Bruins hope Clark helps to lead the way

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Bruins hope Clark helps to lead the way

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON It was expected the Bruins would bring a veteran forward or two into training camp with the idea the right candidate might fill some of the leadership void created by Mark Recchis retirement.

Jay Pandolfo was among those with whom Bs GM Peter Chiarelli discussed potential training camp tryout invites, but the Bruins ultimately settled on longtime NHL veteran Chris Clark. The Bs newcomer arrived on Tuesday for captains practice and skated around with a No. 71 on the back of his helmet.

Clark, 35, has some history with the Bruins leadership group after playing with Andrew Ference on the Calgary Flames team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and hes also dropped the gloves with Shawn Thornton amid some vicious AHL team rivalries over the years.

I think we fought once in the AHL, but I dont really remember it or who won, said a smiling Clark. Maybe I dont really want to remember it.

Clark has played parts of 11 NHL seasons with the Flames, Capitals and Blue Jackets and was the former Caps captain after potting 30 goals and topping 50 points during the 2006-07 campaign in Washington. Injuries nagged at Clark over the last few seasons, but the winger was still able to produce 15 points in 53 games for a Columbus team adrift in the Western Conference last season.

Clark had several training camp offers over the summer, but took the opportunity to join the Stanley Cup champs and potentially join the veteran chorus steering the Boston leadership group. The winger would also fill a bottom six forward role and a spot on the penalty kill when utilized in the lineup, but the veteran leadership component appears to be as important as his performance on the ice.

Im always excited for camp, but Id rather be two weeks into camp, said Clark. I know who everybody is from playing against them, but Im looking forward to getting to know them on a personal level. I had a couple of camp offers, but nothing great.

I talked to Peter Chiarelli and they were looking for somebody like me. Whether it becomes me or not remains to be seen. Its up to me, but well see what happens. The off-the-ice stuff was definitely important for a potential role with the Bruins, but the on-ice stuff is pretty important too.

For now, however, Clark is simply a veteran player attempting to hook on with a hockey team and said it felt a bit like a kid on the first day at a new school. Hes looking to carve out a niche just like everybody else in Bs camp and wants to make a good impression in the preseason schedule, set to begin next Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

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

Monday, May 30: Sullivan reminisces about coaching Thornton

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Monday, May 30: Sullivan reminisces about coaching Thornton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while honoring and remembering those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freed on this Memorial Day.

*Here’s a hockey column from Mark Madden, which kind of proves his dopiness when it comes to pucks. He writes about Pittsburgh’s excellent shutdown pair of Ian Cole and Justin Schultz, who have averaged a whopping 15 and 13 minutes of ice time respectively in these playoffs. Yeah, that’s not a shutdown pair. That’s called a bottom pairing.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri with another chapter in hockey’s version of the Never-ending Story: John Scott wants to make his own World Cup team with Phil Kessel.

*Mike Sullivan reminisces about coaching Joe Thornton, and playing for the San Jose Sharks, as his Penguins ready to take on San Jose in the Stanley Cup Final.

*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s me wondering what the heck the Bruins are doing on Sports Sunday last night on CSN.

*Apparently Alex Semin is going to stay in the KHL for this coming season. I don’t think anybody is too heartbroken around the NHL about this given the way things ended for him.

*Buffalo’s Mike Harrington says that Sidney Crosby returns to the Stanley Cup Final with a new kind of hunger

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger goes 1-on-1 with Joe Thornton, who says that the cat likes his Hillbilly Jim playoff beard.

*For something completely different: I haven’t yet read this Joe Posnanski piece on the play Hamilton and his daughter, but I’ll include it because everybody says that it’s great.