Bruins

Could Recchi return to Bruins in front office role?

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Could Recchi return to Bruins in front office role?

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

Theres no way to replace a living legend like Mark Recchi.

The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer capped off his amazing career by winning his third career Stanley Cup with the Bruins last spring, and was adamant that he wont be having any second thoughts about returning as a player.

But Recchi will still be involved in the world of hockey in a myriad of ways, even though his days as a shot-tipping wrecking ball are over. The Bruins winger doesnt want to go into coaching, but hes voiced an interest in getting involved at the management level while already gathering experience as a partial owner of his hometown Kamloops Blazers over the last several years.

It was thought the Bruins might be a comfy fit for Recchi, given the respect factor among the current core of players, and the existing appreciation for his beautiful mind when it comes to the game of hockey. But the Pittsburgh Penguins a city where Recchi and his family still make their home have also been a team that might be interested in their former scoring force.

Bruins president Cam Neely was asked about Recchis potential future in management with the Black and Gold, and Neely indicated the ball was in Recchis court when he decided which direction his future would hold.

Mark is going to get a well deserved break, I think, said Neely during the State of the Bruins event for season ticket-holders during a question-and-answer session. I think hes going to take some time, like I think he mentioned. Well certainly revisit that if Mark knocks on our door.

The thing I love is having as many ex-players around as possible. We have many of them around the city and I like it when they get involved with the team -- especially when they know what it means to be a Boston Bruins. Thats something you cant have enough of."

As for on the ice, the Bruins have invited gritty veteran Chris Clark to training camp on a tryout and have several wingers to potentially plug in with the Patrice BergeronBrad Marchand combo. It could be Rich Peverley, given his skating wheels and offensive burst, or it could be Tyler Seguin if the 19-year-old has made a quantum leap forward in his game.

Claude Julien said the players will decide who replaces Recchi as assistant captain of the team, and Shawn Thornton thinks its up to each of the 17 returning players to shoulder some of the leadership responsibility.

Itll have to be by committee," Thornton said. "Hes one of a kind. I mean a guy that wins three Cups that really speaks for itself. With everything he did off the ice, Recchi is a special man. Thats for sure. Shane Hnidy too. A lot of things that you guys wouldnt have seen behind the scenes involved Hnidy too.

Itll have to be a group effort and there are a few other guys that are another year older and more experienced, and will probably bring a little more to the table too. Well miss that leadership a little bit, but theres also some other guys that maybe its time for them to step up and fill that void a little bit too.

The Bs will have to fill that leadership void whether Recchi fills a front office role or not on Causeway Street, but the 43-year-old has left a pretty good foundation behind no matter where he ends up.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

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Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

BRIGHTON -- Tuukka Rask is quickly making his way through the concussion protocol and may return to action this weekend.

The Bruins netminder skated with the other injured players ahead of Monday’s main team practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and is on track to rejoin the team at regular practice on Tuesday barring any setbacks in his concussion recovery. That would leave Rask with just a couple of games missed after getting trucked by Anders Bjork at practice last week, and it would give the Bruins back their No. 1 goaltender after Anton Khudobin let in five goals vs. the Sabres on Thursday night.

“He’s in the protocol and progressing well,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’ll probably join us [on Tuesday] for the next step if there are no ill effects from today. That’s a positive. If there are no setbacks, I think Saturday is a more realistic [timetable for a return].”

The hope would be that Rask could start elevating his game when he does return, and play better than the goalie that’s posted the 1-3-0 record, 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage thus far this season. But first things first with the recovery to his first career concussion as an NHL goalie, and the set of hurdles that must be passed before Rask is again allowed to jump back into game action as early as this weekend.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Bruins practice with Rask, David Krejci and Noel Acciari all skating prior to practice, Patrice Bergeron staying off ice with a maintenance day and Kevan Miller skating in main practice with a maroon, no-contact jersey:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork
DeBrusk-Backes-Pastrnak
Agostino-Nash-White
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Miller-Postma

Khudobin

Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

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Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

BRIGHTON -- Injuries, and some really tough losses, have put a bit of a damper on the start to the Bruins season. But there've also been a couple of unquestioned bright spots.

And one of them is Tim Schaller, who's been a strong, consistent performer in the first couple of weeks of the season. The New Hampshire native -- and lifelong Bruins fan -- was penciled in as a fourth-line winger throughout most of training camp, but he’s played everywhere as injuries have ravaged the B's roster.

The high point was probably centering Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak (and notching an assist) in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Sabres, and filling in for a late-scratched David Krejci with a very different set of skills. Certainly he’s been a standout for the Bruins with his physicality, including stepping up and fighting man mountain Erik Gudbranson after Gudbranson's nasty boarding hit on Frank Vatrano last week, and he’s also kicked in a couple of goals and three points in seven games thus far this season.

“It’s a reactionary thing, and that’s just in a person,” said Bruce Cassidy of fighting Gudbranson. “It’s a character thing because you don’t have a lot of time to think about it. Good for Timmy. That earns a lot of street cred not only in your own locker room, but the other teams notice it. too.

"We know with the goals that he can obviously chip in [offensively] and he’s doing a great job for what we’re asking him to do. He’s probably going to take ownership if he’s out there with some young guys on a line, and if he can be a leader and get that line playing the right way every night that is very valuable to us.”

Schaller’s game to this point is a continuation of what he showed in his first season with the Bruins last year, when the 26-year-old posted 7 goals and 14 points in 59 games while becoming a staple in Boston’s bottom-6 group. He’s once again shown pretty good straight-ahead speed for a big man, and a willingness to take his 6-foot-2, 219-pound frame straight to the net.

“I’ve been moving well and I’ve got the two goals, so personally I’m happy [with my game],” said Schaller. “Hopefully others can feed off what I’m trying to do out there, and we get a more well-balanced game [as a team]. I had a good season last year, and what was really good was that I knew that I had more to give. That’s what I’m trying to do this season.

“I can obviously produce more. I had a good start to last season and then I kind of fell off a little bit. So hopefully I can be a little more consistent for this entire year.”

That would be a very good thing for a Bruins team that can use him in a bottom-6 energy role when its roster is healthy, and will fully utilize his versatility in times of injuries and adversity.