Bruins great Middleton headlines Mass. Hockey Hall class

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Bruins great Middleton headlines Mass. Hockey Hall class

Former Boston Bruins great Rick Middleton is still waiting for his call to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto after a dominant career in Boston, but Nifty has collected another honor while he waits.

Middleton headlines the newest class of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame set to be inducted Nov. 14 at Lombardos in Randolph. Joining Middleton are Boston College All-American and US Olympian Tom Red Martin (Cambridge), Brown All-American and US Olympian Don Whiston (Stoneham), Boston College All-American Ed Butch Songin (Walpole), UNH and US Womens National Hockey Coach Karen Kay (Marlborough), Salem Evening News hockey scribe Bill Kipouras, ECAC and NCAA official Tom Lynch (Norwood) and Massachusetts Hockey Builders Charles Mike Tenney (Duxbury), Alan Doc Ashare (Newton) and Billerica Youth Hockey legend Joe Ferraro.

Middleton is the last Bruins player to win the Lady Byng Trophy and finished with 448 goals and 998 points in just over 1,000 NHL games with the Big Bad Bruins and the New York Rangers over a 14-year NHL career.

Past inductees read like a whos who of hockey heroes who over the past 50 years have helped position Massachusetts as the hotbed of hockey in the United States. Per a press release from the Mass Hockey Hall of Fame, the list is stock full of Olympic and Paralympic heroes, college and NHL stars, female pioneers, high school and college coaching legends, distinguished referees and media icons, as well as a cadre of dedicated, behind-the-scenes grassroots builders who have tirelessly spent decades furthering the development of the game in Massachusetts.

Inductees to the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame are chosen on the basis of accomplishments in the game of hockey, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to his or her teams or organizations in college, amateur or professional hockey, or on international teams representing the United States. Each nominee must have distinguished himself or herself by exceptional performance and outstanding character reflecting favorably upon the game of hockey in

Massachusetts, be in good public standing in the community, an appropriate role model for young hockey players and an exemplary representative of the game of hockey. Massachusetts Hockey, Inc., is a not-for-profit tax exempt organization which serves as the affiliate association of USA Hockey, Inc., and is the official governing body for the sport of hockey in Massachusetts. As such, its purposes and objectives are to develop, advance and encourage participation in the sport of hockey; to develop and encourage sportsmanship between all players for the betterment of their physical and social well-being; to develop and improve the standards of the sport; and to educate and train players, coaches, referees, managers, administrators and parents. For more information, visit www.masshockey.com.

A limited number of tickets (60) to the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner are available and may be purchased by contacting Jim Prior at jimprior@easternjunior.com or (781) 938-4400.

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

BOSTON – With the NHL expansion draft looming a couple of months in the future, it became much more of a reality for the Bruins this week now that the 2016-17 season is in the books.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on Thursday that he expects the Bruins to go the 7 (forwards) 3 (defensemen) 1 (goaltender) route protecting their roster from the June 21 expansion draft. That will still leave some useful roster players unprotected.

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Atop that available expansion list for the Bruins will be potential names Malcolm Subban, Riley Nash, Jimmy Hayes and Adam McQuaid, who could be headed to Vegas. Asked about the topic at this week’s breakup day for the players, McQuaid expressed his hopes that he isn’t the one selected by the Vegas Golden Knights. The 30-year-old McQuaid stayed healthy enough to play in 77 games this season, and posted two goals and 10 points along with a plus-4 while serving in a top-four role pretty much all season as Torey Krug’s defensive partner.

McQuaid also brought the toughness and quiet leadership element with his willingness to always stand up for his teammates and go toe-to-toe with the toughest guys in the league when it was called for. His midseason heavyweight bout with Matt Martin was one of the most memorable moments of the season. It’s an element the Bruins would miss if he was taken in the expansion draft.  

“Well, I hope not. I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you. Obviously, the reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team,” said McQuaid. “So, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here. I can’t imagine playing for another team. It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully that’s not the case.”

McQuaid is signed for $2.75 million for the next seasons and it was clear he was missed on the penalty kill once he went down injured in the first-round series against the Ottawa Senators. As for the entire expansion process, Sweeney said they are currently whittling down the protected list while required to protect Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes to start by virtue of the no-movement language in their contracts.

Other young players, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano among others, don’t need to be protected either after completing this season with two years or less of pro hockey experience. One of the most difficult decisions will come down to protecting either 25-year-old Colin Miller or 28-year-old Kevan Miller as the third defensemen. 

Whichever one of those D-men is left unprotected would join McQuaid as the most likely player to be selected by Vegas GM George McPhee after he spent a decent amount of time scouting the Black and Gold this season to get an idea of which player he wanted.

Here’s our best guess at which players will end up being protected by the Bruins:

Forwards (7): Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Pastrnak, Marchand, Beleskey and Spooner

Defensemen (3): Chara, Krug and Colin Miller

Goaltender (1): Rask 


 

Friday, April 28: Why combine NHL Awards with expansion draft?

Friday, April 28: Why combine NHL Awards with expansion draft?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while hoping that Bruce Cassidy does a regular call-in to the Toucher and Rich Show next season. It’s a treat for Bruins fans. Cassidy is a straight shooter and has a great personality as well.

*Puck Daddy explains why the NHL is cramming the expansion draft for Vegas in with the NHL Awards show. I feel like this kind of makes sense because they’re both Vegas-centric.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ian Mendes says there’s no playoff fever in Ottawa and instead only a “Sens malaise.” It’s crazy to me that there were pockets of empty seats in Ottawa for Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs against the Rangers.

*Speaking of Game 1 between the Sens and the Rangers, here are the details with Erik Karlsson again stepping up and playing the hero while carrying Ottawa.

*The Anaheim Ducks are having a heck of a time containing Leon Draisaitl in their second round battle with the Edmonton Oilers.

*Here’s some of this morning’s chat between Bruce Cassidy and Toucher and Rich where he talked about his relationship with Claude, his hate for the Canadiens and the future outlook for the Bruins organization. Good stuff.

*Glen Gulutzan reflects on his first season behind the bench for the Calgary Flames after their first round ouster.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) and PHT writer Mike Halford has details of the Rangers not allowing Chris Drury to interview for the GM job with the Buffalo Sabres.

*For something completely different: What is the deal with this Buckingham McVie music that’s coming out? Whatever happened to Buckingham Nicks?