Bergeron won't play in Quebec Caravan League, leaning toward Switzerland

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Bergeron won't play in Quebec Caravan League, leaning toward Switzerland

Patrice Bergeron was always a huge Quebec Nordiques fan growing up in the shadow of Quebec City, so it would be logical the Bs center would long to play in front of his fellow Quebecois.

But it wont be as part of the Quebec Caravan League set to start on Sept. 27 in his native countryside. Bergerons agent, Kent Hughes, told CSNNE.com on Tuesday that the Bs alternate captain is unlikely to play in the Quebec Caravan League organized by fellow NHL skaters Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais.

Instead No. 37 is looking into possible playing opportunities in Europe like so many of his Bruins teammates. Per sources close to Bergeron, CSNNE.com has learned the Selke Trophy winner is leaning toward playing in the same Swiss League that signed Tyler Seguin although nothing has been determined at this point.

The first Quebec Caravan League contest will be held in the Chateauguay, a suburb of Montreal, and is expected to feature some of the best Francophone players out work during the NHL lockout: Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, David Desharnais, Mathieu Darche and David Perron along with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex Burrows, Derrick Brassard and Simon Gagne.

The games are scheduled to take place on a weekly basis throughout the Quebec province and tickets can be purchased at a cost of 20 with the proceeds set to go to charity. While the Caravan League should boast some good talent, its expected that moving to Switzerland would place Bergeron in a much higher intensity situation while staying prepared for Bs duty.

Like all of Bergerons teammates that have already signed in Europe, the Bruins center will have an out clause allowing him to return to the NHL when the lockout is finally over. The Bruins pivot played in the AHL for the Providence Bruins as a 19-year-old during the last work stoppage that wiped out the entire 2004-05 hockey season.

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

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Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.