Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have officially announced their 2014 camp roster, which includes tryout invitees Simon Gagne and Ville Leino. Missing from that list however, are unsigned RFAs Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Krug and Smith have both yet to sign a contract, and reports indicate that both are pretty far apart from what the Bruins are prepared to offer them.

The good news, however, is that both players are entry-level free agents, which means they cannot receive offers from any team but the Bruins. In Krug, the B’s have a mobile defenseman with very high offensive skill who can run the powerplay and chip in with some points. Smith was a revelation last season, garnering 51 points on Patrice Bergeron‘s line with his smart possession play and good positioning. Both will likely sign with the team, but it’s possible they could miss camp and even the pre-season.

See the full list below:

BOSTON BRUINS TRAINING CAMP ROSTER:

Continue reading Bruins Announce Training Camp Roster, Krug and Smith to Hold Out »

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David Pastrnak (FILE/JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF)

The 2014 NHL Rookie Tournament is underway and the Bruins’ team lost to the Florida Panthers 2-0 in Game 1. I’m personally not going to read too much into this game; it’s just fun tournament to display some of the exciting young talent in the league.

What I will read into, however, is how the organization views some of these players and what their expectations are in them. What struck me in Game 1 was that they had 2014 First Round draft pick David Pastrnak play first line center. Pastrnak impressed everyone in Development Camp with his stick skills and skating abilities and has a solid chance to make the NHL roster as an 18-year old.

However, Pastrnak was drafted as a right winger. Why would they move him out of his natural position when that position is exactly what the Bruins need? The B’s already have extensive depth at center in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campell and Ryan Spooner.

What we don’t have depth in is skilled wingers. After a gaping hole in the offense left by Jarome Iginla‘s departure, the Bruins are a little thin in that category. Furthermore, the only right handed forwards on the Bruins’ roster right now are centers Bergeron and Krejci. That’s insane.

So why the Bruins’ development coaches would opt to move a super talented young prospect from a position they need to a position they have great depth in beyond me. Could they possibly be moving a center like Kelly or Spooner and want to see if Pastrnak can excel in that position? Or maybe there’s an undisclosed injury we don’t know about.

Maybe I am reading a bit too much into this… it’s just one game in a rookie tournament. However, it just doesn’t make sense to me and if this continues going forward it is definitely something to watch.

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The Stanley Cup Finals are over, and the Kings are the World Champions for the second time in three seasons. And what better way to clinch it than with a double overtime comeback? And that made three overtime games of five in the Finals, two of which were double overtime. Justin Williams skated off with the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoffs MVP, after getting nine goals and sixteen assists through all four rounds.

With many of experts picking the Kings to win, there wasn’t much room for improvement. But it was close, with four possible winners coming into the round. So what did it all mean for our contest? Without further ado, the winner of the 2014 NHL Playoffs Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Stanley Cup Results »

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Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist will lead powerful defenses into what should be a great Finals. (http://www.nhlsnipers.com/)

The Stanley Cup Finals are here. The Kings look to repeat their success in recent years, while the Rangers haven’t been to the Finals since 1994 (a win over Vancouver). Still, with goalies like these two have, anything is possible. But each side also has some pop on offense as well. It’ll be a fun series, that’s for sure.

Just in time for the Finals, our Pick ‘Em features a new scoring category: picking who will end up as Playoff MVP when all is said and done. And in addition, all point values are doubled! That means that guessing the winner of the series is worth four points, while guessing how many games the series will last and the MVP are worth two pointseach.

And if any of us finish tied, the tie will be broken by guessing the combined save percentage of Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick in the series’ final game only. That means pooling both of their saves and shots faced, then dividing the former by the latter.

So with that in mind, check below for the complete pick sets, and come back when the Stanley Cup winner is determined for the final results and standings. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Stanley Cup »

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New York is back in the Finals after a well-earned victory over Montreal. (http://media.salon.com/)

The Finals are set, with New York beating Montreal and resting a bit while LA completed an epic defeat of Chicago in Game 7 on the road. These are two good teams with two very good goalies, but before they square off in the Finals, let’s see how they got there.

It was a rather difficult round, with only one correct series winner combined among everyone’s picks. Only one series length was correct for each series as well. Overall, though not too much changed, there’s a little bit of creeping up to the lead going on.

So check below for updated results, and check back Wednesday evening for the Stanley Cup Finals picks. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round Results »

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Chicago, as the only team left not to go seven games last round, is hoping to once again defeat LA to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. (fas.org)

The Conference Finals are here. The heavyweight Kings and Blackhawks have a rematch from last year’s Conference Finals, while the upstart Canaidiens and Rangers fight for the other spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. The stakes are higher, and the action sure to be even fiercer.

While both the Canadiens and Rangers beat a higher seeded team to get here, the Canadiens’ victory over a lackluster but still spunky Bruins squad has them getting attention from our experts. The Blackhawks are still getting plenty of attention as the defending champions, but the Kings did win the Stanley Cup as an eight seed not too long ago, so don’t count them out just yet.

Complete picks for the third round are below. Be sure to check them out and come back once the Conference Championships are complete for the updated results. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round »

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Los Angeles punched the last ticket to the Conference Championships, and now they're in a rematch with the defending champions. (WWE)

Fur teams remain, with three of them having won road Game 7s the previous round. The President’s Trophy winning Bruins are out at the hands of arch-rival Montreal, which advances to face the New York Rangers. Chicago and LA face off in a rematch from last year’s Western Conference Final. The defending champion Blackhawks, interestingly enough, were the only team that started with home-rink advantage to win last round.

The Western Conference was much easier to predict in the previous round, whereas the East, particularly with the Bruins playing rather poorly, threw a few curveballs into the mix. Such a drawn-out round for all teams involved was also hit-or-miss in trying to select.

So be sure to check out the updated results below. And don’t go far, because the picks for the next round will be up shortly. Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Second Round Results »

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