Bruins 'dabbling' in free agent market on Day 2

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Bruins 'dabbling' in free agent market on Day 2

WILMINGTON, Mass. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said that the team is merely dabbling in the free agency market as their Development Camp comes to a close.

There is a bit of a free agent gridlock situation going on Monday as both players and teams wait for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to make their final choices, and many dominoes are expected to fall in their aftermath.

Chiarelli had a more humorous reason why the Bruins havent been all that active in free agency while their development camp is taking place at Ristuccia Arena in the hinterlands of Massachusetts.

Whats cut down here at Ristuccia Arena is that theres no cell phone coverage, said a smiling Chiarelli. Im afraid to walk outside. Any irons I had on the fire 10 hours, I dont know where they are now.

The calls have been fewer and further in between; having said that Ive dabbled in a couple things. I dont anticipate anything, but were dabbling a little bit.

Perhaps the Bruins are waiting for things to loosen up, and thats the secondary trade market that Chiarelli has been talking about over the last month.

There could be big NHL names in play like Keith Yandle and Bobby Ryan in the secondary trade market once Parise and Suter have made their decisions, and perhaps thats what the Bruins are waiting for. The Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes both want a center as the main piece in exchange for either player, and theres every possibility David Krejci could be in play for either All-Star-level performer.

More likely is the Bruins continuing their search for a Mark Recchi-type third line veteran winger in the mold of Shane Doan, Jason Arnott, Daniel Winnik or Steve Sullivan via free agency.

There will be a number of useful players still available for bargain prices later in free agency for the patient GM willing to wait for team roster spots to begin filling up. It remains to be seen whether thats the route the Bruins will take, but it seems likely given Chiarellis careful, conservative nature.

Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

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Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

It’s only a coincidence that it will air the same week that the Boston Bruins went Hollywood with their annual three-game road trip through California, but David Backes and his wife Kelly are going to get some solid TV time this weekend. The animal-loving couple are going to be featured Saturday night in the all-new Animal Planet special "Stars to the Rescue," which highlights the Backes family’s excellent work to ensure every animal has a ‘furever’ home.

The lifelong animal lovers have adopted five rescue pets that all made the move from St. Louis to Boston this summer, and launched Athletes for Animals in 2013, a non-profit organization supporting professional athletes and animal advocacy efforts. The 32-year-old Backes chose a Boston animal shelter as his first setting to meet with the Boston media this summer after signing with the Bruins in free agency, and spoke glowingly about his inspiration for marrying two of his passions: helping animals and sports.

“The full story is that in college we wanted an animal or two, but it just wasn’t responsible because we were renting and the landlords didn’t approve," said Backes, the proud owner of four dogs (Maverick, Rosey, Marty and Bebe) and two cats (Sunny, Poly). "We just didn’t really have the time or resources to support them, so we volunteered at the local shelter for the three years I was in school.

“When my wife [Kelly] and I moved to St. Louis, we wanted to connect with the community, be a part and use our voice to influence social change to do our part making the world a little bit of a better place. So we said, ‘Why not connect with the animal welfare rescue community?’

“We absolutely love doing it: Walking dogs, scooping litter boxes and cleaning kennels. Let’s use our voice to kick this off and see what we can do, and it really just snowballed from that to then trying to tie other guys into it. It’s not limited to the animal stuff, but the animals that don’t have a voice, and the kids that don’t have a voice, really tug at our heart strings. We want to help them with this blessing of a great voice we’ve been given as professional athletes, and to really use that to give them some help.”

The “Stars to the Rescue” special premieres on Saturday night at 8 pm on Animal Planet where there will be a full segment on the Backes family, but here’s a clip where Backes talks about his well-publicized involvement with a number of stray dog rescues during his 2014 Olympic Hockey stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia.

Backes isn’t the only Boston athlete featured during the Animal Planet special as it also chronicles the stories of other well-known athletes and celebrities and the dogs they can't live without: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Selma Blair, ESPN Correspondent Michelle Beadle, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and more. From training buddies to comforting companions, “Stars to the Rescue” shows first-hand how these celebrities first met their cute rescued canines and how their dogs have impacted and transformed their lives for the better.

What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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