Morning Skate 421: Campbell trying to do right

Morning Skate 421: Campbell trying to do right

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

MONTREAL Gregory Campbell admitted that hed received a text message from a friend about his dads rant on TSN Radio when approached about it after todays morning skate, but he hadnt yet heard it for himself.The Bs fourth line center has heard it all before, though. He knows the kind of exhausting scrutiny and high pressure his father Colin is under as the Vice President of Hockey Operations and sheriff when it comes to supplemental discipline in the NHL for borderline hits and dangerous play.People think its an easy job, but its something he puts so much time into and works extremely hard at it, said the younger Campbell of his fathers responsibilities within the league Doing the right thing means a lot to him, and thats how hes always approached it.The elder Campbell was appearing on TSN Radio 1050 Wednesday night to discuss the latest round of controversies with TSN host James Cybulski, and it quickly turned into a Colin Campbell rant directed at the second guessers and press box hecklers. The latest wave of criticism arrived on Campbells doorstep when he opted not to suspend CanucksruffianRaffi Torres for a punishing hit behind the net on Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook a shot toward the head that some felt was a hard, playoff hockey play.Others felt was an obvious shot to Seabrooks head.Not too difficult to discern which side Campbell is on after deeming there was no need for supplemental discipline."Thankless job? Yeah, it's thankless," said the elder Campbell. "Especially at this time of year when there's so much at play here with the playoffs and cities are involved. When you rule on certain situations, all of a sudden you become public enemy No. 1 so ... Am I pissed off right now? Yeah, I'm pissed off.""I don't make up this stuff as I go along. We do lots of work on this. We send out lots of videos. You think I want to do the popular thing here? I don't get paid to do the popular thing. I don't get paid to do the easy thing to do.Campbell slammed the radio hosts pretty hard when he presented them with the David Steckel hit on Sidney Crosby during the Winter Classic a hit that resulted in a concussion thats kept Crosby out for the rest of the season and playoffs. Campbell asked both radio hosts if they felt the hit was dirty, and then lambasted them when they termed Steckels hit as borderline. "You guys are crazy when you say that," Campbell said. "What do you want to do to the game? You're nuts. There are some hits out there that we don't like, but ... Come on, you guys. You can't say that was dirty, you guys. ... You can't say that hit was dirty or you guys don't watch hockey."I've got a responsibility to try and protect players from other players in the game of hockey but yet keep the physicality in the game. To keep jobs like your jobseveryone's jobs. The game supplies a lot of jobs. That's what's thankless about this job. You try to do the right thing, you try to keep physicality in the game. You guys think that I enjoy hearing everybody saying Torres should have been suspended? Well, that would have been the easy thing to do. If they want to go forward and say that type of hit or all head hits should be suspended, maybe this job will be easier. But I don't think so.Say what you want about Campbell in individual cases, but the guy clearly feels passionately about his job and doing the right thing to protect players and the game of hockey at the same.Perfect hes not, but he seems to be trying.On to the links:A great story by ESPN.coms Wayne Drehs on game-winning puck from last years Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory, and the complete mystery of its whereabouts one year later. Has anybody called Doug Mientkiewicz?TSNs Darren Dreger says former Bruins player Craig MacTavish is looking for an NHL coaching job after sitting out the last two seasons following his dismissal from the Edmonton Oilers.FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Lozo talks with New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik after he severely screwed the pooch in overtime on Wednesday night.Tom Glavine is interested in putting an ownership group together to keep the Atlanta Thrashers in Georgia. Hed better hurry up before they end up in Winnipeg or Quebec City. Heres a good look by the Hockey News at the hockey connection the Billerica native has after being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings way back in 1984.Chicago goon John Scott certainly has a lot to say for a hockey player that doesnt actuallyyou knowplay all that often. This time hes chirping with Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.An interesting look at the players potentially available via restricted free agency this summer, and sparking plenty of chatter about offer sheets according to Spector.Heres the actual audio of Colin Campbell going a little mad during a hockey discussion with TSN 1050.Brian Gionta has earned his captaincy with the Montreal Canadiens, and is playing like the leader hes already been at Boston College and in New Jersey.The Ottawa Senators are in no rush to hire a head coach according to the Ottawa Citizen, which is probably a good thing since nobody is in a rush to go there with such a long rebuild road ahead of them.A really nice look at the Sedin Twins by the Wall Street Journal, and bonus points for doing the wholeWonder Twins activate thing when it comes to the Vancouver superstars.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Pastrnak on looming RFA status: 'I obviously love it here'

bruins_david_pastrnak_042117.jpg

Pastrnak on looming RFA status: 'I obviously love it here'

David Pastrnak will be a better player for some of his struggles in his first Stanley Cup playoff experience over the last couple of weeks.

The 20-year-old right winger might even be a better player from the experience for Team Czech Republic when he joins them next month for the world championships in Europe. Pastrnak did have a couple of goals in the six game series against the Ottawa Senators and it wasn’t a complete disaster for the youngster the first time around, but he also wasn’t quite up to the lofty standards he set this season when he posted 34 goals and 70 points.

“It was different, but to be honest I loved it. It hurt [to lose] but every win felt unbelievable,” said Pastrnak. “It was a great experience for me, and hopefully in the coming years I get to taste that feeling a lot more times. You always want to be the player that makes a difference, but at the NHL level it’s a good feeling no matter who the hero is.  

