All eyes on Marchand as second season begins

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All eyes on Marchand as second season begins

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com BruinsInsider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Its natural to wonder just how far Brad Marchand will stepover the line this season.

The 23-year-old madehimself an NHL household name with his performance in the Stanley CupFinals, and cemented his preferred playing style by using the Sedins asa personal punching bags in front of a nationalaudience.

The imageof Marchand jabbing at a submissive Sedin will live on forever, andeven popped up Monday as B-roll footage while sports pundits chimed inon the 31st birthdays for both Henrik andDaniel.

The Bruins' resident agitator scored 21goals in his rookie season and settled for a playoff hero position justbelow Tim Thomas and Dennis Seidenberg on the Stanley Cup ladder, buthes first recognized for his antagonizing ways. Marchand wouldnt haveit any other way, given thats the trouble-making path he carved whilemaking it to the NHL, but he also knows people will be watching him alittle more actively this season.

Marchandsubscribes to the any press is good press theory to most everythingin his NHL career, but even that has itslimits.

You dont want to go over the line, andwhen you do there are consequences from teammates, coaches or themedia, said Marchand. Any time you score a goal you cant help butget excited, and thats just the way it is. Some guys do a little morethan others, and some guys are relaxed.

Theresenough personality in the league now with guys doing stuff, but therecould always be more, added Marchand.

Marchand haswitnessed the criticism that young players like P.K. Subban weather astheir animated goal celebrations get broken down by the fun police, andits always bothered the 5-foot-8 winger. Sometimes it goes over thetop as it did when Marchand gave a golf swing to the Toronto MapleLeafs at the end of last season to signify that their golfing seasonhad begun early.

There is definitely a fine line,but the older you get and the more mature you get definitely keeps youwalking that line.

But Marchand has credited coachClaude Julien with helping to teach him the right way to execute achallenging job being made more difficult by NHK VP of Players SafetyBrendan Shanahan. Marchand was benched against the Islanders midwaythrough last season among other instances of tough love, and those arethe kind of instances Julien is hoping to see less of movingforward.

I dont want to change what I did to gethere, said Marchand. You might want to fine-tune it a bit, but guysfor the most part need to stick with what got them to the NHL.

"They need to be that player. If I change up toomuch then Im not going to be as good player. At the same you alsodont want to be that guy that goes over the line, and then makes afool out your teammates or takespenalties.

Marchand is in the business of makingopponents feel like the fools rather than teammates, and its part ofwhat made him so successful last season during the playoff run.

Its going to be difficult for Marchand to repeatlast years breakthrough campaign, considering the attention andexpectations that will be present following Bostons run to the Cup.The referees will be watching and he wont be sneaking up on anybody,but things will be okay for Marchand as long as hes making a fool outof opponents rather than out of himself.

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

Sweeney on lack of B's deals: "I wasn't trading David Pastrnak"

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Sweeney on lack of B's deals: "I wasn't trading David Pastrnak"

BUFFALO – A year ago Don Sweeney traded away one of his talented young players for pennies on the dollar when he shipped Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for three draft picks, and it would appear he’s learned from that experience. While the Bruins general manager admitted he was desperately in search of some defensemen help this weekend, Sweeney said the prices were too high to get a deal done on Friday night at the First Niagara Center.

A source indicated to CSNNE.com earlier on Friday that All-Star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk would end up with “the Bruins, Flyers or Rangers” this season, but it sure sounded like the St. Louis Blues were pricing themselves out of making any deals. According to Sweeney, other team’s managers were asking him to include both of his 2016 first round picks and more to swing a deal for a defenseman, and that young right wing David Pastrnak’s name kept coming up in these discussions.

That was far too steep an asking price in the rightful minds of Sweeney and Bruins management, so there were no defensemen that ended up getting moved on Friday night. Unfortunately, other NHL teams will keep asking about the emerging Pastrnak knowing full well that the Bruins are in a desperate position to repair their personnel on the back end. 

“In all honesty it would have taken both first rounders and then some…the acquisition cost was high. We want to continue to improve our hockey club with whatever we have to do, but it’s not unlike last year when it would have taken all three first rounders [to get a deal done]. There’s a balancing act there,” said Sweeney. “There was not a lot that moved around today. People have been laying foundation [for trades] for quite some time, but there are players that we’re just not comfortable putting into deals. I’m going to defend that. I’ll be honest with you that I just am.

“We’ve taken a position where we’re going to build this the right way. We want to be competitive and improve our team, and we’ll be active in the free agent market to fill holes while allowing our young players to push through. But I wasn’t trading David Pastrnak. We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with our younger, skilled players. This represents a good opportunity that we don’t want to do that.”

Instead the Bruins selected Charlie McAvoy and Trent Frederic with the 14th and 29th overall picks in the first round, and they’ll start at the drawing board on Saturday while hoping to build toward a deal for a top-4 “transitional defenseman.” They’ll also do it knowing they made the right call in protecting the 14th pick where they selected a future transitional defenseman that will perhaps be a younger, cheaper version of Shattenkirk three years down the road. 

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs

Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Bruins went off the board to make their second choice in the first round, and selected big, gritty center Trent Frederic from the U.S. National Team Development Program.  Frederic was ranked 47th among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and is ultimately viewed as a solid bottom-six two-way center with limited offensive ability.

A nice Bruins-style player to be sure, but also the kind of player that can easily be picked in the second, or third, round rather than with the 29thpick in the first round. It’s pretty clear the B’s were hoping to package up the 29th pick along with a prospect to acquire a top-4 defenseman, and that they didn’t have many designs on actually choosing a player.

That led to a surprised Frederic, who was happy to be a first round pick if not a little blown away by his good NHL fortune.

“I guess I was a little surprised. If you could hear my whole family's reaction then you get the gist of it,” said Frederic, who listed David Backes and Justin Abdelkader as the NHL players he most models his game after in his career. “They were pumped, and I am pumped. As a player I’m a two-way physical player that’s good with the puck.

“I’ve had some tournaments in Boston, and some family vacations there. I visited Boston University when I thought about going there, and I’ve been to Fenway Park and TD Garden. It’s one of my favorite cities.”

The Frederic pick might have been off the beaten path a bit, but it was a pretty special selection for a number of other reasons: Frederic was the record-setting 12th US-born player taken in the first round, and the fifth player taken in the 2016 first round from the St. Louis area. The Bruins have to hope that he develops into a more dangerous, effective player during his college hockey days at Wisconsin, and that he feels a little less like the Bruins reaching for players in the first round for the second draft in a row. 

Photo via Joe Haggerty

Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

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Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.

I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.

As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.