Kampfer: Nothing but fond memories


Kampfer: Nothing but fond memories

BOSTON -- The writing was on the wall for Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer when he was sent down to Providence several weeks ago.

The puck-moving defenseman wasnt developing as a puck-moving defenseman while sitting behind six solid Boston blue liners at the NHL level, and was caught in between the AHL level and establishing himself in the big leagues.

The dilemma came to a head when he was thrown into the lineup against Philadelphia last month once injuries hit the Bs rear guard, and he was rocked by Brayden Schenn minutes into the game while attempting to shake the rust off. It was easy to envision the same thing happening in the postseason if Kampfer were tossed in there after a long stretch of inactivity.The Bruins needed more of a veteran presence among their current defensemen corps, so they sent Steve Kampfer to the Minnesota Wild for a veteran defenseman."In his defense, Kampferhad kind of a tough ride this year. I think it happens. I dont know if its a sophomore jinx, but it happens sometimes. When he came in his rookie seasonhe had some swagger and gave us that little bit of puck moving and skating that we were looking for at the time," said Peter Chiarelli. "For whatever reason it wasnt there this year. In the defense of Steve he maynot have hadthe opportunity because we didnt have the injuries that maybe he would have had the opportunity to play. "I believe he is an NHL player. I think he will be in the NHL and we got a NHL player in return."

The 23-year-old managed to get into only 10 games this season for the Bruins with two assists and a plus-6, and the writing was on the wall when he was switched out in place of Andrew Bodnarchuk prior to Bostons six-game road trip.

Kampfer said he has nothing but fond memories winning a Cup in Boston after learning of the trade, and will get a chance to compete for a full-time NHL job in Minnesota.

Best of luck to all the guys. I will miss the boys in the locker room, said Kampfer in a text toCSNNE.com. Its a great group there.

The Bruins acquired Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Zanon in exchange for Kampfer, and also collected former Boston College star Mike Mottau along with Brian Rolston for prospects Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin. Both had bounced back and fourth to the ECHL level in the Bs organization this season.

Zanon is a lefty-shooting, stay-at-home defenseman that will give the Bruins options once the playoffs start, and he provides the defensive grit and shot-blocking abilities that the Bs coaching staff prefers in the postseason. His presence also allows the Bruins to slide Dennis Seidenberg up to the top D pairing with Zdeno Chara once the postseason begins as they did during last years playoff run.

Mottau has been a fringe NHL defenseman over the last two seasons while playing 49 total games for the Islanders, and brings the same puck-moving skills that Kampfer provided at his best.

None of the moves will push the Bruins over the top if they again repeat as Stanley Cup champs, but it gives Boston much better defenseman depth than last season when they had only Shane Hnidy and Kampfer behind the struggling Tomas Kaberle.

Kraft on Brady: He's willing to play 'six, seven more years'


Kraft on Brady: He's willing to play 'six, seven more years'

PHOENIX -- Robert Kraft drew some scoffs from the media horde surrounding him on Monday when he relayed Tom Brady's intentions for the remainder of his playing career. 

"As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he'd be willing to play six, seven more years," Kraft said. "At the level he performed, there's no one that would be happier than I . . . and our fan base."

Brady put together an MVP-caliber season in 2016 at the age of 39, and he figures to be one of the best at his position during his age 40 season. And judging by his comments during Day 2 of the league meetings here, Kraft wouldn't be surprised if Brady could keep things going well into his mid-40s -- unprecedented as that would be.

"In some ways, you think about, I think there's one player at the age of 40 who had one good year. Favre for the Vikings. But he didn't do so well before," Kraft said. "I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable. It's a lifestyle. He's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. He works out.

"I remember after our first Super Bowl in [2001], going down to the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium, three days after we won, and he's in there with the music blaring, working out.

"He's really dedicated and the thing that's amazing about him, to this day, he hasn't changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people, but also in terms of how he works out. The only thing that's probably changed is how he eats, his diet. I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it."

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, with crunch time coming in the NHL.

*Jack Todd says that the Hall of Fame needs to reserve a spot for Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov. Is he Hall of Fame material, or Hall of Very Good material?

*The playoff streak is coming to an end for Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings finish out a lost season.

*Thanks to PHT writer James O’Brien for providing the kind of relaxing hockey moment that any dog lover could appreciate.

*Boston College standout Colin White has signed an amateur tryout deal with the Senators, but it remains to be seen if the entry level contract is coming.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mitch Melnick offers his hot takes about the Canadiens after a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

*The US men’s hockey team may join the women’s team in boycotting the world championships if there isn’t a resolution soon.

*A group of longtime Leafs writers share some of their best stories from the press box

*In the shameless interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning talking about riding the hot hand with Anton Khudobin.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers wonders if a lopsided loss will snap the Blackhawks out of their malaise.

*Sidney Crosby fires back at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk after he called the NHL star a whiner recently.

*For something completely different: getting to know new CSNPhilly.com baseball analyst John Kruk, who we all should know pretty well at this point.