McKelvie changes uniforms for chance at dream


McKelvie changes uniforms for chance at dream

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- There are plenty of familiar names and recognizable faces participating at Bs rookie camp this weekend, and theres also a forgotten man skating with the rookies at Ristuccia Arena.

The player in question is Zach McKelvie, a 26-year-old West Point graduate that had to fulfill his military obligations before getting a chance to pursue his dreams of playing professional hockey. The Bs originally signed the defenseman prospect in 2009 with an understanding that the Army would allow McKelvie out of his military obligation, but that never happened last year.

It was a great experience. I was an infantry officer in the army, said McKelvie. More than anything it was a learning experience, and getting to know the men and women that were deployed four or five times is extremely humbling and gratifying at the same time. I definitely wouldnt trade the two years served for anything.

I thought about hockey every day and I missed hockey every day, but I also took pride in wearing the US army uniform every day.

McKelvie was obviously rusty after spending the last year plus off the ice as a full-fledged military man serving his country, but Bs assistant general manager Jim Benning painted the picture of a two-way defenseman prospect reliant on strong skating ability to be effective.

Ironically enough McKelvie was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia over the last two seasons, but has begun to knock the rust off his game. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder still has enough things going for him in the skillsskating area that hell get a chance to hone his game in the minor leagues, and show exactly what interested Bs talent evaluators so much in the first place.

Hes a great skater. He hasnt played competitive hockey in a couple of years from college, but because hes such a good skater and he moves well out there -- and hes a competitive kid -- I think his timing will be off a little bit I think to start, said Benning. But I think once he gets his timing he could turn out to be a good player for us.

Benning is a keen evaluator of young hockey talent, and the Bs assistant GM believes theres still plenty of time for McKelvie to get his groove back with no hurry given Bostons stacked stable of D-men at the NHL level.

Hes a transitional player because he can skate so well, get back, get the puck, and hell either be able to carry it out or make a first pass to get the puck up ice or hell jump into play to join the play to help out in the offensive end, said Benning. Hes a good two-way player. But he hasnt played competitively in a couple of years so it might take him a little bit to get his timing back to show what he can really do. We like him as a prospect. Hes a high character kid and his physical tools are good, so once he gets his timing back he should be competitive at camp.

With the skills sitting close to the surface and the character to place his individual dreams on hold while duty called, McKelvie has already proven to be something special before skating a single shift for the Bruins organization.

Now he gets a chance to prove it on the ice for the Black and Gold.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban


Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It could get a little dicey for the Bruins over the next couple of days.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin were missing from Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, and instead rookie Malcolm Subban will get the start for the Black and Gold against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

Rask hasn’t been on the ice since last Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils when he re-aggravated a lower body injury and Khudobin will be out three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered at Monday’s practice. It appeared the B’s backup suffered a right hand/wrist injury in the early moments of the practice, and Subban was left as the lone goaltender until Boston brought up Zane McIntyre on emergency recall Tuesday morning.

Julien said the Bruins have confidence in Subban’s ability to play a great game for them, but he’s struggled so far in Providence while getting yanked from two of his four AHL starts this season.

“I just want [Subban] to go in tonight and play a really solid game because we know that he can. He’s a good goaltender, so just because he had a bit of a rough outing [in the AHL] doesn’t mean he has to have one tonight. This is an opportunity for him to play well, and to demonstrate that he’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Julien. “We have bad games and we tell our players ‘Let’s not live in the past, let’s think about what we have to do to rectify it and play better in the next game.’ So I think our goaltender is in the same situation.

“Our game plan is about playing good defense with Tuukka or without Tuukka. That doesn’t change. We understand that some of the teams that we’ve played lately (Montreal and New Jersey) are very stingy, so we have to give up the least amount of goals we can because we’re not going to score a ton against those teams. When you put a system together you believe in it, and you go out and play your game. You don’t adjust your game for other teams, and adjusting for injuries isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a solid performance from our team, and that will trump any injury that we have.”

Oh by the way, the Bruins also have a road game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in a back-to-back situation that’s less than ideal with injuries piling up. In addition a Subban/McIntyre tandem in goal, the Bruins will also be without David Backes with what Claude Julien termed “a minor issue” that also has him day-to-day.

In the good news department, Adam McQuaid will make his season debut after missing the first five games of the season with an upper body injury. Rob O’Gara was sent to the Providence Bruins to make room for him coming off injured reserve. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for tonight’s game vs. the Wild with Joe Morrow as the healthy scratch on the back end:







Liles-C. Miller


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while having watched the Curious George Halloween special about eight times over the last three or four days thanks to my three-year-old son.

*Bob McKenzie with a great story in former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore talking a shift as an Uber driver as his hockey work has dried up.

*Alex Radulov is earning some early respect for his play from his Habs teammates and the fickle Canadiens fans, but let’s see how the whole season plays out for the notoriously combustible Russian winger.

*Zach Werenski has taken an early lead among his NHL rookie peers for the Calder Trophy, but it looks like it’s going to be a crowded field this year. Just a couple of weeks in, Brandon Carlo certainly looks like he could be in the conversation as well.

*Pioneering female goaltender Shannon Szabados has been cut from the Peoria team in the Southern Pro League.

*The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of advice for the Chicago Cubs about playing in the big games as the Cubbies get ready for their World Series close-up.

*A more mature David Perron is having greater success the second time around with the St. Louis Blues while contributing in many different areas.

*For something completely different: a really fun story of a Hollywood Reporter contributor recording the reactions of her 7-year-old son watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I was around the same age when Empire came out, so I’m sure my reactions were pretty similar to his at different points in the movie.