Paille ready for next level with Bruins

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Paille ready for next level with Bruins

NEWARK, NJ Daniel Paille probably had an idea that his contract extension conference call on Friday was going to be hijacked by Tim Thomas sabbatical questions, but the affable fourth-line winger took it all in stride.

Paille signed a three-year deal worth 3.9 million on Friday that will keep him in Boston through the 2014-15 season, and will continue to bring his rapid skating speed and ace penalty kill skills to the table.

We acquired Dan in a trade and we really feel like our penalty kill and team speed has improved since that point. Hes a terrific penalty killer and a smart player when hes in that role. Hes a tremendous skater and he uses it to be a really good penalty kill specialist.

But having said that hes got the skills to play up the lineup, but we havent really seen that yet. In my mind hes still a young player and I think hes still learning things.

Weve seen some players that learn some things in their late 20s and I think Dan is one of those kinds of players. He was part of that group that won a Stanley Cup and Im excited to have him back. At the very least were going to keep getting what weve gotten from Paille and were very happy with that.

The 28-year-old finished with 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) in 69 games, but Pailles value goes far beyond the numbers. Hes a versatile player that can move up and down the lineup based on need, and can fill in at different wing positions when injury or ineffectiveness create an opening.

Paille also gets dozens of breakaway chances in any given season with his combination of speed and instincts, and Peter Chiarelli believes experience and maturation could allow him to become a player that finishes off more of those chances in the coming years. Just as players like Johnny Boychuk, Tim Thomas, Rich Peverley and Dennis Seidenberg blossomed in their mid-to-late twenties, Paille could be somebody that steps up in his roster role.

I felt like Ive learned a lot in the last three seasons. I think what Peter Chiarelli and the coaching staff allow me to do is grow as a player and show a lot of positive things out on the ice, said Paille. As a player you want to improve every year. There are certain aspects I need to work on and I plan on doing that.

In the big picture I have a great role already on this team and I could maybe have an even greater role. I definitely feel like I have a lot more to give and that Im just coming into my prime. That bodes well for me in the future.

Paille may never be a top line player, but with a little more confidence and composure with the puck around the net, perhaps hell score 20 goals once or twice before his new contract is done.

Dupont: If Bruins throw money at Stamkos, they move Krejci

Dupont: If Bruins throw money at Stamkos, they move Krejci

Kevin Paul Dupont joins Michael Felger on Sports Tonight to give his opinion on whether or not the Boston Bruins should sign Steven Stamkos and what other moves could be coming down the road this offseason.

Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

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Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

DORCHESTER –Bruins general manager Don Sweeney spoke last weekend of the need for big winger Jimmy Hayes to step up next season if Loui Eriksson should indeed depart via free agency.

“I think Jimmy had a pretty good start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most. He should take some responsibility for that,” said Sweeney. “We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player. He played a lot with Ryan Spooner.

“I have to put ownership on Jimmy in terms of saying ‘Hey, I have to take more responsibility. It’s not just about finishing and scoring goals.’ He has the capacity to do that. He gets power play time and net-front time, and he needs to get to the hard areas of the ice with more consistency. It’s an area that he needs to continue to improve upon. We as an organization feel that we need to have players that are driven to get better.”

Hayes heard that loud and clear just as he received the same message during exit interviews with the Bruins back in April, and knows that he needs to simply put more into next season.

Hayes’ numbers dropped from the previous season with the Florida Panthers, and he finished with 13 goals, 29 points and a minus-12 while going through long stretches where he completely disappeared on the ice. That’s a difficult thing for a 6-foot-6 forward to do, but Hayes managed while going weeks at a time without scoring and failing to play the big man’s game around the net on most nights.

The 26-year-old Hayes knows that needs to change for both his personal benefit and for the well-being of the Black and Gold this upcoming season.

“It’s definitely something that’s going to motivate me beyond just already motivating myself [this summer]. We had our own discussions [during exit interviews], and I know I’ve got to bounce back and have a strong season,” said Hayes. “I need to make sure I help my team win, and that’s what it’s all about. I want to be consistent and available every night to try get two points for our team, and get us as an organization back where we want to be.

“We just talked about how the season went, and we were really up-front with each other. We just want to continue to get better and more consistent, and get better through the season rather than have these spurts where you’re putting up numbers. And if you’re not scoring then you’ve got to find other ways to help the team win, and get to those areas where you’re going to get rewarded for going to those hard areas on a consistent basis.”

This isn’t the first time that Hayes has said all the right things about turning around his game, and really, truly living up to the hope he could be a big-bodied factor down low for the Black and Gold tipping, redirecting, screening and shoveling home rebounded pucks from areas all around the front of the net.