Morning skate 215: Time to make a move


Morning skate 215: Time to make a move

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON Interesting prices for the trade market this winter as the Feb. 28 trade deadline looms for the NHL and more importantly in Boston for the Bruins.A first-round pick and a third-round pick for Kris Versteeg with essentially two seasons left on his contract; a draft pick, a top prospect and NHL forward Joffrey Lupul for defenseman Francois Beauchemin, and other minor deals have begun to set the market for the rest of the NHL.Prices are steep and it appears that the Bruins will have to be willing to part with some assets and valuable pieces in exchange for the power play quarterbackpuck-moving defenseman or skilled forward that Boston really needs for a playoff run.A cosmetic trade for a journeyman defenseman like Steve Montador isnt going to get it done just as it didnt get it done two years ago. A deal for a young skill defenseman like Jon-Michael Liles who has one assist and is a minus-17 in last 11 games for the Avalanche isnt the answer either.The Bruins have to make some difficult choices, and that starts with parting with picks and players if they really, truly hope to make a Stanley Cup run. Otherwise this team is simply going through the motions as so many other Bs teams did prior to the NHL lockout that changed everything.On to the links: Heres a piece from the Globe and Mail that takes a close look at fighting in the NHL, and surprisingly has Harry Sinden as one voice that attempted to get goons out of the league. Hard to believe, but true. A big game against the Lightning with the Flyers adding Kris Versteeg to the equation, per CSNPhilly reporter Sarah Baicker. A good look by the L.A. Times' legendary Helen Elliott at the need for action rather than words from Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux when it comes to league-wide issues. Are the Edmonton Oilers icing their worst team in the history of the franchise? Thats a tough question, and Pro Hockey Talk is willing to pose it. Stop the presses! It appears Damien Cox has finally decided to get critical of Brian Burke and the Leafs in the wake of the Kris Versteeg deal. I wasnt sure if this day would ever get here. Steve Ott actually learned phrases in other languages to get under the skin of foreign-born hockey players. It's one of the many reasons why hes referred to as Brave" Steve Ott in Boston.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut


Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while having a deep thought while watching commercials: how lost in your own quirkiness do you have to be to name your kid Beowulf?

*The Predators had a nasty case of food poisoning hit their team, and Adam Vingan has all the gory details.

*A great chat with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jimmy Murphy and the legendary Russ Conway about the legendary Bobby Orr.

*Martin Biron says that Frederik Andersen looks like a much different player now with Toronto than he did with the Anaheim Ducks last season.

*An observation from a Tuesday with 1,000 decisions is that Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff has a really tough job.

*As mentioned above, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is having a tough time in his new locale, and there may be several reasons why.

*An early Christmas present for Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop would be his two front teeth.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Sidney Crosby returning on Tuesday night, and immediately leading the Penguins in a balanced attack.  

*For something completely different: A. Sherrod Blakely has his Celtics preview, and says it’s a new year with tons of new expectations for the Men in Green.

Backes out at least two more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure


Backes out at least two more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure

The Bruins look like they’ll be without gritty veteran forward David Backes for at least the next couple of games, and probably more like the next couple of weeks.

It was announced that the gritty Bruins forward underwent a procedure on Monday remove the olecranon bursa from his elbow, and that “his condition will be updated after the weekend.” The procedure is commonly performed when bursitis in the elbow becomes an untenable, and seems more like an injury that worsens over time rather than anything that happened in a particular game this season.

Backes’ effectiveness did seem to be impacted after he got into a fight with Nazem Kadri in the second game of the season in Toronto, but it’s unknown if there’s any connection between that sequence and the forward’s elbow issues. According to the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) website, it may take “10-14 days” for the skin to heal following the procedure, and three-to-four weeks before a doctor would clear the average person to resume normal activity.

The 32-year-old Backes is off to a good start for the Bruins with two goals and four points in five games prior to missing Tuesday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild, and his absence makes an already-thin Bruins forward group smaller, softer and much less dangerous. With Backes on the shelf for at least the next two games against the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins have recalled young center Austin Czarnik after his short stint with the Providence Bruins.