Sochi 2014: Who’s Invited?

Over the course of the last few days rosters for the competing countries involved in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Naturally, players from the NHL are invited to participate, after reaching an agreement allowing players to have an ‘Olympic Break’ from February 9-26. The first team to announce their invitees was Team Canada.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are two Bruins invited to try out for the Olympics. (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are two Bruins invited to try out for the Olympics. (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

To no surprise, Patrice Bergeron made the cut along with fellow teammates Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand. Patrice Bergeron is no stranger when it comes to the Olympics, being a part of the gold medal team in 2010. He appeared in 7 games and registered a single assist. In addition to winning the gold in the last winter Olympics, Bergeron has also captured the gold in World Juniors, World Championship and the Spengler Cup.

Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand will be embarking on their first Olympic tryout for the first time of their careers. Lucic was invited to camp in 2010, but failed to make the final cut, whereas Marchand is embarking on his first invitation. Both forwards are coming off of great seasons, Marchand had team-high totals for the calendar 2013 season, while Lucic practically pushed the Bruins through the playoffs single-handed after struggling in the regular season. Newly signed Bruin Jarome Iginla did not make the invitation list, despite being a part of the 2010 Olympic gold medal team in 2010 along with Bergeron.

In addition to three of the teams’ best forwards trying out, the Bruins will also have team presence with Coach Claude Julien being named as part of the coaching staff for Team Canada as well as GM Peter Chiarelli being part of the management.

As Finland unveiled their roster, it should come as little surprise that Tuukka Rask got invited. Rask came off of a career-high season, leading his team to the Stanley Cup Finals and posting career-bests. He was among the top five goaltenders of the NHL all season long along with being a part of a Championship team (HC Plzen) which he played for during the lockout.

New to the Boston Bruins this season, after a blockbuster deal, Loui Eriksson will represent the black and gold for Team Sweden after being formally invited earlier this week.  Eriksson, like Bergeron, participated in the 2010 Olympics and registered 3 goals and an assist in 4 games played before his team was eliminated. He’s coming off of a decent season where he recorded 12 goals and 17 assists.

While Slovakia and the Czech Republic have yet to release their rosters, it is assumed that Zdeno Chara and David Krejci will be invited to represent Boston.

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Captain Chara Returns Home

(Credit:Flickr/Slidingsideways)

Our last and most important member of the Boston Bruins family is returning from overseas. With the lock out coming to an end today, Captain Zdeno Chara was the lone skater of the B’s club still playing European Hockey.

Today he was pulled out of his game playing for the HC Lev Prague of the KHL, and told to get ready to head back to Boston as reported by Joe Haggerty.

In 25 games with the club, Chara finished his stint with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) and a plus-5 rating. And the best part of all? Our captain is in prime shape!

Chara will be back in Boston on Tuesday and with that all of our boys will be in the Bean!

Peverley Back Just in Time: Lockout Reportedly Hours From End

“I’m back; NHL hockey may commence.” And commence is may. (Photo Credit: Sarah Connors/Flickr)

As reported by Matias Strozyk via twitter on January 4, Rich Peverley finished his stint in Finland on Saturday (January 5th).

Peverley added a goal and an assist in his final game Saturday. While 23 points in 27 games in a Finnish league isn’t quite as impressive as Seguin’s numbers in the Swiss league or any number of his locked-out Bruins teammates playing elsewhere in Europe, Peverley is coming off a very strong 2011-2012 season despite missing lengthy periods of time due to multiple injuries.

Although Peverley played in only 57 games, he finished 7th on the Bruins in points. He was one of the most effective Bruins in the frustrating 1st round series against the Capitals, finally hitting his groove while able to stay healthy for a sustained period of time before the team was eliminated. In 7 playoff games, Peverley led the team in scoring with 5 points (2nd was Ference with 4…wow, remember how infuriating that series was? The Bruins sure made Holtby look much better than he is). Peverley also had the most goals for the Bruins in the playoffs with 3. Had he remained healthy all season, he would have had a career year.

As Peverley is set to return back to North America – perhaps he is en route right now – the NHL and NHLPA have been negotiating for hours and are rumored to be almost ready to agree to a new CBA any moment now. According to sources in the media who have been camped outside where the NHL and PA have now been meeting for 16 (!!!) hours straight, there’s lots of good news.

