Kaberle: 'Raymond Bourque was my hero'

Kaberle: 'Raymond Bourque was my hero'

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comOTTAWA The Bruins are going to have a whole new look tonight, and it starts with Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly taking the ice for the Black and Gold for the first time at Scotiabank Place.Kaberle will wear no. 12 because his No. 15 isnt available and Chris Kelly will wear No. 23 in their first go-round with the Bs. The four-time All-Star defenseman spoke about his feelings prior to arriving at Scotiabank Place, and said some of the magic words that Bruins fans wanted to hear: the Bruins were his team as a kid and Ray Bourque was his hero growing up in the Czech Republic.Never hurts to speak about a legendaryBruins' Hall of Famer in glowing terms when you're about to don the Black and Gold uniform for the very first time.Growing up, the Bruins were my team because Raymond Bourque was my hero, and I always looked up to him as a little kid, said Kaberle, who immediately becomes a minutes muncher at the defenseman position along with Zdeno Chara. I hope to help out on the power play, and just keep things simple.The mere thought of Kaberle talking power play immediately lets the mind wander toward the newest Bs defensemen feeding pucks for Chara one-timers from his left point position just as Peter Chiarelli envisioned when he mentioned the defensemen point duo of Kaberle and Brian McCabe that used to be so effective in Toronto.Kaberle would lead the Bs defensemen with 35 assists and 38 points on the season, and his prolific ability to help out on the power play is well documented in an area that Boston needs all kinds of help.Kaberle said it was difficult to leave the Leafs after 15 years with the organization, but the idea of participating in the playoffs for the first time in five years after wallowing through the muck and the mire was something he couldnt pass up in a city hes looking to try on for size.Its mixed feelings. I've been with the Leafs for 15 years, said Kaberle. Its sad to leave, but I'm going to a really good organization in Bruins, and Im really excited to be looking at a chance to play in the playoffs. Ive watched Boston really get good in the last few years, and its exciting to be part of such a good team with good goaltending.

Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

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Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while still digesting all of the awesome trailers and tidbits released at Comic Con in San Diego. 

*The NHL says there is no alternative regular season schedule for next season, and that any hope of participating in the Olympics is dead

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Predators just one Ryan Johansen deal away from a piece of salary cap artwork, and being able to keep everything together.  

*Clark Booth is either upset or mystified that the Bruins haven’t done anything this offseason. My good man Clark, they need to re-sign David Pastrnak and let some of their young prospects continue to grow and develop. Better that than sign another premium-priced contract to a player like David Backes or Matt Beleskey. They don’t need that at this point. And they shouldn’t panic and trade one of their good, young players either. 

*Former UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has agreed to a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. 

*It’s a wonderful time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh as the Penguins have been dominant, and it looks like the Steelers are in position to finish in second place behind the New England Patriots in the AFC. Well, that’s something to write home about. 

*Minnesota native Kyle Okposo opens up for the first time about a scary season-ender with the Buffalo Sabres where Illness forced him to the hospital. 

*Larry Brooks explains why the New York Rangers have short-changed Mika Zibanejad in their salary arbitration exercise. 

*For something completely different: Are you kidding me with this Stranger Things 2 trailer to Michael Jackson’s Thriller? This looks awesome. 

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

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Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.