Kaberle hopes to have a future in Boston

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Kaberle hopes to have a future in Boston

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- The NHL free-agency period doesnt begin until July 1, so the Boston Bruins have a short window of time to discuss things with a couple of their potential unrestricted free agents.

Tomas Kaberle and Michael Ryder are the two big names who will hit UFA status at the start of July, and its unknown whether either or both players will be back in Black and Gold after helping the Bs win a Cup. Ryder didnt speak at Sundays breakup day for the team as the players packed up their belongings and said farewell for the summer, but Kaberle said he truly enjoyed his taste of Bruins hockey after arriving via trade in late February.

The 33-year-old defenseman had 11 assists and a plus-8 in 25 playoff games while averaging 16:02 of ice time per contest, and played well in the seven Stanley Cup Final games against the Vancouver Canucks.

Kaberle actually finished in a tie with Dennis Seidenberg (1 goal, 10 assists) for the leading scorer among defensemen on the Bruins in the postseason.

Kaberle said hell speak with his agent and GM Peter Chiarelli over the next couple of days, but is hoping he can return to the Black and Gold.

Were going to talk in the next few days. Everything was hectic in the last couple of days, said Kaberle, who mentioned hell be taking the Cup back to his home village of Rakovnik, Czech Republic, this summer. Hopefully we can sit down or we can talk to my agent . . . it would be nice to be back here."

It will be an interesting decision on Kaberle, as he really didnt appear to be a very good fit for the Bruins with his soft defensive play and propensity for mental breakdowns at the worst times. But he does fill a role as a needed puck-moving defenseman, and the Bruins did give up a motherload to Toronto (Joe Colborne, a first-round pick in 2011, and a 2012 second-round pick, which was guaranteed once the Bs qualified for the Cup Finals) in exchange for Kaberle.

With his performance against Vancouver and strong final few games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chiarelli sounded like he might be in favor of re-signing Kaberle if the price and terms were right. Steve Kampfer is waiting in the wings as a young puck-moving defenseman and there will be alternatives on the free-agent market, but the door is still ajar for Kaberles return despite some tough moments.

I know Tomas had been criticized. The expectations were very high on him when he came in, said Chiarelli. I go to him because he seems to be -- of the group that we brought in -- the most vulnerable. You saw what he brings more against Vancouver. He brings the ability to both slow down the play and speed it up with his passing and skating.

He freezes guys. He freezes guys on the opposing forecheck and he freezes them in the neutral zone. He makes great passes, he skates into the trap and I think he was our top defensive scorer. He skates right into the trap. He was a real important component here and I know he was criticized for a time. But Ill continue to defend him because hes a good person. He brought a lot to the back end.

Since Kaberle has voiced his desire to come back and should command less than the 4 million per year he was making with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chiarellis actions toward the impending free agent will speak to just how much the defenseman actually brought to the back end.

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

Report: Marchand agrees to eight-year extension with Bruins

Report: Marchand agrees to eight-year extension with Bruins

The Bruins took care of their biggest priority today as they reached agreement with Brad Marchand on an eight-year contract extension, according to several reports.

PROFILE: Joe Haggerty's preseason look at Brad Marchand

Elliotte Friedman reports Marchand has agreed to an eight year, $49 million extension ($6.125 million per season) that will effectively allow him to finish his career in Boston.

It was felt the Bruins would have been playing with fire if they allowed Marchand -- a 37-goal scorer last year -- to start the season unsigned, especially after he ripped up the World Cup of Hockey competition on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby. Bruins president Cam Neely told CSN a couple of weeks ago that Boston was aiming to get the deal done with Marchand prior to the start of the regular season. In fact, they managed to get it done before the start of even the preseason.

Marchand has consistently said that he wants to finish out his career with the Bruins, who drafted and developed him and with whom he turned into an elite player in the last couple of years. He’s clearly taking a hometown discount to stick with Boston.

This is what Marchand said to CSN on breakup day last April:

“I obviously love being a part of this organization, this city and this team, and I don’t think this team is done having some good runs. I would love to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career, but the reality is when you look around the league that it doesn’t happen for many guys. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.”

Well, the time came and Marchand put his money where his sometimes big mouth usually is. The Bruins agitator easily could have demanded a yearly salary of $7 million-plus in free agency.

Credit to Don Sweeney and Neely for closing the deal with Marchand, and ticking one very important thing off their checklist that will help make the Bruins great again.

Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

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Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while finding it hard to believe that it’s game day for the Boston Bruins. Summer is officially O-V-A.
 
-- The Montreal media is starting to get on board with this tougher, grittier version of the Habs, along with a healthy Carey Price.
 
-- Pierre McGuire sits in with Ottawa’s TSN sports radio station and talks Team Europe in the World Cup, as well as a number of other things.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger is already openly wondering what would happen in Canada if they lose to Team Europe in the best-of-three final to the World Cup.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski asks Brad Marchand if a part of him has thought about playing with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins if he hits free agency. Bells, alarms and whistles should be going off on Causeway Street to give No. 63 whatever he wants at this point. In case you missed it, I talked about the danger of Crosby trying to woo his Nova Scotian buddy to Pittsburgh last week.
 
-- PHT writer James O’Brien says it sounds like the St. Louis Blues are going to play a more aggressive brand of hockey this season.
 
-- For something completely different: Forbes Magazine says Pete Carroll, not Bill Belichick, should be considered the NFL’s foremost cheater.