Bergeron has 'mild concussion,' will miss start of series

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Bergeron has 'mild concussion,' will miss start of series

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. Everyones greatest fears were realized Saturday morning as Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced to the gathered media that center Patrice Bergeron would miss at least the beginning of the Tampa Bay series with a mild concussion.This weekend's brain injury is Bergeron's third concussion during a promising NHL career for the 25 year-old that's beenmarred by the NHL epidemic.He went into the Quiet Room after he was hit, was assessed by our doctors, took the NHL-modified SCAT II test and was deemed unable to return. But what Im told is that the concussion is mild, said Chiarelli, who said he hadnt checked in with Bergeron again as he was still sleeping on Saturday morning. When I spoke with him after the game he was a little despondent, but he was quite lucid. He was despondent having suffered another concussion. It was just okay.Thats where that stands. We have an injury now, so well see how our depth gets tested.Bergeron went home after the game and didnt stay overnight at the hospital given the mildness of the head injury, and the fact the Bs center was relatively clear-headed after the game. He still has yet to visit with a neurologist and get a diagnosis from any kind of specialist.With a mild concussion theres a minimum of 7-10 days missed by the players, so Bergeron would miss at least the first couple of games against the Lightning, after posting 12 points in 11 playoff games and winning over 64 percent of his face-offs during the postseason.The Bs two-way center and their best player during the playoffs was felled by a late Claude Giroux hit in the opening minutes of the third period during Game Four at TD Garden when the two teams were still battling in a 1-1 tie game. Bergeron took three strides after passing the puck away in his defensive zone before Giroux leveled him with a shoulder to the head area, and the center slammed his head hard against the ice after the collision. Chiarelli admitted that he felt the Giroux hit was a shade late, but given the speed of the game and the level of competition in the playoffs that it was something the Bruins would have to live with. Its tough to tell. I did have a brief discussion with the league on it, and it was a tough one to gauge that speed, said Chiarelli, who doubted there would be any supplemental discipline against Giroux.Chiarelli said that the latest concussion didnt grade out as severely as the one suffered against the Carolina Hurricanes on a Dennis Seidenberg hit during the 2008-09 season that kept Bergeron out of the lineup for a month. But the Bs center was expected to miss at least the first couple of games against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.Youre obviously missing a key character component and a key leadership component in Bergeron, but theres been a growing element of leadership from a lot of different places in the room, said Chiarelli.
Its likely Tyler Seguin will be inserted into the lineup in Bergerons absence after not having taken a single shift since an April 10 loss to the New Jersey Devils in the regular season finale, and Chiarelli said its up to the 19-year-old rookie to fill the void after sitting out the first two rounds of the playoffs.Its a discussion that weve had with the coaching staff and our group, said Chiarelli. We feel Seguin deserves a chance and hes been working quite hard in practice. Well see where he fits in the lineup. Hes really put his nose to the grindstone in practice and watching from above hes picked up the intensity and tenacity of the games. Plus hell give us an offensive boost also.Bergeron missed nearly the entire 2007-08 season after suffering an October concussion against the Flyers when Randy Jones crushed him in the corner on a vicious hit, and then missed time a year later when a collision with Seidenberg gave him his second career concussion.The Bruins have really hit their first injury adversity of the playoffs with Bergeron going down, and the response against the Lightning will be telling.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.