Believe it or not, there is quite a bit going on in Bruins country in the middle of July. For the sake of time and brevity, here’s a quick-hitting look at the last few days of Bruins news and notes:
- The Bruins DVD premiere on Monday was a huge success, as thousands of fans turned out for the screening at AMC Loews Boston. The members of the Bruins contingency – Andrew Ference, Brad Marchand, Cam Neely, and Shawn Thornton – arrived at the premiere with the Stanley Cup in a rickshaw. Ference, who rides his bike everywhere, was not keen on taking the large SUV that was sent to pick the guys up in the North End, so he jumped in a rickshaw with the Cup and off they went. Just another great moment for the Stanley Cup, as it rode across the city in a bicycle-powered rickshaw.
- Marchand told reporters art the event he is not concerned about his new contract getting done. The RFA said the celebrations surrounding the Stanley Cup have held up negotiations between B’s management and his agent, Wade Arnott. Marchand, who was wearing a shirt (actually two) then added he expects a deal to get done at some point.
- Nathan Horton had dedicated a whole day with the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Dunnville, Ontario on Sunday, July 17. Over 6,000 fans showed up early – some camping out the night before – to meet Horton and see sports’ most storied trophy. The problem? Stanley missed his flight to Buffalo.
Horton and Cup-keeper Howie Borrow waited at baggage claim for Stanley, but it never showed. A call to Logan Airport found that the Cup was on the next flight to Buffalo. Horton headed to Dunnville and entertained the people, and the Cup came about three hours later.
Horton said he was overwhelmed by the support of the people of Dunnville.
“It’s hard to explain. You don’t know what to expect,” said Horton. “So many people here, so many people care and showed their support. To be back here to celebrate with them feels good. I don’t come back very often, so this turnout is unbelievable.”
- The Bruins signed winger Jared Knight and center Ryan Spooner to three-year entry-level deals on Tuesday. The signings do not affect whether or not either or both stay with the club in the fall. Both would have to be returned to their junior team under league rules, as neither have AHL eligibility for the full season given that they are under 20 and haven’t played four years of junior hockey.
- Thousands of people showed up at the Best Buy in Watertown at midnight on Tuesday – hours after the DVD premiere – to buy the DVD and meet Marchand. He signed DVD sleeves for the fans, who wrapped around the building in line to meet the iconic Bruins winger.
- In other NHL news, longtime NHL veteran Chris Osgood called it career on Tuesday, retiring as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Osgood was a good goalie and one of only 10 goalies
in history with 400 career wins (401). However, he was always great when it counted the most: the Stanley Cup playoffs. He had a 74-49 career playoff record and a 2.09 GAA – not to mention three Stanley Cup rings. Osgood was also one of the nicest guys in the game, and let’s all hope he is rewarded in a few years with induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- Despite doubters from across the league, Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman found a way to get Steven Stamkos signed. Stamkos agreed to a five-year, $375. Million deal with the Lightning. The 21-year-old superstar said he never considered looking anywhere else and knew he’d get a deal done with the Lightning. Tampa also signed rugged winger Teddy Purcell to a two-year deal
- The final piece of big news came from New Jersey, where the Devils hired 43-year-old Peter DeBoer to be their new head coach. DeBoer was fired after spending the last three seasons with the Florida Panthers. He succeeds Jacques Lemaire, who came out of retirement in midseason and turned New Jersey’s season around, despite missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996.
Topics: Andrew Ference, Best Buy, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Cam Neely, Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings, Jacques Lemaire, New Jersey Devils, Peter DeBoer, Rickshaw, Shawn Thornton, Stanley Cup, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Teddy Purcell