Bruins prospects ready as Providence B's open preseason

807542.jpg

Bruins prospects ready as Providence B's open preseason

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Those hoping to get a glimpse of the Bs future during a pair of Providence Bruins preseason games this week in Marlborough will get exactly what theyre looking for.

The P-Bruins will square off against the Springfield Falcons tonight at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, and Providence coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that young prospects like Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Torey Krug, Justin Florek and Tommy Cross should be getting ample ice time.

Seasoned veterans like Chris Bourque, Christian Hanson and Trent Whitfield probably wont play until Saturdays preseason finale against Springfield in Western Mass, but youth will be served after Spooner opened eyes during intra-squad scrimmages over the weekend.

All our tryout guys will play in the first two games, said Cassidy. Our young guys like Florek, Krug, Spooner and Knight will play at least one and maybe both games in Marlborough. The odd guy might play in all three preseason games, and then it will be our probably lineup playing Saturday.

I liked our defense moving the puck during the scrimmages. They did a pretty good job in the defensive zone and breaking things out. Zach Trotman scored a hat trick in the first scrimmage and Tommy Cross has great pedigree. Krug is ready to step in. Spooner was one of the better players and his speed through the neutral zone is something that will be fun to watch. Hes got a second gear there. We just need to get the right wingers with him and I imagine Bourque would be one of them. Hes a very good finisher. Knight, Tyler Randell and Florek are guys I want to see more of.

Should be interesting from an observer perspective as the P-Bruins have a glut of defensemen (nine in total) that are all signed to contracts this season and not all of them will make the squad.

That means established players that dont have very good training camps might be headed for the ECHL with young defenseman like Cross and Krug pushing for jobs along with former NHL blueliner Garnet Exelby.

We all think theyre capable of playing, said Cassidy. In the American Hockey League there are always injuries and it seems like you need eight or nine guys every year. But normally you have the NHL big club also calling guys up and we dont have that this year.

Obviously we want the young guys to play, so theres going to be some tough decisions if we do stay healthy. Either they dont get in the lineup or we get a rotation going. Well deal with that next week.

It wont be the Boston Bruins and its still only preseason, but those NHL hockey fans thirsting for a little puck action will get their first chance tonight by heading to Marlborough for the P-Bruins preseason game.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."
 

Morning Skate: Overreacting to the Oilers' window

Morning Skate: Overreacting to the Oilers' window

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while really enjoying what the CW does season in and season out with the Flash.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Don Brennan says that the Senators fans not showing up for Game 6 is their way of sticking it to Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.

*The talk is turning to the next captain of the Buffalo Sabres, and what they can do to help open up communication up and down the roster.  

*A guy that wore a Habs toque on his twitter avatar writes a glowing, praise-filled article about the performance of PK Subban during these Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s undoubtedly been good, but he just might have been wearing his Montreal Canadiens footie pajamas when he wrote this one, and rattling his fist at Habs management all the while.

*Interesting piece by Jason Gregor about the “window to win” for the Edmonton Oilers, and an odd notion that the window will close when Connor McDavid has moved out of his entry level contract. I’d say that’s kind of ludicrous.

*The Colorado Avalanche coaching staff has been let go after last year’s dreadful season, and that’s too bad for a really good guy in former Providence College head coach Tim Army. I’m sure he won’t be out of work long.

*Colin White made his Stanley Cup playoff and NHL debut for the Ottawa Senators in Game 6, and helped push Ottawa to a Game 7. It will be interesting to watch the Massachusetts native and former Boston College standout develop with the Senators as White was one of the players that the Bruins skipped over to instead draft Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. The others, Mathew Barzal, Travis Konecny and Kyle Connor, are all either in the NHL or knocking on the door as well, and it’s going to be a challenging road for both of Boston’s forward prospects to live up the justification of the B’s drafting them first. Granted DeBrusk and Senyshyn are also both doing their thing for the P-Bruins as they push into the conference finals of the Calder Cup playoffs, and they’re both bright prospects in their own right. It’s going to take years to determine the rights and wrongs of that first round, but White getting into the lineup for the Senators is proof of just how high that organization is on him.

*Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan says that Sidney Crosby handled the targeted abuse well from the Senators in a Game 6 loss that will push to a Game 7 between the Penguins and the Senators.

*For something completely different: A great message from Brookline homey and former Sox GM wonder boy Theo Epstein in his commencement address to Yale University.