesday, Oct. 10


Morning Skate: Wednesday, Oct. 10

The Backhand Shelf blog includes some of the best hockey highlights from the NHL players currently skating in Europe.

An interesting piece from Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski about why cracks in the NHL ownership group dont really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Jason Brough asks a lawyer if the NHLPA would ever attempt to decertify like some of the other pro athlete unions in the wake of tough CBA negotiation talks.

ESPN pulls off a list of the top 25 players under the age of 25 years old, and the Bruins have three forwards on the list. The list also ranks Brad Marchand ahead of Tyler Seguin, though, which makes you wonder about the methodology behind putting the list together.

Andrei Markov is enjoying his time back home skating in the KHL, according to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Stubbs with the Montreal Gazette.

The kind of blog piece that gives those basement bloggers a good name despite what the mean mainstream media says about them in fits of pique. The NHL lockout is all about getting more money from the paying customer at the end of the day.

NHLPA Exec Director Donald Fehr sits down with the Toronto Star editorial board, and its pretty clear the salary cap will be on the table if the two sides dont come to an agreement sooner rather than later.

For something completely different: Toucher and Rich convince local voters that theres a Super Twinkie question on the ballot. Typically hilarious stuff.

For something completely different Part II: Sometimes you forget how great Bob Ryan is as a sportswriter, and then you go back and read things like this about the CelticsLakers rivalry back in 1992.

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.