Providence Bruins one option for Seguin if there's a lockout

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Providence Bruins one option for Seguin if there's a lockout

WILMINGTON, Mass. The immediate futures are starting to take shape for plenty of Bruins with the NHL lockout a very real thing set to happen at the midnight deadline Saturday night headed into Sunday.

Some with European ties like Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci will be headed to their home countries before long.

Some like Milan Lucic, who is expecting his first child midway through the season, will be sticking in Boston to wait things out.

My only plan this year is to play for the Boston Bruins, said Lucic, without a hint of interest at playing overseas.

Some like Tyler Seguin might be wearing a familiar uniform if things go similarly to the last NHL lockout eight years ago.

The 20-year-old Seguin confirmed on Friday following an informal practice at Ristuccia Arena that he is eligible to play for the Providence Bruins this season if theres a lockout.

Ive been looking into it a little bit. You want to have some options if theres a lockout and I have mine, said Seguin. My understanding is that I could go to Providence. We havent decided on anything and havent really talked about anything. I havent talked to management since the contract, so nothing is in motion with that stuff.

Similar to Patrice Bergeron skating in the 2004-05 AHL season after his rookie year with the Bruins, Seguin could be playing for the P-Bruins farm club by virtue of being in the final year of his entry level contract with Boston. That means Jordan Caron would also be eligible to skate for the Providence Bruins next season along with a bevy of young prospects like Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight.

Anton Khudobin was on Providences clear day list last year, so the Kazakhstan goaltender might also be eligible for Providence again this year, but hed have to pass through waivers. That doesnt seem likely with the Bruins unwilling to lose their backup goaltender for the upcoming season.

Seguin, who led the Bruins in goals and points while pacing the NHL in plusminus last season in his breakout second NHL campaign, admitted he hasnt yet had any discussions with the Bruins about his immediate future if theres a lockout.

During the 2004-05 lockout year when young NHL players like Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal and Jason Spezza played in the American Hockey League, there were many skaters that reported to the minors after their NHL rookie season.

There were, however, much fewer NHL players that reported to the AHL after two seasons of service, and Seguin could qualify to play in somewhere as far reaching as the KHL this season by virtue of his 155 NHL games played and Stanley Cup championship experience. With the influx of talent expected to play in Russia if theres a lengthy NHL lockout, theres an argument to be made that playing in the KHL would be the better quality league for his overall development.

But theres also plenty of pros to watching Seguin continue to develop under the Bruins watchful eyes in the New England area while skating for Providence. The All-Star forward said he was willing to do whatever was best, and was waiting to have that conversation with agent Ian Pulver and Bruins management.

Seguin didnt sound overly enthused when asked if he was interested in heading to Rhode Island for a minor league hockey season, and mentioned overseas before AHL in his list of preferred landing spots. It was similar to Seguins reticence to potentially head to the World Junior tournament during his rookie NHL season when the Bruins were contemplating such a move.

I dont know. Obviously I want to play hockey, said Seguin, who said hes also in the market this fall for a permanent residence in Boston. I want to play in the NHL and I hope that works out. But if not I can always go overseas or I can play in the AHL.

So stay tuned before running out and purchasing the P-Bruins season tickets, but there is some chance Seguin could be playing in Providence this upcoming season after skipping it the first time around.

Amid signs his job might be in trouble, Julien says: 'I'm not quitting on this team'

Amid signs his job might be in trouble, Julien says: 'I'm not quitting on this team'

BRIGHTON, Mass – Roughly 12 hours after embattled Bruins coach Claude Julien bristled at a question about his job security and labeled it “shock journalism” in the heat of the moment after a tight loss to the Blackhawks, the B’s bench boss delivered a classy, heartfelt response to the same question.

Julien was asked about it in French by a reporter from the Montreal Gazette, but answered in English because of the “loyalty he feels to the people in Boston.”

In essence, Julien basically said he should be relieved of his duties if he’s deemed to be behind what ails the Black and Gold, but he’s going to keep working to fix things until that day comes.

It was exactly the kind of response you would expect from a coach who's taken the B’s to the mountaintop in his 10 years running the team and will always be respected and loved in Boston long after his coaching days are done.

“How do I deal with all of the rumors and all that is going on? I didn’t feel like [Friday night] was the appropriate time for me to answer that after a game where you’re emotions are pretty high. I wasn’t getting into that, but to be honest with you my job is to coach the hockey club,” said Julien. “Am I worried about my job? No, I’m not. Because it’s not my job to worry about it. My job is to fix things, and my job is to coach this team and do everything I can. If I become one of the reasons that we’re not doing well, then management has to make that decision.