“Every year is a learning lesson especially for a young player like me. I’m pretty sure I’m going to come back stronger and get better every year. Obviously the year ended sooner than we wanted, but I did get that first taste of the playoffs after missing out in the first couple of years. It’s another experience and hopefully I get better every year.”

He had just a combined five shots on net in five of the six postseason games, and really only let loose with a big performance in the Game 5 double-overtime win. Otherwise it was sloppy turnovers with the puck against the 1-3-1 trap, a passive role in the offense where he missed the net far too often with the shots he did take and then an ill-timed penalty in overtime in Game 5 that led to the goal that ended their season.

The Bruins didn't shy away from the fact that Pastrnak looked like a first timer in his playoff experience, and expect the third year pro to be better for it the next time around. Clearly the banged-up status of David Krejci throughout the first round also had an impact on Pastrnak’s production and effectiveness as well.

“I think our playoffs, several players went through [the playoffs] for the first time and no matter what you say, until you have experience you don’t get it anywhere else, you’ve got to go through it. Hopefully we’ll be better off as a result of it,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “Sitting with David Pastrnak [on Wednesday], that’s the first time he’s played an NHL playoff game. He’ll hopefully be a better player as a result of it. He had a tremendous regular season, but it’s the next level, it’s a new challenge. I thought the vast majority of our players really did a nice job.”

There’s the other situation facing Pastrnak and the Bruins with his entry level contract up after this season, and negotiations set to get underway between his agent and GM Don Sweeney on a second contract. A complete breakdown of the looming negotiations will be a different story for a different day with Pastrnak, but suffice it say that a 20-year-old is going to get paid after dropping 34 goals and 70 points in just his third NHL season.

On the short end of the spectrum one could have a comparable like Chicago’s Artemi Panarin with his two-year, $12 million deal if the two sides come together on a bridge deal, and a contract like Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau (six-year, $40.5 million for a $6.75 million cap hit) if both sides are amenable to a longer deal that buys out some of the young Pastrnak’s unrestricted free agent years.

That leaves a lot of room in between to negotiate and a lot of time before the two sides would have to start worrying about offer sheets around July 1, or about a potential holdout next fall if things don’t go smoothly. Either way, pending restricted free agent Pastrnak left no doubt that he wants to remain a member of the Bruins and continue developing as one of the most exciting young offensive players in the NHL.

“100 percent. I obviously love it here. This is where they gave me the opportunity to be in the NHL. It’s not something I was focusing on all season, so I’m not really going to think about it now,” said Pastrnak, when asked about a deal getting done with the Bruins. “It’s not in my hands. It’s in the hands of management and my agent. Both sides have seen these situations a million times, so I’ll let them handle it.”

Pure skill players don’t come along all that often for the Bruins and now they’ve got one starting to become battle-hardened following his less-than-perfect playoff experience this spring. Now all they’ve got to do is find a way to sign him, and that’s a lot easier said than done as they continue to also try and improve the current NHL roster at the same time. 

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

McQuaid on going in the NHL expansion draft: ‘I hope that’s not the case for me’

BOSTON – With the NHL expansion draft looming a couple of months in the future, it became much more of a reality for the Bruins this week now that the 2016-17 season is in the books.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on Thursday that he expects the Bruins to go the 7 (forwards) 3 (defensemen) 1 (goaltender) route protecting their roster from the June 21 expansion draft. That will still leave some useful roster players unprotected.

MORE BRUINS

Atop that available expansion list for the Bruins will be potential names Malcolm Subban, Riley Nash, Jimmy Hayes and Adam McQuaid, who could be headed to Vegas. Asked about the topic at this week’s breakup day for the players, McQuaid expressed his hopes that he isn’t the one selected by the Vegas Golden Knights. The 30-year-old McQuaid stayed healthy enough to play in 77 games this season, and posted two goals and 10 points along with a plus-4 while serving in a top-four role pretty much all season as Torey Krug’s defensive partner.

McQuaid also brought the toughness and quiet leadership element with his willingness to always stand up for his teammates and go toe-to-toe with the toughest guys in the league when it was called for. His midseason heavyweight bout with Matt Martin was one of the most memorable moments of the season. It’s an element the Bruins would miss if he was taken in the expansion draft.  

“Well, I hope not. I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you. Obviously, the reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team,” said McQuaid. “So, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here. I can’t imagine playing for another team. It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully that’s not the case.”

McQuaid is signed for $2.75 million for the next seasons and it was clear he was missed on the penalty kill once he went down injured in the first-round series against the Ottawa Senators. As for the entire expansion process, Sweeney said they are currently whittling down the protected list while required to protect Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes to start by virtue of the no-movement language in their contracts.

Other young players, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano among others, don’t need to be protected either after completing this season with two years or less of pro hockey experience. One of the most difficult decisions will come down to protecting either 25-year-old Colin Miller or 28-year-old Kevan Miller as the third defensemen. 

Whichever one of those D-men is left unprotected would join McQuaid as the most likely player to be selected by Vegas GM George McPhee after he spent a decent amount of time scouting the Black and Gold this season to get an idea of which player he wanted.

Here’s our best guess at which players will end up being protected by the Bruins:

Forwards (7): Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Pastrnak, Marchand, Beleskey and Spooner

Defensemen (3): Chara, Krug and Colin Miller

Goaltender (1): Rask