Ference: No issue in locker room over comments

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Ference: No issue in locker room over comments

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Andrew Ference reiterated Sunday that hits like Daniel Paille's are an "issue that has to be taken seriously" in the National Hockey League, but dismissed the notion that criticism of his teammate had caused a rift in the Bruins' locker room.

"It's a joke," said Ference. "Our room is awesome. Stuff likethat doesn't divide locker rooms. Are you kidding me? C'mon."

On Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada telecast, ex-Bruins coach Don Cherry took Ference to task for calling Paille's hit to the head of Dallas' Raymond Sawada -- which earned Pailee a four-game suspension from the NHL -- "a bad hit."

You do not -- I dont care if your teammate is an axe murderer -- . . . go to thepress like Ference did and say that was a bad hit," Cherry said. Then, referring to the Bruins' 2-0 loss to San Jose earlier Saturday, Chery added: "See what happened in the game today? Two-nothing. That brings yourdressing room down when you have a guy in the dressing room talkingabout your own players and you know hes going to get suspended."

But when asked about it Sunday, Ference stood his ground.

"We have an issue in the league with head shots, with those kind ofhits," said Ference after Sunday's practice. "There's a big push by,not only us, but the NHL, to look out for the safety of the players, andgetting rid of those hits is one of those things . . .

"It's an issue that has to be taken seriously. It's a concussion. Theseare guys lives. When you talk about things like that . . . it's not somethingthat you throw around lightly."

Paille -- who said he has reached out to Sawada, and the two had a "goodconversation" -- was asked how he felt about Ference, and answered: "Obviously, on the ice, I'll doanything I can to back him up with everything. It's just something that, hevoiced his opinion. Obviously I have different views on how I see things, Iguess. But that's just me."

Ference said he and Paille had no problems.

"It's not like Paille was head-hunting," he said. "He'snot going out there saying, 'I'm trying to put this guy out.' If it's asplit-second later, it's a good hit. It's a fast game, so no matter what ruleis there, it's going to happen.

"But you can't glaze it over and pretend likeit's fine."

Being someone who knows a thing or two about concussions, Patrice Bergeron alsogave his take on Paille's hit after Sunday's practice.

"Obviously, I know Daniel feels bad about what happened," saidBergeron. "He didn't mean to. But at the same time, sometimes those hitscan be avoided. I've said that before, and I'm not going to change my speechbecause it happened with someone on our side."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.