Kampfer coming to grips with Cup absence

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Kampfer coming to grips with Cup absence

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- The good news that Marc Savard would see his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup along with the rest of the 2010-11 Boston Bruins was overwhelmingly positive.

But, like most instances of good news, it was tempered by the flip side of that same equation. While Savard and his courageous efforts to play last season through the aftereffects of a hellacious concussion were recognized along with his contributions toward making the Bruins a Cup-worthy organization, several Bruins that made sizable contributions to last seasons club were not.

Rookie defensemen Steve Kampfer and veteran blueliner Shane Hnidy did not get their names chiseled on the Cup along with the rest of their Bs teammates. Both players got their individual days with the Cup this summer, and both will get championship rings from the Bruins. But both also fell short of the league requirements for getting on the Cup, with Hnidy only appearing in three regular-season contests at the end of the year before playing in two postseason games.

Kampfer came up agonizingly short after appearing in 38 regular-season games for the Bruins, and didnt qualify under either Cup criteria: A minimum 41 regular-season games played, or an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Kampfer said that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli informed him last week about the leagues final decision on the Cup names, and the young defensemen took it reasonably well. Kampfer had to know he might not get the leagues blessing given his standing as an NHL newcomer, and he was able to enjoy all of the other spoils that come along with being a Stanley Cup champ.

Peter talked to me the other day and we talked about some of the reasons why my name wasnt on there, said Kampfer. Obviously being my first year I didnt have a background to establish myself in the league, and the NHL has a new policy when it comes to that.

Im happy that I was a part of the team for three-quarters of the year, even if I came up three games short. Ill always be linked with the team because I was there and I was the next defensemen to go in. I cant really change it. But it gives you that hunger to go win it again and make sure your name is on it the next time around.

Several pictures surfaced over the last week that displayed the new Bruins team inscription on the famed hockey chalice, and it included Savards name along with Patrice Bergeron opting for his fully hyphenated name of Patrice Bergeron-Cleary honoring both of his parents.

Surely Kampfer would have loved to honor his family and his own hockey career by having his name scrawled on the Cup alongside the 22 Bs teammates that are just beginning a 60-year stretch of inscription on the Cup. But Kampfer is also 23 years old, and well aware hes got a lifetime to once again ascend the NHL mountaintop.

I was ecstatic to be a part of it and glad that we were the Stanley Cup champs, said Kampfer. I think that Im hungrier now, but I dont think that changes things at all. If you asked anybody in this room if theyre hungry to win again, theyll say, 'Absolutely', because its the pinnacle of hockey. You cant get any better than that.

One thing would be better than that the next time: Kampfer getting his name immortalized on the Cup along with his Black and Gold teammates.

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

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

The Bruins should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. They really shouldn’t. 

Yet they might. Pierre McGuire said on TSN Radio Tuesday that his guess is that Shattenkirk, arguably the best free agent defenseman on the market, will end up in Boston.

It is remarkable how universally against a Shattenkirk megadeal B’s fans have seemingly been. A Twitter poll with over 3,600 votes this month had Bruins fans preferring Boston sign 40-year-old Zdeno Chara to a two-year, $8 million extension than the 28-year-old  Shattenkirk to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal. 

That is obviously the correct conclusion, but considering how hard the false “Chara is old and bad” garbage is pushed in this town, it’s telling that 64 percent would rather he stick around than the team build the defense around Shattenkirk. 

Of course, Shattenkirk is not a bad player just because he’s been overrated in recent seasons. He’s a decent second-pairing defender and strong power play asset who can be penciled in for 40 points a year. The Bruins already have that in Torey Krug, and he makes less than Shattenkirk figures to command. Shattenkirk is also a righty who plays on the right, which is not a need for the Bruins, whereas Krug is a left shot who plays both sides. 

Add in the Bruins’ cap situation due to some bad contracts and they why of Shattenkirk would be a bad signing doesn’t need to be re-hashed. By this point, the explanation’s been given a few times in a few different places. 

So what would the Bruins’ actual case for signing Shattenkirk be? 

TO KEEP IT MOVING 

Last season was encouraging for Bruins fans because it saw them reach the playoffs for the first time in three years while also seeing young talent emerge. Yet they still only made the playoffs by two points, something of which Don Sweeney and Cam Neely are undoubtedly aware. 

So for all the good signs, this could be a fringe playoff team again if more improvements aren’t made, and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years would mark a step back in the eyes of ownership, perhaps putting jobs in danger. It would be a shame if money were spent irresponsibly for the sake of saving jobs, but Shattenkirk would definitely make the Bruins better next season, even if it crippled them financially down the road. 

TO PULL A CHIARELLIAN FREE AGENT SWITCHEROO

With McAvoy set to be a top-pairing player and Brandon Carlo a good second-pairing option, the Bruins do not have a need for a highly paid right-shot defender. That doesn’t mean they don’t have needs elsewhere. 

Last offseason, Peter Chiarelli made the controversial move of trading Taylor Hall, one of the best left wings on the planet. He did it to get Adam Larsson to help build Edmonton’s blue line up, then he went out and signed Milan Lucic in free agency to replace Hall. 

If the Bruins truly have designs on adding Shattenkirk, perhaps they could have something similar in mind: Trade someone like Carlo for either a left-shot defenseman or a left wing, then replace Carlo with Shattenkirk. 

This would still not be financially palatable, however. When the Oilers traded Hall for Larsson, they swapped a player with a $6 million cap hit for a player with a $4.16 million cap hit and replaced the original player (Hall) with a player in Lucic who carried a $6 million cap hit. So essentially they netted one player for an additional $4.16 million. 

Carlo is on his entry level contract, so unless the Bruins traded him for a player on an entry-level deal, they’d be spending a lot of money in any maneuver that involved replacing him with Shattenkirk. 

TO GO ALL-IN ON POST-CLAUDE LIFE

Claude Julien’s detractors lamented his affinity for responsibility. They loved it when Bruce Cassidy was more open to trading chances. 

Well, you like trading chances? Shattenkirk’s your guy. He’s a good skater, a good offensive player and a sub-par defender. You put Krug, Shattenkirk and McAvoy as three of your four top-four defenseman and you’ll be a long way from the days of Chara, Seidenberg and Boychuk, for better or worse. 

BUT, KEEP IN MIND . . . 

They for sure should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. 

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.