Kalish eyes good health in New Year

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Kalish eyes good health in New Year

BOSTON Ryan Kalish is still working on his New Years resolutions. But one he might want to consider for 2012 is to stay healthy.

That would be a good one. I might have to add that one in, Kalish said.

With or without resolutions, Kalish is happy to be putting 2011 in his rearview mirror.

Absolutely, he said. I will be ringing in the new year Saturday night a happy man. Obviously, I got a lot of work to do in 2012, but yeah.

Most of Kalishs work early in the new year will involve rehabbing.

Kalish, who turns 24 in March, was a ninth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2006 out of Red Bank Catholic High in New Jersey. He made his big-league debut in 2010, going 2-for-4 with a hit in his first at-bat in his first game on July 31. He appeared in 53 games for the Sox that season, playing all three outfield positions, batting .252 with 4 home runs, 24 RBI, a .305 OBP, and .405 slugging percentage.

But 2011 was virtually a lost year for him. Injuries to his left shoulder and neck limited him to just 22 games for Triple-A Pawtucket with two rehab games for Low-A Lowell. He had surgery on his neck in September and on the labrum in his left shoulder in November.

Yeah, Ive definitely had a lot more fun in my life, he said. I say that, but at the same time, sometimes missing the game kind of helps you propel. Im just excited to get back and I just feel like Im going to be more ready to play now more than ever. But if I had to go back, I obviously would have changed getting hurt, for sure.

The injury happened in April and then I think I tried to play again in August. So youre talking 3 12 months. And then just feeling that pain throughout the game, and just trying to play through it, its not the most comforting thing, especially when you start not hitting well and things arent going your way. You feel like youre fighting an impossible battle against your body and your health.

He wasnt surprised by the second surgery. Its an issue thats been troubling him since high school. But he had hoped to put it off.

This offseason while I was rehabbing my neck, my shoulder just never really quite felt good, Kalish said. And I was like, you know what, its probably just time to fix that. So I dont know if I was surprised because I felt like it was going to happen eventually.

Kalish has discarded the sling that was supporting his left arm, but he is still a ways away from baseball activities.

I dont know they exact timeline. I just know were talking months not weeks, he said. Its definitely not the best timing ever, with the season coming and trying to help the team win and develop myself. But I just felt like going forward it would be best to get healthy now than to extend me trying to play. And if it didnt work, come next season then were looking at all of next season Id be gone. So we just all decided as a group effort it would be best to do this.

Kalish sees the trade Wednesday that brought outfielder Ryan Sweeney to Boston, along with closer Andrew Bailey, in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick and minor leaguers Miles Head and Raul Alcantara as having little effect on his status for now.

I know where I stand, he said. If Im not healthy, theres nothing I can do, anyway. Obviously, thats the main concern. When I get back I just need to play. From there all the decisions arent up to me. Im not guaranteed anything. I just have to earn my spot like everybody else. And thats where Im at, and Ill be ready to do that eventually.

We have Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Carl Crawford in left. We just got Sweeney. So Im going to assume that, Im not going to be ready to play in spring training anyway. So from my standpoint Im just going to have to sit back and watch. But how I look at it right now, I think theres Darnell McDonald. Hes a very good player. Im just going to be getting healthy and hanging out with all the guys. Itll be cool to see how everything works out. From my standpoint, as soon as Im healthy and ready to play Im just going to go do that, wherever that is. Im assuming Pawtucket, and Ill just continue to try and grow as a player and if the time comes where they think I can help them in the big league, thats what Im going to do.

For Kalish it was tough bittersweet -- to see Reddick traded away. Reddick was also drafted in 2006 and the two had come up through the Sox system together. But Kalish is happy for his friend to get a shot at a full-time job in the big leagues. Kalish has been following the Sox moves this offseason, and is happy with the teams direction.

I think theyre doing very good things for us, he said. Obviously, Im not a GM. I dont know how things pan out, but I like all their moves. Theyre our management. We trust them and theyre doing the right things for us.

