Ference: No issue in locker room over comments

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Ference: No issue in locker room over comments

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Andrew Ference reiterated Sunday that hits like Daniel Paille's are an "issue that has to be taken seriously" in the National Hockey League, but dismissed the notion that criticism of his teammate had caused a rift in the Bruins' locker room.

"It's a joke," said Ference. "Our room is awesome. Stuff likethat doesn't divide locker rooms. Are you kidding me? C'mon."

On Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada telecast, ex-Bruins coach Don Cherry took Ference to task for calling Paille's hit to the head of Dallas' Raymond Sawada -- which earned Pailee a four-game suspension from the NHL -- "a bad hit."

You do not -- I dont care if your teammate is an axe murderer -- . . . go to thepress like Ference did and say that was a bad hit," Cherry said. Then, referring to the Bruins' 2-0 loss to San Jose earlier Saturday, Chery added: "See what happened in the game today? Two-nothing. That brings yourdressing room down when you have a guy in the dressing room talkingabout your own players and you know hes going to get suspended."

But when asked about it Sunday, Ference stood his ground.

"We have an issue in the league with head shots, with those kind ofhits," said Ference after Sunday's practice. "There's a big push by,not only us, but the NHL, to look out for the safety of the players, andgetting rid of those hits is one of those things . . .

"It's an issue that has to be taken seriously. It's a concussion. Theseare guys lives. When you talk about things like that . . . it's not somethingthat you throw around lightly."

Paille -- who said he has reached out to Sawada, and the two had a "goodconversation" -- was asked how he felt about Ference, and answered: "Obviously, on the ice, I'll doanything I can to back him up with everything. It's just something that, hevoiced his opinion. Obviously I have different views on how I see things, Iguess. But that's just me."

Ference said he and Paille had no problems.

"It's not like Paille was head-hunting," he said. "He'snot going out there saying, 'I'm trying to put this guy out.' If it's asplit-second later, it's a good hit. It's a fast game, so no matter what ruleis there, it's going to happen.

"But you can't glaze it over and pretend likeit's fine."

Being someone who knows a thing or two about concussions, Patrice Bergeron alsogave his take on Paille's hit after Sunday's practice.

"Obviously, I know Daniel feels bad about what happened," saidBergeron. "He didn't mean to. But at the same time, sometimes those hitscan be avoided. I've said that before, and I'm not going to change my speechbecause it happened with someone on our side."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Report: Celtics likely to guarantee Amir Johnson’s $12M deal for next season

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Report: Celtics likely to guarantee Amir Johnson’s $12M deal for next season

The Celtics will likely guarantee the second year of Amir Johnson’s two-year, $24 million deal he signed last season, the Boston Globe reported.

Johnson, 29, a 6-9 forward, signed as a free agent last summer, averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 79 regular season games for the Celtics and 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the six-game, first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. 

Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

With the salary room created by buying out the final two years of veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg contract, the Bruins signed restricted free agent Torey Krug to a four-year, $21 million contract ($5.25 million cap hit) through the 2019-20 season.

The negotiations between Krug and the Bruins had been fairly quiet with GM Don Sweeney consistently stating that something would get it done and it seemed the writing was on the wall when Sami Vatanen signed a four year, $19.9 million extension with the Anaheim Ducks. The two are comparable players in size, offensive production, NHL experience and both also served in top-four roles last season while projecting to stay at that level of performance over the next four years.

The Bruins couldn’t afford to let Krug, 25, hit the open market, where another team could potentially poach Boston’s only true puck-moving D-man with an offer sheet. After signing a one-year bridge deal, Krug played in a career-high 81 games, with four goals and 44 points. His 40 assists were ninth among D-men in the NHL last season and it’s clear that Krug plays a vital role as a puck mover and power-play specialist.

Krug also stepped up in minutes last season, finishing only behind Zdeno Chara with a career-high 21:36 average of ice time and essentially serving as the B’s de facto No. 2 defenseman. The diminutive (5-foot-9) D-man did pay the price for playing such heavy minutes by undergoing shoulder surgery following the season, but Krug was expected to make a full recovery and be ready to jump into the lineup at some point during the month of October.

The signing of Krug is a big piece for Sweeney and the Bruins, who must prepare for what awaits them Friday, once the free agent market opens, and later in the month when they begin efforts to re-sign Brad Marchand to an extension. 

 

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

The Bruins placed veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on waivers on Thursday for the purposes of buying the veteran defenseman out of the final two years of his contract.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Seidenberg, who turns 35 July 18, still had two years remaining on a deal that would have paid him $4 million in each of the seasons. The move will save the Black and Gold roughly $4.6 million in cap space over the next two years.

Seidenberg confirmed the contract buyout to CSNNE.com and confirmed one other thing: "I going to miss it."

The extra space should theoretically allow the Bruins to spend big money on Friday when free agency opens, but the Bruins really haven’t been the lead suitors for any of the major available players to this point.

With the way buyouts work, however, the spread over four years means that the Bruins will still be including $1.16 million cap hits from 2018-2020, and are now down another experienced D-man who was a stalwart warrior for them over the years. Seidenberg clearly lost a step after blowing out his knee in the 2013-14 season and was a minus player for the first time in Boston last season with one goal and 12 points in 61 games.

The skating speed was noticeably slower and Seidenberg had trouble keeping up with the pace even as he continued to block shots and throw opponents around in the defensive zone. Seidenberg finishes his seven seasons in Boston with 23 goals and 117 points in 401 games as a rugged top-four defenseman. He will always be cherished in Boston for his marvelous stretch en route to the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Claude Julien pairing Seidenberg with Zdeno Chara midway through their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens changed the tide of that playoff matchup and was the combo used by the B’s for the playoffs when they again made it to the Cup Final in 2013 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The German-born defenseman was a respected and tough veteran leader in the B’s dressing room and will be missed for his toughness and accountability whether it was good times or bad in the room.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Seidenberg was being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract.