Haggerty: Ference not hypocritical over Paille's hit

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Haggerty: Ference not hypocritical over Paille's hit

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Daniel Paille is going to pay the price for his hit on Raymond Sawada, in the form of a four-game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League.Both Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli gamely said there is a case to be made that Pailles hit was more shoulder-to-shoulder than a blindside head shot, but give Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and many of his teammates a lot of credit.Ference knows Paille feels badly about the hit, isnt a dirty player on the edge (as Matt Cooke clearly was last season), and will accept any penalty that's handed down but Ference also knows what its like to be on the receiving side when it comes to Rule 48 and dangerous blind sidelateral pressure hits.The Bruins defenseman is as clean a player as youll find in the NHL, and has always played the game the right way. It clearly burned Ference when the NHLs brightest star, Sidney Crosby, didnt come out strongly and decry the filthy hit that teammate Cooke landed on Savard last spring.Instead, only classy veteran Bill Guerin condemned Cookes villainous actions. Crosby fell silent on the kind of subject that needs his clout and backing.After Thursday's game, Ference wouldn't do the same when it came to Paille's hit on Sawada.
Its a bad hit, right?" said Ference. "You hear it from every player after they do it, they feel bad, and same thing, I talked to Danny Paille and he feels bad. You cant be a hypocrite about it, though. Ive thought about this a lot and had plenty of time to put things in perspective over the last year. Sidney Crosby has been very vocal about the head shots and blindside hits since he suffered one in the Winter Classic, but what did Crosby say after Cooke hit Savvy last year? Nothing.I thought a lot about that. You want to be a good teammate, but you shouldnt be a hypocrite about it.Good for Ference for speaking his mind, and talking about whats right rather than taking the easy way out by saying nothing at all on a very meaningful subject to the Bs players. Even NESN's Jack Edwards admitted after the game that the Paille hit was in violation of Rule 48 and that it was in no way clean in today's NHL.
On to the links: James Reimer fever is breaking out in Toronto, and the Star is all over it when theres not much else to cheer for in Leafs land. Count Evgeni Malkin among the many NHL players who seemed to feel bad for Phil Kessel after the All-Star fantasy draft. You really hope they dont change the format over Phil the Thrills hurt feelings. Bucky Gleason gives one last kick to the outgoing Buffalo Sabres ownership before a new, well-heeled regime takes over in the name of Terry Pegala. The New Jersey Devils escape last place in the Eastern Conference. I wonder if they answer the phones in Newark as Welcome to the Devils, no longer sitting in the East basement. Henrik Lundqvist going through a pretty bad lull for the slumping New York Rangers at a very inopportune time in the season, according to northjersey.com A decision is looming on Peter Forsberg, according to the Denver Posts Adrian Dater, but I must admit that Im not somebody waiting with baited breath for the announcement. Dwayne Roloson is helping turn things around for the Tampa Bay Lightning this year, and Pierre Lebrun correctly points out that Steve Yzerman is looking like a GM genius in his first season at the helm.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bergeron makes Bruins history with fourth Selke Trophy

Bergeron makes Bruins history with fourth Selke Trophy

Patrice Bergeron made hockey history on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards Show in easily the best moment of the evening for the Bruins.

That’s right. Boston’s beloved No. 37 won the fourth Selke Trophy of his career at the NHL Awards presentation recognizing the standouts from the 2016-17 season, and in doing so Bergeron became only the second player in NHL history (Bob Gainey) to win the defensive award in four different seasons. The Habs legend Gainey made the presentation of the award to No. 37 at the event, and it certainly felt like the passing of the Selke baton from the best defensive forward of the last generation to the best defensive forward of this generation.  

“I’m humbled. It’s a huge honor. It’s also a huge honor to get [the award] from Mr. Gainey. He’s somebody I looked up to and he was a great role model for kids when I was growing up,” said Bergeron. “It’s a huge honor that I couldn’t do without everybody back home in Boston.”

This particular award had to be extra sweet for the 31-year-old Bergeron after playing injured for the entire season while battling through the discomfort of a sports hernia, and in doing so helping to lead the improving B’s back into the playoffs.

Clearly, Bergeron’s teammates were pumped for him as Brad Marchand tweeted out a little line love after the awards were announced.

Bergeron was the NHL's busiest player in the face-off circle for the third consecutive season, leading the league with 1,812 draws and 1,089 winning face-offs. His draw winning percentage of 60.1% ranked third in the NHL, and he did so while continuing to score high in the puck-possession statistical categories across the league. Bergeron finished with 71 first place votes ahead of second place Ryan Kesler, and third place Mikko Koivu with 28 first place votes.

In the other good news department, Bergeron told reporters in Las Vegas that he’s feeling good physically following surgery and should be healthy and ready to go at the start of next season. 

Bruins lose Colin Miller in expansion draft

Bruins lose Colin Miller in expansion draft

In a move that shouldn’t surprise many, the Bruins have lost defenseman Colin Miller in the expansion draft to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. 

Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the selection, which will be announced Wednesday night. 

A fifth-round pick of the Kings in the 2012 draft, Miller was traded to the Bruins in the Milan Lucic deal after his second professional season. A strong skater with a heavy slap shot, Miller came to Boston having won both the fastest skater and hardest shot competitions in the 2015 AHL All-Star Skills competition. 

Though Miller’s skill-set still makes him a very promising player, he’s yet to develop into an NHL regular due to difficulties in decision-making. The 24-year-old was left exposed in the expansion draft as the B’s opted to protect 29-year-old Kevan Miller instead. 

Though Miller was selected by Vegas, it is not guaranteed he will remain with the team. Another team could trade for him, with Miller and Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas going back to Miller’s OHL days in Sault Ste. Marie, where Dubas was the team’s GM.