Kalish has been home in New Jersey for the holidays, but is headed back to Fort Myers, Fla., to resume his rehab on Monday. Hes not sure what he will be able to do by spring training. For now, hes not setting any milestones or goals for himself. Just doing what the doctors and trainers tell him. Hes hoping hell be at some stage of hitting by spring training, with throwing coming after that. Hes not sure if playing in games in a possibility, but hopes he might get to DH. But, hell abide by the directions of the medical staff.

Despite the setbacks of 2011, Kalish has maintained a good outlook.

Yeah, it hasnt been the easiest year, he said. Im sure if we talked a few months ago, I might not have said the same stuff. But when things get real bad you have to think positive because thats all you can do. Im still 23. Im young. I have time to get healthy and do what I need to do to get back. Thats all the things that I come up with in my head. But it gets frustrating at points where you see all these things happening and you know you cant do anything about it. It can be frustrating. But at the same time, as young as I am I know this game, and Ive heard from many people, how fast it will go by. So, theres no time to waste with a crappy attitude.

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

The Bruins placed veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on waivers on Thursday for the purposes of buying the veteran defenseman out of the final two years of his contract.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Seidenberg, who turns 35 July 18, still had two years remaining on a deal that would have paid him $4 million in each of the seasons. The move will save the Black and Gold roughly $4.6 million in cap space over the next two years.

Seidenberg confirmed the contract buyout to CSNNE.com and confirmed one other thing: "I going to miss it."

The extra space should theoretically allow the Bruins to spend big money on Friday when free agency opens, but the Bruins really haven’t been the lead suitors for any of the major available players to this point.

With the way buyouts work, however, the spread over four years means that the Bruins will still be including $1.16 million cap hits from 2018-2020, and are now down another experienced D-man who was a stalwart warrior for them over the years. Seidenberg clearly lost a step after blowing out his knee in the 2013-14 season and was a minus player for the first time in Boston last season with one goal and 12 points in 61 games.

The skating speed was noticeably slower and Seidenberg had trouble keeping up with the pace even as he continued to block shots and throw opponents around in the defensive zone. Seidenberg finishes his seven seasons in Boston with 23 goals and 117 points in 401 games as a rugged top-four defenseman. He will always be cherished in Boston for his marvelous stretch en route to the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Claude Julien pairing Seidenberg with Zdeno Chara midway through their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens changed the tide of that playoff matchup and was the combo used by the B’s for the playoffs when they again made it to the Cup Final in 2013 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The German-born defenseman was a respected and tough veteran leader in the B’s dressing room and will be missed for his toughness and accountability whether it was good times or bad in the room.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Seidenberg was being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract. 

 

 

Haggerty: Bruins on sidelines while top NHL GMs make big moves

Haggerty: Bruins on sidelines while top NHL GMs make big moves

The Bruins were all around the action on Wednesday as the massive hockey trades dropped fast and furiously, but once again they were on the outside with their anticipatory faces pressed up against the glass as the top GMs in the game did their thing.

Instead, the B’s were left to mull an offer sheet to Jacob Trouba that isn’t very likely to drop on Friday and wait for the secondary defenseman market in free agency as it appears the Oilers might have snapped up Jason Demers already.

Some of the bold moves clearly may be mistakes: the Canadiens got older, slower and much more explosive in swapping out P.K. Subban for Shea Weber one-for-one, but also will be tougher to play against in some ways with Weber and Andrew Shaw now added to the mix. Clearly, GM Dave Poile once again was the right manager in the right place at the right time to land the super-talented Subban, who will pack the hockey house in Nashville and help continue a tradition of stud defensemen for the Predators organization.

One keen hockey source cautioned me when I said the Habs got worse on Wednesday: “I don’t think people understand how good Weber really is in the East. Montreal has become a lot harder to play against with him and Shaw.”

This certainly may be true, but the Bruins lost their cherished Habs villain with Subban moving to the Nashville Predators, where he will become a genuine U.S. hockey market superstar. Subban was charismatic and colorful, and played the role with the flops and the phantom embellishment that has become synonymous with Habs hockey over the years.

