BruinsSharks: 5 from the First

BruinsSharks: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts with a bonus thrown in -- from the first period with the Bruins trailing the San Jose Sharks by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at the TD Garden.1)A little shaky from Zach Hamill in his first NHL game this year. One of his first shifts with the puck he held onto the puck in the defensive zone, looked for a few beats for a guy to pass to and then flipped the puck up the ice for an icing call. Thats a nothing play that doesnt bring anything to the Bruins. Three shifts in the first, though he appeared to get a little comfortable as things progressed.2)A couple of close bids by the Bruins, but it appears theyre going up against a Sharks teams looking to make a second-half move in the standing and is 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Its going to take a good effort to take down San Jose this afternoon.3)A couple of close calls for the Bruins in the first period. Mark Recchi was taken out on a 2-on-1 after Patrice Bergeron had delivered a nice little pass through traffic, and Milan Lucic missed wide on a rebound attempt during Bostons first power play when Antti Niemi couldnt control rebound of Zdeno Chara blast. Bruins need to execute against a talented, motivated hockey team.4)Pretty sweet new mask for Tuukka Rask that he was showing off prior to the game: It mixes together the Zakim Bridge, an homage to Gerry Cheevers, the Finnish flag and a couple of angry Bears among other things. Check out my twitter account for more pictures.5)Logan Couture is pretty damned impressive. Looks like hes going to be the big gun hunting for the Calder Trophy at the end of this season, and he banged home his 23rd goal of the year on a backhander from the high slot that handcuffed Tim Thomas a little bit. 6)In the paying a price department: three blocked shots for Andrew Ference in the first period.

Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

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Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two.

Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row.

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Spooner is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.95 million and his is a complicated situation for the Black and Gold. Spooner holds significant value as a trade piece and has been an important part of a very effective power play, but he also finished the playoffs as a healthy scratch after going quietly the past few months of the season.

Spooner was one of the major pieces discussed in trade talks with the Minnesota Wild around the draft prior to the Wild shipping Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and he's been involved in trade discussions with several teams the past couple of years.

The Bruins have prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson waiting in the wings if/when the B’s decided to spin Spooner to another team, but they also enjoy his speed and playmaking when he’s on his game. There’s clearly a scenario where the Bruins start the season with Spooner installed as their third-line center and perhaps explore more trade discussions while seeing if a full season under Bruce Cassidy can unlock his significant offensive potential.

If that's still in the plan, they’d be wise to come to an agreement and avoid the hearing Wednesday where they’d ostensibly be bad-mouthing a player they’d want back on their team. The Bruins have the right to walk away from Spooner should he be awarded the full $3.85 million by the arbiter. Still, it’s hard to believe they’d do that given that he’s a homegrown asset with trade value.

The feeling at this address is that there’s a deal to be made between the two sides for something around the $3 million mark. That’s something that would be worthwhile for the Bruins if they have any designs on continuing on with Spooner.