Neely wants the Bruins to play outside more often

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Neely wants the Bruins to play outside more often

WILMINGTON, Mass. It seems like only yesterday the Bruins were gearing up in special Winter Classic Bs sweaters and skating on a temporary NHL rink inside Fenway Park.

But its now the third season since that game, and things have developed quickly with the gem of an event in the middle of the NHL schedule. The HBO cameras trailing around the teams and creating the 247: Road to the Winter Classic TV series along with the potential for the game to be on prime time depending on the weather has put a whole different spin on the teams involved in the series. Thats something that began the year AFTER the Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime at Fenway with a famous Marco Sturm goal face celebration.

So the Bs missed the boat a little bit on marketing their unique blend of players in the 247 series, and Bs fans were teased a little while watching the Black and Gold essentially cast as hatchet-wielding villains in the second episode of the show when they trounced the Flyers.

Clearly the Winter Classic wont be held in Boston again anytime soon, but Bruins' President Cam Neely admitted in a radio interview last week with Felger and Mazz on 98.5 the Sports Hub that hed love for his team to be involved again in the early January game. Given the kind of TV ratings the Bruins can command and the natural interest inherent in a Cup-winning level hockey club, it would seem to make a lot of sense to once again bring Boston into the proceedings.

Whispers around the league have either Detroit or Washington hosting the next Winter Classic given the settings already visited by the NHL, and the Bruins could be a natural opponent for either one of those teams. After all, the Winter Classic two years ago at Fenway was originally supposed to be the Bs hosting the Caps, and perhaps they could reverse the home and road teams for the next NHL centerpiece. Thats the kind of game people would watch, and Neely said his team is highly interested in getting involved with the Classic and the 247 TV series if the opportunity presents itself.

The league holds it pretty close to the vest on who theyd like to have each year. I think theyre doing a better job of getting teams a little bit more notice. We pushed for that certainly because its a big undertaking and the more time you have, the better its going to turn out, said Neely. I would certainly welcome it as an organization. I think it would be fantastic for the Bruins.

Its great what the league does and its great what HBO does. Im all for it. I know its a little intrusive and the coaches have a hard time with it at times because the cameras are all around much more than theyd probably like. Everybody is buying into it, and I would love for our organization to be a part of the Winter Classic again. Its a fantastic event; wed love to be a part of it whether its hosting it or going on the road.

So when the Rangers and Flyers suit up for the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon, just imagine that the Bruins could be dusting off their special WC edition jerseys for another game in the near future if everything goes according to plan.

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

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Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

The Bruins lost a number of free agents on after the market opened at noontime. None bigger than Loui Eriksson signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks to play with the Sedin Twins.

It’s the exact level of term and salary that Eriksson said he was looking for from the Bruins in contract negotiations around the trade deadline, but the Bruins never really moved from their offer of a four-year deal at comparable money.

The Bruins will miss the 30-goal production and solid all-around, two-way play from Eriksson as he heads to the West Coast, but they also traded in a passive player in Eriksson for an in-your-face, physical leader in David Backes on a five-year deal. 

Backes is much more of a Bruins-style player than Eriksson could have ever hoped to have been. That part of it is a win for a Bruins fan base that wants intensity and physicality from their players.

The Bruins also watched Jonas Gustavsson sign a one-year, $800,000 contract with Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Connolly sign a one-year deal for $850,000 with the Washington Capitals, Zach Trotman signs a one-year deal for $950,000 and Lee Stempniak ink a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after being a non-contract training camp invite with New Jersey last season.

Sweeney had maintained as late as Thursday that he was still keeping ties with many of Boston’s free agents prior to the noon opening of the free agent market, but clearly that’s changed.

“We’ll continue to have talks and sort of figure out where things may go. We’ve had talks with a number of players to see what they would like to see as the opportunity here or what we see as a fit,” said Sweeney on the Torey Krug conference call on Thursday night. “I haven’t ruled absolutely any of that out; just haven’t found common ground and obviously it gets harder and harder as we go further along in the process.”