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.

Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener

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Carlo, Heinen and DeBrusk highlight young B's lineup for preseason opener

The Bruins had already let it be known that Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes wouldn’t be playing Monday night in their preseason opener vs. the Blue Jackets. 

Instead, all three will participate in their first day of training camp practice on Monday morning, and the Bruins will ice a young, prospect-laden group against Columbus at TD Garden.

“[Camp] has been really good,” said assistant coach Jay Pandolfo. “There are a lot of new faces around here, so we’re just getting them to understand how we want to play. I think they did a good job with it and they should be ready to go [against Columbus].”

Here is the lineup of players expected to suit up for Boston’s preseason opener on Monday night: Brandon Carlo, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Anton Khudobin, Sean Kuraly, John-Michael Liles, Zane McIntyre, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Peter Mueller, Riley Nash, Rob O’Gara, Tyler Randell and Jakub Zboril. 

Carlo, Cehlarik, Heinen and DeBrusk are all serious candidates to threaten for an NHL roster spot, and these preseason games will be a big test to see how roster ready they might actually be at their precocious young age.

The Bruins haven’t said when the first cuts of training camp are expected, but one round of early cuts are expected next week perhaps after Wednesday night’s preseason home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

“We’ll see how tomorrow night goes and then make a decision [on a lineup] for Wednesday, but I think we’ll try to give all the guys a pretty good look and go from there,” said Pandolfo. 
 

Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

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Sunday, Sept. 25: Has Connolly found home with Caps?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what a crap shot this Presidential debate is going to be on Monday night.

*Brett Connolly has hooked on with the Washington Capitals, and the Caps hope they’ve found a “gem” in the former Bruins winger.

*John Tortorella is putting his Blue Jackets through an absolute boot camp thus far in Columbus. Bold strategy…I wonder how this will play out.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins appreciate the gifts of defenseman Kris Letang, even if Team Canada didn’t for the World Cup.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ken Wiebe has the details on Jacob Trouba asking to get moved from the Winnipeg Jets.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Saturday night’s World Cup of Hockey showdown between Russia and Canada as another chapter in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry.

*It’s sad to see respected veteran player Clarke MacArthur have to be helped off the ice after a vicious hit in a training camp scrimmage. What a dumb move by a guy that’s never going to crack the Senators roster.

*For something completely different: a good father/son piece on learning to appreciate things that your kids are interested in, and how rewarding it can be in the end.