“It’s not my decision to make. I’m not quitting on this team. I’m not quitting on anybody. I’m not quitting on management. I’m ready and willing to go through the hard times, and I said that at the end of last year. If it’s deemed my fault, then I shouldn’t be here, and that’s all I can say.”

While the Bruins roster is clearly less than perfect and has a larger dose of youthful players than in years past, Julien also freely admitted that they should be held to a higher standard after proving many nights that they should be a playoff team. That’s the mandate from Bruins ownership and that’s the challenge that Julien has willingly accepted.

It’s also the challenge that’s falling a bit short now as they’ve lost three crushing games in a row and have fallen behind the Ottawa Senators in the playoff standings, with Toronto also right behind them holding six games in hand.

“If we’re going with what we said we were going with and there’s going to be some growing pains along the way, so be it,” said Julien. “I think we put ourselves in a position earlier in the year where we could all of a sudden believe that we’re a playoff team...absolutely. I still think we’re a playoff team. Whether we can do it or not we’ll find out at the end of the year, but my job is to do everything I can to get us into the playoffs and that’s what I’m going to do.

“As far as the rumors are concerned, they’re out there and I know that. But I don’t worry about it because worrying is wasting a lot of my time. And my time is spent trying to fix things here.”

Julien and the Bruins are headed to Pittsburgh for a Sunday matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and will have two games against the red-hot Pens headed into an All-Star break weekend that must feel like a well-earned oasis for Julien at this point in the season. 

Haggerty: Good, but not good enough, again the story for Bruins

Haggerty: Good, but not good enough, again the story for Bruins

BOSTON – The all-important results continue to elude the Bruins at the time when they need them most.

The Black and Gold lost their third game in a row, 1-0, to the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden Friday night when they allowed the game-winning goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation. It was a simple defensive breakdown and some great tic-tac-toe passing with Marian Hossa finishing things off, but it also felt like a game where the Blackhawks coasted against a wounded Bruins team for 58 minutes before turning it on when it was winning time.

The winning goal was a cross-ice pass from Tanner Kero to Hossa, with the puck sliding right between the legs of Adam McQuaid in the slot, and Hossa picking a corner while giving Tuukka Rask zero time to react side to side.

“We had a game plan in place and our guys executed well, they were ready to play,” said Claude Julien. “One little mistake and it’s in our net, and you lose yourself a pretty important hockey game.”

So, now the Bruins have taken only one point in their past three games, have dropped behind the Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division standings and continue to skate around like they’re wearing the weight of the entire organization on their shoulders.

“At the end of the night it is another loss and that’s the biggest thing. Did your team play fairly well? I think so. I think we competed hard, but then again you’re dealing with some growing pains. We had an icing late in the game so that’s not necessary, but the winning goal that goes through three of our guys and in our net with a minute-and- a-half left,” said Julien. “We have to stand there again, and take the responsibility for our own actions. It’s unfortunate because that minute-and-a-half that was left in the game kind of tarnished everything we had done for the first 58 minutes.

“I thought we played pretty well against a good team. We had contained the guys that we needed to contain. We didn’t score any goals – I don’t think we did a good enough job there - we had some chances but again you got to find ways to score goals. That’s where we are at.”

Clearly, the Bruins didn’t give up a ton defensively and Rask had been solid for the first two-plus periods, but there was also a sense Chicago didn’t bring its best game either when Boston outshot the Blackhawks 17-6 in the opening period. It was also clear that, aside from a couple of good, early chances from Tim Schaller and Brad Marchand, along with a Joe Morrow breakaway chance, the Bruins offense wasn’t doing enough work to get closer to the Chicago net for any sustained pressure.

So, instead of a solid result with dark clouds swirling over Causeway Street that a big change is needed to jolt a stagnant team, the Bruins hang up another loss where they outshot their opponent and end up with nothing to show for it.

These are the kinds of losses that test morale and togetherness and could either be taken as a sign of things tightening up for the Bruins or of things continuing to spiral away from a team that just needs wins at this point.

“I’m sure everybody’s feeling down right now because we lost, but you can’t start pouting too much. You’ve got to move on,” said Rask, who allowed one goal on 22 shots in the loss. “[There’s a] big game coming up Sunday, and next week, so it’s a loss and we have to move on. [We have to] get ready for the next one. I’m sure guys are pissed today, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

Tomorrow is a new day for everybody on the Black and Gold including Julien, who is scheduled to still run practice on Saturday as the B’s bench boss before speaking to the media prior to the team leaving for Pittsburgh. So, it’s business as usual after another loss on Friday night in a classic Original Six matchup that’s clearly most of the luster from where it was at four years ago, but one can only sit and wonder how much longer business as usual cuts it for a hockey club that continues to flounder.