Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return

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Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return

BOSTON -- If anything should make things all forgiven for the most recent chapters in Bruins history, it should be winning a Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion.

Sports Tonight Question of the Day: Will you cheer or boo Tomas Kaberle tonight? Let us know!

Who cares about the Joe Thornton trade anymore, aside from the fact it paved the way for signing Marc SavardZdeno Chara, and moving on to the next chapter in Bs history?
Do the past Bs ownership transgressions specifically those in not going after enough quality players with big price tags really matter with a league salary cap in effect, and a Stanley Cup in tow?

Who remembers anything from the Mike Sullivan era coaching the Bruins, with only Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron to show for that epoch in Black and Gold history?

Whats the point of all these scatter-brained Bruins questions from their long and sometimes distinguished history?

The point is everything thats past in recent Bruins history was prologue to them winning the Cup last season, and there are more than a few things that should be forgiven and forgotten.

The Bruins fan punching bags formerly known as Hal Gill and Dennis Wideman are two pretty good examples, but perhaps the best one is suiting up for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at TD Garden.

Tomas Kaberle was presented his Stanley Cup championship ring as hand-delivered by Peter Chiarelli on Tuesday morning, but hes also set for what should be an interesting reception from the Bs faithful tonight at puck drop.

Kaberle has his ring, hes got his name etched on the Cup, he had his bizarre medieval Cup celebration in the Czech Republic this summer, and he should be embraced with an appreciative round of applause from Bruins fans during his return to TD Garden as a visiting player.

As was the case with Jeremy Jacobs on banner-raising night against the Flyers, there really is no need for booing in the wake of winning the Cup when it comes to last years team.

While Kaberle wasnt as good as advertised upon arrival and he certainly didnt do a thing for the power play in his Boston stint he was also a contributing member of a Boston club that captured the Cup. An argument could be made that the Bruins dont win without Kaberle if Shane Hnidy was forced into regular action, and thats not even counting what might have happened when both Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid missed games during the run.

It was Kaberles stretch pass in Game 3 to a streaking Michael Ryder at the Bell Centre that helped wake up the Bruins, and proved to be a difference-maker in the series. Not only that, but the Bs power play is 1-for-21 to start this season as well so perhaps it wasnt all Kaberles fault that the Bs man advantage sucked swamp water throughout the postseason.

For better or worse Kaberle was a contributing member to a Bs team that brought the hockey holy grail back to Boston for the first time in 39 years, and that should be worth at least one congratulatory pat on the back in his return to the Hub.

To boil it down to simplest terms on Kaberle: dont hate, but appreciate.

There will be plenty of time for the vitriol to build back up and the hate reservoir to be filled for opponents after all the piping hot Phil Kessel and his Leafs will be here Thursday night but Tuesday night is a chance for Bs fans to rise above and accept another undeniable part of the Bs unfailingly entertaining Cup run.

Nobody is ever asking anyone to claim that Kaberle is the All-Star defenseman that he once was or was the best defensemen on the ice for the Bs during his time here, but a little applause for helping bring the Cup back to Boston isnt too much to ask for.

Its just the right thing to do if only once, and then go back to the regularly scheduled booing thats expected to take place for a hockey crowd thats now had a taste of greatness.

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.