Hnidy stirs up Cup memories with return

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Hnidy stirs up Cup memories with return

BOSTON One of the most underrated aspects of last years Stanley Cup season in Boston was the late year addition of Shane Hnidy to the roster of players battling for NHL supremacy.

Hnidy played only a handful of games in the regular season and playoffs for the Bruins after signing with the team in February after coming off shoulder surgery, and didnt have any notable moments on the ice. But the veteran Bruins defensemans voice was perhaps the most valuable part of the package, and something that was missed during the season he exited Boston for the Minnesota Wild.

So the Bruins righted that wrong and plucked Hnidy when he was available coming off the injury, and he filled in for both Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid when they suffered injuries during the playoffs. He was an insurance policy that skated during warm-ups before every game and became a big veteran influence on a young player like Tyler Seguin while also backing up veteran voices like Shawn Thornton, Mark Recchi and Chris Kelly in the dressing room.

Now he is part of a Stanley Cup winner, and that is something hell always associate with the city of Boston and the Bruins organization.

Its great to come back to Boston and see the guys. Ive always said that when you win a Cup youre forever bonded with that city, said Hnidy. Its a really special feeling every time I come back to Boston and see the guys. Its a memory that will last forever.

I think about it every day. It was a special moment. The opportunity to win and end my career on a winning note was a great thing and something Ill always cherish. The first time I put on a Bruins jersey it really felt right. There was something special about it. To be able to come back and raise that Cup wearing that Bruins jersey is something Ill always hold dear. There will always be some Bruin in me.

Claude Julien was giving Hnidy a hard time in the post-morning skate media session now that the veteran defenseman has retired and taken a job as the color analyst on Winnipeg Jets broadcasts.

Do you want the truth, or the B.S. that goes along with it? asked Julien with a smile on his face.

But it was clear in the Bs coachs voice that he had a special level of respect for a blue collar blueliner that took two tours of duty in Black and Gold under Juliens tutelage.

He was a really good leader in our dressing room. He had a good voice and was obviously a guy that had a long career given the way that he competed, said Julien. He was a hard, honest player to play against. During the playoffs we kept him around the room and out there during warm-ups because we liked his presence there.

Now hes moved on and as a new media guy I think he should just stay quiet and listen.

Julien only busts on people he really likes, so its awfully clear that there will always be a place of respect for Hnidy in Boston.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre