WILMINGTON, Mass. Johnny Boychuk is feeling better, but he might be missing a couple of games after being on the wrong end of a Chris Neil train-wreck hit Saturday night in Ottawa.
Neil caught Boychuk with his head down and blasted Boychuk with one of the hardest body checks thrown this season, and Boychuk was still feeling concussion symptoms a couple of days following the hit. Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli said that Boychuk was still a little foggy on Sunday, and the B's defenseman was absent from practice on the Ristuccia Arena ice on Monday morning.
Claude Julien said Monday that Boychuk was day-to-day. In the interim, he paired the playoff defensemen duo of Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara together in the interim. The Bruins may fill Boychuks spot with a trade executed this afternoon Johnny Oduya and Bryan Allen have been mentioned most prominently or it could be up to Andrew Bodnarchuk to fill in for No. 55 during his injury absence.
It appears very unlikely that the ultra-durable Boychuk will be available for tomorrow nights rematch against the Senators, but the Bs coaching staff hadnt yet made that determination.
With Johnny were dealing with post-concussion symptoms and hes day-to-day, said Julien. But hes already feeling much better.
Both a source close to Boychuk and his own teammates seem to think his issue wasnt a serious injury like the one thats kept Nathan Horton out for over a month. But anyone in hockey knows theres no sure timetable when it comes to concussion symptoms.
Julien also called Shawn Thornton "a question mark" for Tuesday night's game against the Senators with the flu bug that's been attacking the B's tough guy for more than a week. Both Boychuk and Thornton weren't at practice on Monday morning.
Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.
Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard.
Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.
While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.
The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two.
Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row.
Spooner is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.95 million and his is a complicated situation for the Black and Gold. Spooner holds significant value as a trade piece and has been an important part of a very effective power play, but he also finished the playoffs as a healthy scratch after going quietly the past few months of the season.
Spooner was one of the major pieces discussed in trade talks with the Minnesota Wild around the draft prior to the Wild shipping Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and he's been involved in trade discussions with several teams the past couple of years.
The Bruins have prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson waiting in the wings if/when the B’s decided to spin Spooner to another team, but they also enjoy his speed and playmaking when he’s on his game. There’s clearly a scenario where the Bruins start the season with Spooner installed as their third-line center and perhaps explore more trade discussions while seeing if a full season under Bruce Cassidy can unlock his significant offensive potential.
If that's still in the plan, they’d be wise to come to an agreement and avoid the hearing Wednesday where they’d ostensibly be bad-mouthing a player they’d want back on their team. The Bruins have the right to walk away from Spooner should he be awarded the full $3.85 million by the arbiter. Still, it’s hard to believe they’d do that given that he’s a homegrown asset with trade value.
The feeling at this address is that there’s a deal to be made between the two sides for something around the $3 million mark. That’s something that would be worthwhile for the Bruins if they have any designs on continuing on with Spooner.