His personality and elite skill level won him a Norris Trophy a few years back and made him one of the biggest stars in the NHL and his absence now significantly reduces the wattage of the modern Bruins/Canadiens rivalry. That’s another blow to a storied rivalry that was flat as its been in years last season without Milan Lucic. It’s one that might have some rocky roads ahead with the Bruins very clearly in need of some roster help.

Peter Chiarelli became the first GM in NHL history to trade both the first and second overall picks in the same draft after shipping away Tyler Seguin in 2013 and then dealing Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday for young, developing D-man Adam Larsson.  Essentially he traded two top-of-the-draft lottery picks for two Swedish mid-first round talents in Loui Eriksson and Larsson. That’s going to leave many questioning his decision-making process until we see the final picture this October in Edmonton.

If things don’t go very right for the Oil this season, with Larsson developing into a prime time top-pairing D-man, the heat could turned up on Chiarelli in the never-ending rebuild in Edmonton.

Once again credit a veteran GM in Ray Shero with getting exactly what his team needed in a dynamic scoring force like Hall and doing it while giving up something that hadn’t been a significant piece over the past few seasons in New Jersey. This may just be the cost of doing business for Chiarelli if Lucic and Demers are indeed on their way to the Oilers as free agents, and if the whispers are true that Edmonton might move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for defensemen help as well.

None of this even begins to mention GM Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay, who calmly and patiently waited out the Steve Stamkos free agency sweepstakes until his star player came back to him for a massive hometown discount. Now, he has the superstar, the young and talented core group and the players from those two second-round picks the B's charitably sent along for right wing bust Brett Connolly. 

The one thing that defies explanation is the Bruins-friendly voices that say inking the 22-year-old Trouba to an offer sheet “makes no sense.” Guess what really makes no sense? That would be going into next season with close to the exact same back-end group that missed the playoff cut over the past two seasons and couldn’t break the puck out of their zone under pressure if their collective lives depended on it.

The Bruins don’t have the trade assets in their organization to match offers of players like Taylor Hall and Matt Duchene, and they were beaten to the punch for top free agent D-men like Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski and perhaps even Demers. That “makes no sense” for a Bruins team that finished 19th in the league in goals allowed and had a blue line group that couldn’t execute simple tape-to-tape passes up the ice.  

Signing Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract extension? Signing fringe free agent D-men like John-Michael Liles? Not getting anything done with anybody in the trade or free agency market around draft weekend and July 1? That’s what really “doesn’t make sense” to me if I’m trying to cough out the Black and Gold party line right about now.

Because the NHL management groups with the big stones, the matching respect factor and the real NHL assets are making big, bold moves all across the league right now, and the Bruins are still waiting idly for their numbers to get called at the NHL deli counter. 
 

Thursday, June 30: Another view of the Trouba offer sheet

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Thursday, June 30: Another view of the Trouba offer sheet

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while waiting for Matt Martin to be the Bruins’ big prize on July 1 as the rest of the NHL is making seismic changes to their roster with big, bold moves. Hint: the Black and Gold aren’t being very bold right now.

*Interesting piece by Marc Spector on the Jacob Trouba offer sheet issue, and whether it would be worth it to land him.

*Darren Dreger weighs in on the hour that stood the NHL on its head, and saw P.K. Subban and Taylor Hall get traded within minutes of each other.

*The Taylor Hall trade is based on hope, according to Edmonton sports radio host Jason Gregor. Interesting piece from him.

*Here’s more about the Hall/Larsson swap that has many around the league wondering what the Oilers were thinking.

*P.K. Subban checks in all the way from Paris, France with a message for his Canadiens fans, and for his new fan base in Nashville.

*Here’s a Tennessee perspective on the Shea Weber/P.K. Subban swap with the Preds getting younger, faster and more explosive with one of the NHL’s biggest superstars.

*Good look at the Montreal end of things from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Arpon Basu with the Habs convinced they got better on Wednesday. I am not so convinced after watching a soon-to-be 31-year-old Shea Weber run out of gas in the playoffs last year.

*For something completely different: Jason Pierre-Paul debuts a 4th of July fireworks safety PSA after unfortunately blowing his fingers off with firecrackers last July.