Daniel Paille's contract extension signals that the Boston Bruins have opened the door for negotiations with their other incumbent free agents, but the going remains slow for the Black and Gold.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the desire was to return a bulk of their own large group of free agents, and Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Benoit Pouliot and Tuukka Rask remain among them.
I havent dismissed the notion of any of those players coming back, said Chiarelli in a conference call with reporters at the end of last week. Wed like to bring as many guys back as we can.
A source close to the negotiations told CSNNE.com that theres been no progress in talks with fourth line center Gregory Campbell, and Pailles fourth-line partner may be headed for free agency.
Campbell made 1.1 million in the 2011-12 season where he finished with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) and a minus-3 in 78 games for the Bruins alongside Paille and Shawn Thornton.
It was a far cry from the 13 goals and 29 points that Campbell managed to put up in 80 games with the Bruins during their Stanley Cup-winning season, and Bostons fourth line was badly outplayed in the first round playoff loss to the Washington Capitals this year.
Campbell would also likely be looking for a raise for his 1.1 million figure from last season, and the Bruins will be looking for areas to scrimp and save with Tim Thomas 5 million cap hit potentially hanging around for the year.
So theres every possibility that the Bruins are looking to make some fourth line changes, and uncover a younger Campbell replacement at half the salary cap price. But despite the lack of progress in talks with Campbell, no decision has been made by either side with NHL free agency set to hit on July 1.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.
*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.
*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.
*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.
*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.
*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.
*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.
*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.
BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.
Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.
Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.
Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.
“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”
Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: