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

744720.jpg

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.

Marchand: 'No place I'd rather play' than Boston

Marchand: 'No place I'd rather play' than Boston

The Bruins made it official on Monday -- mere minutes after the news had broken -- as they clearly couldn’t wait to announce an eight year, $49 million contract extension for Brad Marchand. who is finishing up his Team Canada gig at the World Cup of Hockey.

PROFILE: Joe Haggerty's preseason look at Brad Marchand

The deal averages $6.125 million per season, broken up between actual salary and signing bonus money. The Bruins were most definitely given a hometown discount by an elite player who snapped home a career-high 37 goals and 60 points last season, the most goals scored by a Bruins player since Glenn Murray in 2002-03. And everybody knows goal scorers get paid in the NHL, even if Marchand won’t be expected to score quite that many every year.

Marchand, 28, has also been the second-leading scorer in the entire World Cup of Hockey tournament, behind only Sidney Crosby, and continues to raise his profile in the NHL world beyond his customary agitator role. The “Nose Face Killah” could have waited for until free agency if he'd wanted to pick up every last nickel on the table, but it’s very clear he’s invested in the team that drafted and developed him, and with which he won a Cup five years ago.

"This is an extremely exciting day for me and my family," said Marchand, who now has a full no-move clause for the first five years of his next contract. "I would like to thank the Jacobs family, [president] Cam Neely, [general manager] Don Sweeney, [coach] Claude Julien, the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support and belief in me. I have been a Bruin since the start of my pro career and there is no place I would rather play. I look forward to doing everything I can to help our team achieve success and bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston."

Marchand has been among the team’s leading scorers since joining the league in 2010-11, has been the NHL’s most dangerous penalty killer over the last five years, and pairs with Patrice Bergeron to anchor the top line. He’s also become much more of a leader in the last few seasons as other character veterans have been peeled away from the core group, and a hometown discount proves it one of the most meaningful ways possible.

It was clear Marchand was invested in the Bruins when he helped recruit free agent David Backes with phone calls this summer, and he was also present for the recruiting pitch to Jimmy Vesey at Warrior Ice Arena last month.

The Bruins players at training camp were happy to hear No. 63 was going to be in Boston for the long haul.

“Marchy is Marchy. I think everybody kind of knows what that means,” said Kevan Miller. “He’s been great for our organization and great for the fans and for this city. He’s been all in since Day One, and he’s been a guy that I looked up to.”

While the Bruins have confirmed the contract, Sweeney won't weigh in until later today. But one would expect there will be an appreciation for the skill of the player, and Marchand’s commitment to the organization after accepting less than he could have gotten on the open market.

Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while finding it hard to believe that it’s game day for the Boston Bruins. Summer is officially O-V-A.
 
-- The Montreal media is starting to get on board with this tougher, grittier version of the Habs, along with a healthy Carey Price.
 
-- Pierre McGuire sits in with Ottawa’s TSN sports radio station and talks Team Europe in the World Cup, as well as a number of other things.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger is already openly wondering what would happen in Canada if they lose to Team Europe in the best-of-three final to the World Cup.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski asks Brad Marchand if a part of him has thought about playing with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins if he hits free agency. Bells, alarms and whistles should be going off on Causeway Street to give No. 63 whatever he wants at this point. In case you missed it, I talked about the danger of Crosby trying to woo his Nova Scotian buddy to Pittsburgh last week.
 
-- PHT writer James O’Brien says it sounds like the St. Louis Blues are going to play a more aggressive brand of hockey this season.
 
-- For something completely different: Forbes Magazine says Pete Carroll, not Bill Belichick, should be considered the NFL’s foremost cheater.