Hanson ready to bring Slap Shot legacy to Bruins

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Hanson ready to bring Slap Shot legacy to Bruins

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Christian Hanson said it was a no-brainer to sign with the Bruins this summer.

The son of one of the infamous Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot movie fame donning Black and Gold, and splitting time between the AHL Providence Bruins and the NHL parent club in Boston certainly looks and feels like a marriage made in hockey heaven.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Hanson isnt a foil-wearing brawler like his cinematic dad, David -- a role that he still reprises in rinks all over the world. But hes a big-bodied center capable of playing third and fourth line roles.

Hansons game is winning face-offs, screening goaltenders, playing a tangible physical role and providing occasional offense while paying attention to the two-way game. In other words hes the type of player that Claude Julien will take notice of, and hes the exact kind of forward that will be useful should injuries gnaw away at the NHL roster once the regular season begins.

His best season game in 2009-10 when he played 69 games between the Maple Leafs and the Marlies, and finished with 14 goals and 38 points, and theres no reason to think he cant reproduce that in ProvidenceBoston.

Hanson was just glad to be back on the ice this past weekend for the start of P-Bruins camp after wrist surgery put him out of commission last February.

Its good to be back out there and get my feet and hands underneath me," he said. "Getting into the high temp is something you cant really recreate while skating over the summer. I can contribute a bit offensively, but hopefully everybody sees that Im a guy that goes hard on every shift. I wear my heart on my sleeve and Ill do anything to win. Thats what I feel like the Bruins are all about.

Hanson said signing with the Bruins was a natural fit for him after spending the last few years playing against them while racking up 42 NHL games in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Hanson wants to fit right in with the organizational philosophy, and his words show he holds a clear understanding of what wearing a Bs sweater is all about.

Theyre an organization that fits my kind of game, said Hanson. You look at their forte and how they play hockey, and theyre a hard-working, honest, blue collar type of team. Thats my game.

It works. They won the Stanley Cup two years ago and theyre contenders every year. You look at the type of players they have: Milan Lucic is the ideal power forward. I think hes the best in the game. They have multiple players that go out there and make you say Holy Cow . . . those guys want to win. Thats what you need to have out there.

As for Bs fans that want to celebrate Hansons family legacy by dressing up as the Hanson Brothers or wearing their trademark eyewear, the center said to bring it on with a wide smile.

He never gets tired of answering questions about his dad, and never stops being proud of him either.

I 100 percent love it, Its one of the greatest things, said Hanson when asked about the Slap Shot legacy. I am so proud of him and what hes done. Right now hes in Vancouver doing a six-games-in-seven-nights tour for charity and theyre playing against local policemen and firefighters for charity.

The movie was made in 1977 and theyve been touring consistently since 1995. Theyve raised tens of millions of dollars over the years. For him to be able to do something he loves while benefiting so many people out there, I couldnt be more proud of him.

So dont forget to put on the foil for the inevitable Hanson Brothers Night that will happen in Providence this season, and watch for the knowing smirk on Christians face while hes playing amidst the Hanson hoopla out on the ice.

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”

Yup.

Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).

Enjoy.

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.