Sixty five years ago today a great man was born. A man that would revolutionize the defensive position and change the game of hockey forever, especially in the city of Boston. Nothing disappoints me more than not being able to see him play live, but luckily he lives on in a newer generation through YouTube clips and NESN Classic re-runs. Happy 65th birthday Bobby Orr!
Here’s the latest edition of ‘Loose Pucks’, hopefully we’ll have some more exciting news as the week progresses.
The big news is obviously that the NHLPA and NHL are resuming face to face talks today in New York City. This comes after Saturday’s private meeting between Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr, which seem to again give an optimistic tone to the direction of talks. However, with full groups back at it today, progress remains to be seen. The meeting will likely center on working out the details of the “Make Whole Provision,” which acts as a safeguard against players immediately losing dollars off existing contracts by accepting a 50/50 revenue split. The NHL’s initial offer essentially had the players paying each other to hold value, but they’ve since changed tune and said they would be open to sharing the burden to ensure current contracts are honored. The NHLPA has pointed out that there still remain a fair number of issues to be addressed beyond this one, but most feel this the biggest divide splitting the sides at the moment. Bruins Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic reportedly were in town to attend the meeting, which were scheduled to begin at 3pm EST at an undisclosed NYC location. Both sides aren’t expected to make any comments to the media until the session has wrapped up. On the plus side, it’s 6pm EST as of this writing, meaning the meeting actually made it longer than 15 minutes, so that’s a step in the right direction.
Comcast Sports Net New England’s Joe Haggerty has the latest on how our Bruins are faring overseas. Highlights include Patrice Bergeron’s 2 points-per-game pace (8 GP, 8 G, 8 A), Tyler Seguin’s 23 points in 15 games, and David Krejci’s 14 points in 12 games.
If you haven’t seen it already, Days of Y’Orr has highlights from a KHL game earlier in the week that saw Zdeno Chara completely destroy former teammate Miro Satan in open ice. He also had a pretty assist despite his Lev squad falling to Slovan, 2-1.
The Bruins are currently running a charity raffle for you and a friend to have lunch with Bruins legend and Hall of Famer Cam Neely, as well as to attend his comic benefit show ‘Comics Come Home.’ Tickets are $5 a piece and can be purchased until Thursday, November 15. The proceeds will benefit the Bruins Foundation and the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, two great causes.
Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has a good take on Sports Illustrated’s 100 Greatest Sports Photos of All Time, which inexplicably had ‘The Goal’ at NUMBER EIGHTY, and only the fifth best hockey photo of all time. I’d say SI had lost all of its hockey credibility with this gaffe, but that would assume they had any in the first place.
Loose Pucks’ YouTube Bruins Video of the Day
A true classic. February 26th, 1981, Bruins and North Stars exchange pugilistic pleasantries and B’s tough guy John Wensink says hello to the Stars’ bench. A total of 406 penalty minutes were handed out, including 341 in the first period alone.
News out of Boston today is that Bruins winger Nathan Horton has decided to stay in town rather than heading elsewhere during the lockout. This may seem troublesome at first glance for someone coming off multiple concussions, but Horton’s agent said this was a “personal choice” and didn’t have anything to do with his health. Consistent with reports over the summer from B’s GM Peter Chiarelli, Horton is reported to be doing well and has been cleared for contact once play resumes.
To us, this seems like the right thing to do for two reasons. First, given the symptoms he had from the last concussion, the more time he has to get his mind and body back in sync, the better. Assuming he’s ramped up workouts and is feeling good as was reported, the longer he can go symptom-free, the more himself he’ll feel and hopefully more confident he’ll be come the opener (speaking from experience). Taking it one step further, Horton seems to be most effective when he’s engaged physically and emotionally, and we’d like to think that feeling good for an extended period would remove any doubt in his mind regarding giving or taking hits. Not that we want him dropping the gloves on opening night, but the more confidence he has, the better off we think he’ll be.
The only potential downside to the decision that we can see would be that the opportunity to join one of the European leagues could have allowed Horton a chance to shake off the rust from his game that will undoubtedly be present (see Bergeron) in a lower pressure environment. But again, this seems like less of an issue than just getting back to feeling himself, so we fine with this news and hope to see #18 on the Garden ice soon.
Interesting article from TSN’s Darren Dreger this week about the NHL and the players agreeing that cracking down on diving and embellishment must again become a focus. Hockey Ops is working through some proposals that should reach GM’s in the not too distant future, which is music to our ears. We’re in agreement that this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, and that includes Bruins players as well. Brad Marchand was an embarrassment at times last year, and even Zdeno Chara was caught a few times feigning fatal injuries in the name of a two minute penalty. We’re most interested to see what the proposal is, this shouldn’t be a tough one to figure out. The real question is though, in an article about diving, how is there no mention of P.K. Subban or the Sedin Sisters?
Bruins legend Bobby Orr commented this week that he’d solve the lockout problem by “putting [the owners and players] in a room with bread and water and let them figure it out.” Who doesn’t love this guy?
From the sounds of it, there are currently no meetings between the players and owners scheduled, though we’re hoping that changes early next week.