Hnidy to be activated by B's, won't play vs. Devils

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Hnidy to be activated by B's, won't play vs. Devils

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Theres been an inordinate amount of excitement for the return of Shane Hnidy, considering the guy hasnt taken a single shift this season, and Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted Tuesday morning that hes going to bring the veteran defenseman along slowly. Hnidyis to be takenoff the injured-reserve list on Tuesday, but wont in the lineup against the New Jersey Devils when the Bruins look to look to bust out of a 1-3-3 funk over their last seven games.The slump hit at the end of a 12-of-16-on-the-road stretch, and the Bruins clearly didnt have any legs in their last couple of games. So now wouldnt be the proper time to throw a guy like Hnidy into the mix, not when the core players need to win some games, right the ship and help the B's make one last push at the No. 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Julien needs to find the proper time to insert Hnidy into the lineup, while knowing that Steve Kampfer will also need to play down the stretch.Hnidy cant be sent down to Providence this late in the season for an AHL tune-up, so the thinking is that it will be largely practice situations to sharpen Hnidys game prior to the postseason.Hes come around, and I think at some point youll see him in our lineup, said Julien. We brought him here to give us some depth. If were going to use him as a depth player, at some point from here to the end hes going to see some action.Theres going to be some small adjustments with him, but we can manage that. We can put him in some situations where he can get on the ice and help us more than hurt us.Its been a long road for Hnidy this season after rotator cuff surgery in the fall, and hes simply happy to get things going when Julien calls his number.Its nice to know that its just a matter of knowing that Im ready to get into a game, and its up to the coach, said Hnidy. We havent discussed any plan. Its about practicing and putting the time in at the gym, and make sure my body is where its supposed to be when I do play. The Bruins held an optional skate on Tuesday morning and only Daniel Paille and Tuukka Rask appeared on the ice. That would appear to cast Paille as the healthy scratch for tonights game against New Jersey, and points to Tim Thomas as the likely starting goaltender.Brad Marchand will return to the lineup after sitting out a two-game suspension for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the back of the head, and there's a chance the pesky winger could be reunited with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell on the fourth line. Peter Chiarelli also confirmed with Bruins season ticket holders in a conference call that Tyler Seguin will be manning the second power play unit for Boston.

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

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

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Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
 
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
 
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
 
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 

 

List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

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List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
 
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
 
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
 
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
 
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
 
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
 
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
 
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
 
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
 
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
 
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.