Ferlin standing out again at Bruins Development Camp


Ferlin standing out again at Bruins Development Camp

Brian Ferlin is a lot more than a simple Florida hockey trivia question. The 20-year-old Ferlin is the first NHL prospect drafted from the hockey hotbed of Jacksonville, Florida, and he actually honed his hockey skills at camps run by Providence Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy when he was coaching the Jacksonville Lizard Kings in the ECHL.

But Ferlin is much more than a Florida hockey footnote.

Hockey players come from all over the place, I guess, said Ferlin. My dad grew up in Chicago and then played baseball in Jacksonville University. He stayed once he graduated and he always loved hockey too. He had me playing all the sports when I was growing up, but I loved hockey the best.

The Cornell hockey player has also now put together a pair of solid development camps with the Bruins after being the final player selected in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft in Minnesota. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound power forward was routinely paired with creative playmaker Ryan Spooner during drills on the practice ice at Ristuccia Arena, and showed off the quick release and accuracy of a natural born scorer.

Just as his promising performance during last years development camp launched him into a solid freshman year at Cornell that earned him ECACHL and Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors, Ferlin hopes this years development camp launches him into another productive season.

I started off strong at Cornell, had a couple of injuries and then picked it up at the end of the year. It was a good year to build off of, said Ferlin. These development camps have really helped me. Just to see the way Im able to compete against the real high-end guys from major junior programs, and learn from them. Its been an awesome experience over the last two years.

His first year of college hockey was marred slightly by injuries in the middle of the year, but the Bruins are still more than satisfied by his progress.

Brian had a really good year. He was Rookie of the Year in both the Ivy and the ECACHL, I believe," said Bruins assistant manager Don Sweeney. "He had some injury troubles at two different times that set him back and obviously kept him out of the playoffs, which he was disappointed about. Offensively I think Brians game is pretty good. He understands how to protect pucks really well. Hes built for the cycle game. Hes got a good shot coming down the wing.

Hes continued to work on his skating and the power part of his game because hes a bigger kid. Defensively, I think hes still starting to understand how to apply the system work. Sometimes just being in the right spot is as effective as trying to outwork somebody and get into that spot.

Twenty-one points in 26 games during an injury-marred freshman year was a great start for Ferlin on his way to becoming much more than a bragging point for the Jacksonville wing in the Florida hockey hall of game.

Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis


Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

BRIGHTON -- In a development that was certainly much sooner than originally anticipated, David Backes has returned to the ice just a matter of weeks after having 10 inches of colon removed during surgery for diverticulitis. It remains to be seen how gradual a process it will be for the 33-year-old to actually return to game action given his original timetable for recovery was eight weeks following the early November procedure, but it seems like it might end up being ahead of the two months Backes was initially expected to be sidelined. 

For his part, Backes was happy to be back skating with his teammates and pushing his recovering body after feeling pretty sluggish for the first few days following surgery. He confirmed he’d been skating for a couple of days while the team was on the West Coast, but Monday was his first team doing anything post-surgery with the rest of the team. 

“It’s good to be back with the guys and to be around the room, and to have seen the kind of resiliency that these guys showed on the road trip. The back half of the road trip was impressive,” said Backes, who has an assist in five games with the Bruins before succumbing to the surgery. “To be on the ice and moving around after sitting around doing nothing for too long where you don’t think you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it feels good. 

“The doc’s advice is that if it doesn’t hurt then I can keep moving forward and add more of a workload on, so that’s the update for today. It’s still non-contact, but we’ll keep moving along and hopefully I’ll be back doing what I love to do on a regular basis. I haven’t been notified that the timeline has changed at all, so I’m just going to keep putting in the work. The more I seem to do the work the better it is, and I seem to be able to do a little more each day. So those are all positive signs.”

For the Bruins it’s clearly a morale booster to see the big power forward back doing regular hockey activities, and serving notice that he’ll be bringing his size, strength, leadership and physicality back to a B’s team that definitely needs him. Clearly the return of another high-end forward would also immensely help a Bruins team that’s still very undermanned up front, but it would appear there will be some other B’s forwards getting back prior to Backes. 

Brad Marchand and Ryan Spooner appear poised to return to full practice on Tuesday with a possible return to the lineup not too far beyond that after all three injured forwards took part in Monday’s optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena. 


Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton


Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after a rough weekend for the Justice League movie. 


*Radko Gudas was suspended for 10 games after slashing at the head of Mathieu Perreault, and it’s an appropriate sentence for a play that has no place in the NHL, and from a player that really deserves to get slapped around by the Department of Player Safety. Some like the Hockey News here believe it should have been a more severe suspension, but this is the right move with a player that’s headed toward a Raffi Torres sentence the next time he crosses over the line. Let’s hope the message finally gets through to a dirty player, but I’m not holding my breath given his past history.  


*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is beginning to take some heat in Edmonton with a hockey team that’s performing way under expectations to this point. 


*All Alexander Radulov wanted was to feel like he was wanted, you guys. The Dallas Stars just so happened to say that to him in the form of money and contract years. 


* does a Calder Trophy voting poll with their own staff and it looks like Clayton Keller is strongly in the lead, and that Charlie McAvoy isn’t getting nearly the mount of consideration that he should be getting right now. This is the only rookie averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, people…c’mon now. 


*It’s officially over for the Montreal Canadiens just a couple of months into the season, and it may be for GM Marc Bergevin as well. I’m not sure the Habs are dead and buried quite yet, but Carey Price as a question mark certainly doesn’t help matters. 


*Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were both honored in Anaheim this weekend after their Hockey Hall of Fame honors last weekend. 


*For something completely different: Here’s a petition for fans to get a home release of the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. These people thirsting for ponderous, bombastic drudgery in their comic book movies amazes me. While I feel for Snyder and his family given their tragedy over the last year, I think his movies are god-awful and can’t fathom why anybody would be pounding the table demanding to see a cut that left the DC and Warner Brothers execs running and screaming for Joss Whedon.