Bruins go for another power forward in Hargrove

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Bruins go for another power forward in Hargrove

PITTSBURGH The Bruins once again went back to the well with their final pick in the NHL Draft, selecting a prospective power forward in Colton Hargrove.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Hargrove is a power forward out of Fargo in the USHL, and he hails from Rockwall, Texas. Not exactly a hotbed of hockey in the Lone Star State, but it speaks to the draft-eligible talent coming from all over.

The 205th overall pick will be headed to Western Michigan University next season, so the Bruins will get a good long look at him throughout his college years. Hargrove makes no bones about what kind of player he is, and the Bruins are always happy to draft and develop size on the wing.

Id like to think Im a power forward. I like to hit, forecheck. I think Ive got some skill. I can score, said Hargrove. Thats kind of what a power forward is . . . kind of just a skilled grinder that likes to hit. So I think I can bring a physical game and some skill to the team.

He put up 16 goals, 38 points and 140 PIMs in 54 games for the Fargo Force last season, and its pretty clear the Bruins hope he can further develop his skills after four years of NCAA hockey.

As with any big man he'll need to improve his coordination and footwork to augment his skating abilities. His size and strength are already well in place for a 19-year-old kid.

Id like to improve upon my footwork. I dont have the quickest feet and I think I can definitely work on it this year. Being at Western Michigan the coaches are great, said Hargrove. The weight training has been awesome since Ive been up here. Its tough but its really good for me. So hopefully I can work on that.

Hargrove will also be reunited with Fargo goaltender -- and Bruins 2011 draft pick -- Zane Gothberg during next weeks Bruins Development Camp, and hes hoping to light up his former tender.

I actually just called him. He was like Hello? and I said Ill see you at camp in about a couple of days, and he was like Yeah I just heard about it, said Hargrove. So Im real excited finally get to see him again. I havent seen him in a while and hopefully were on opposite teams so I can score on him a couple times.

The Bruins are hoping Hargrove can do a lot of scoring, and potentially become a diamond-in-the-rough draft pick much like power forward Brian Ferlin, who has developed quickly over the last 12 months after the Bruins plucked him out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.