Spooner ready to start despite uncertain future

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Spooner ready to start despite uncertain future

Ryan Spooner doesnt know exactly what the future holds for him, but he will be either in Boston or Providence.

The Bs playmaking prospect spent the last couple of days with Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto, and is now spending his final days in the Ottawa area before prepping for his first training camp as a professional hockey player.

The 20-year-old Spooner said that hes all the way up to 186 pounds from the 174 pounds when he was drafted in the second round by the Bruins back in 2010, and he's still working on building size and strength headed into camp next month.

The most important thing is that the season starts on time. All you can do is just hope that it starts when it should, said Spooner. Its not going to do me any good to dwell on the negatives and maybe cut any corners because you dont think the season is going to start on time.

Ive been doing a lot of edge work and a lot of evasive stuff with spins and stick-handling to develop my game when Im in tight with the puck in heavy traffic. In the gym Ive focused on strengthening muscles that are weak like my hip flexors and my groin. Its better to be in the lineup than to be hurt, and that gives me the best chance to make the big club.

It could be with the rest of the Bruins rookies on September 15 or with the Providence Bruins on September 28, but either way Spooner will be wearing a Black and Gold sweater this season.

Hell also be thinking positive thoughts about a potential lockout that seems more inevitable with each passing day despite the fact both sides are still talking over the labor issues.

Ive been skating a lot back home: two or three times a day and doing stick-handling drills. Ive been working a lot with Derrick Brassard from Columbus and Calvin DeHaan from the Islanders, said Spooner. I actually just got back from Quebec City for a charity tournament where I played with a bunch of the NHL guys from Quebec. So its been a pretty fun summer, but Im back in the gym working hard now to get ready for camp.

Its my third camp and Im excited to get back at it. Ive been skating with a lot of pro guys, so hopefully that helps me out in main camp when it starts. If that doesnt work out then Ill start off in the American Hockey League and have plenty of fun.

Spooner finished last year with 29 goals and 66 points splitting time between two junior hockey teams (the Kingston Frontenacs and the Sarnia Sting) before wrapping things up with the Providence Bruins.

The skilled center has produced seven points in eight AHL games over the last two seasons, and is aiming to become a point-per game player in the professional ranks starting next year. His talent is clearly there and his work ethic has risen noticeably over the last couple of years for Spooner. Now its all about keeping that consistent professional mindset no matter where the begins the season in the face of an impending lockout.

Spooners time will come, and a few months in the AHL might not be such a bad thing at the end of the day.

A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

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A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

CSNNE.com Insider Joe Haggerty is joined by NHL Draft expert Kirk Luedeke to discuss the 2016 NHL Draft class of the Boston Bruins. How soon will first pick Charlie McAvoy be ready? Was Trent Federic a reach with pick #29?

Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

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Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

Yes, four first-round picks for Jacob Trouba is crazy.

Yes, two firsts and David Pastrnak for Kevin Shattenkirk is stupid.

And, of course, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is ridiculous. (Remember Bruins fans: As bad as it's been, it could be worse. Peter Chiarelli could still be here.)

No one is disputing that the asking price for good, young defensemen across the NHL has gone haywire. If you're acquiring one of those players, you are likely going to lose the deal, and that's no way to run a franchise.

But here's the question for the Bruins: What's the alternative? Do the Bruins want to try and win in the Patrice Bergeron window or not?

That's what it comes down to for the B's. Bergeron will turn 31 in three weeks, and while he may have plenty of seasons left, his time as one of the best two-way players in the NHL is certainly more finite. He will likely be out of that elite status by the time anyone currently in the B's system develops into the type of No. 1 defenseman the team so desperately needs -- if there's even anyone who fits that description in the first place.

In other words, if the B's want a top-pairing defenseman anytime soon, they're going to have to pay for it. Or overpay for it. Draft picks. Players. Offer sheets. Whatever. Something unappealing is going to have to go out the door.

If there's another way, I'd like to know what it is. There's virtually nothing to choose from in the unrestricted pool. And everyone on the current depth chart is either too old, too young or too crappy.

So four first-rounders and a $7 million annual cap hit for Trouba? That's an impossible price to wrap your head around, until you consider the alternatives.

Ideally, the B's are using that Jets offer sheet threat as a leverage play, an attempt to create options in hopes the Blues lower their ask on Shattenkirk, or the Ducks lower their price on Cam Fowler. Maybe the B's have been trying to work a trade with the Jets for Trouba himself and are just bringing a hammer to the table. Lower your demands or we'll offer sheet him. Perhaps that offer sheet isn't even a realistic consideration and is nothing more than noise.

I have no idea. The only thing I know is that the B's still stink on D.

The players they have drafted the last few years may not be any good, and if they are it will be a half-decade before they're capable of playing the kind of playoff minutes necessary to contend for a Cup. The Bruins keep saying they want to contend now, which is pretty much impossible given the personnel on the blue line.

So what do they want? To wait for the kids and blow the rest of Bergeron's prime? Or give up an exorbitant price in a deal they'll very likely lose?

I'd probably lean towards the later, but there's really no right answer. It's called Bruins.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz daily from 2-6 p.m. The simulcast runs on CSN.

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Matt Kalman provides his take on what the Boston Bruins should do in terms of potentially landing a top defenseman this offseason.