If the NHL lockout ends at the same time Peverley returns to North American soil, I would not call it a coincidence. That’s divine intervention.

Welcome home Raptor Jesus Peverley.

 

Update: multiple sources (pretty much everyone. Anyone. I can’t even choose one source to link or cite) confirming the lockout is over. I repeat: THE LOCKOUT IS OVER. 

Spengler Cup Champions

Spengler Champions (Credit:Twitter/@TylerSeguin92)

The Spengler Cup Tournament has come to a close and Team Canada has come out with the win over HC Davos.  Not only did Team Canada win, but two of your Boston Bruins players helped make it happen. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin can now add Spengler Cup champions to their resume.

So this means that Bergeron is now a Spengler Cup champ, a Stanley Cup champ, World Junior gold medalist, and Olympic gold medalist. Not too shabby huh? And as pointed out by teammate Milan Lucic he might be the only one in the world with that credential list.

(credit:Twitter/@MilanLucic4)

So on behalf of A Cup of Bruin, congrats boys! Hopefully with the tourney ending, and both guys coming home it’s only a matter of time before we can get to some NHL action.

Seguin to Leave Swiss League

(Credit:Flickr/Slidingsideways)

When the Spengler Cup comes to an end on December 31st so does Tyler Seguin‘s time overseas. EHC Biel, the team Seguin has been playing for since the start of the lockout, announced today that he would be leaving following the tournament.

Seguin is currently representing Canada in the Spengler Cup alongside teammate Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron as reported last week, has the same plan to come back in hopes of the lock out coming to an end.

For EHC Biel, Seguin led his team in points during the 29 games he played, tallying 25 goals and 15 assists. It’s nice to see Seggy hasn’t had a slump in scoring since the lack of NHL playing.

The club had nothing but positive thoughts on the sendoff tweeting the following:

(Credit: EHC Biel Twitter)

 

 

Bergeron Homeward Bound

Just after Christmas Patrice Bergeron will be playing for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup Tournament in Switzerland. Bergeron will be joined by Bruins teammate Tyler Seguin for the tourney. After the tournament, Bergeron is reportedly homeward bound to North America  leaving his HC Lugano club.

The current Selke trophy winner has played in 21 games for the Swiss “A” League registering 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists).

Here’s a clip of his first goal for the league:

As you can see, Bergy is still Bergy even overseas. Though I enjoy watching him score goals, I would obviously prefer him to be rocking the black and gold jersey.

Overseas playing aside, it seems as though Bergeron isn’t the only NHL player to be returning to our neck of the woods following the end of December. With Christmas day being the big 100 day of the NHL lockout, players are coming back to wait for a positive or negative solution.

Twitter is a buzz saying that the NHL and NHLPA will hold a face-to-face meeting after Christmas. The next few weeks will determine whether a 48-game regular season can come from this mess of a lock out. As of now games are cancelled up until January 14th. If the rest of the season is officially cancelled after that day, most players will head back to Europe.

Though most of my optimism for a season is gone at this point, I can only hope for a Christmas miracle.

Zdeno Chara is Back From Europe

Zdeno Chara (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Currently the KHL, Swiss and Czech leagues are on a 10-day holiday break so along with Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara has come back to Boston, at least for the time being.  The break couldn’t come at a better time for Chara as coincidentally he has reportedly lost his friendship with former teammate Miroslav Satan after this hit:

Here in the NHL this would be ruled a legal hit, Satan’s head was down and Chara made an open ice hit. The issue here is that in Europe they like to see more skill and fast paced hockey as opposed to the heavy hitting we are all accustomed to here.  Satan’s choice words regarding the incident:

“The plate between my sixth and seventh vertebrae in my neck is displaced by 4.5 millimeters, I am lucky I was not paralyzed.  Fortuniately the headaches have subsided… I’m not saying that he intended to seriously injure me, but knowing who I was and that I did not see him. To risk the health and life of a human that he calls a good friend…” (Ran through Google translate, via Chara Risking My Life!)

Chara told the media after the game that he did not know it was Satan that he hit until after the fact and that it was a normal ‘hockey play.’

Chara joined teammate Shawn Thornton in skating today along with Keith Yandle (Phoenix), Jay Pandalfo and Ryan Whitney (Edmonton) while Rask, Marchand and Lucic took the day off.