Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while lamenting the loss of the perfect season for the Patriots.
*After both the GM and coach got contract extensions following a disappointing season, it’s time for the Winnipeg Jets management group to get going and produce.
*Shayne Gostisbehere is making arrangements for his family in Florida ahead of the Hurricane that’s about to smack the Sunshine State.
*Pierre McGuire jumped on with Montreal sports radio and opined that Alex Galchenyuk should be a center for the Canadiens this upcoming season.
*Bo Horvat has signed a six-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks for $5.5 million per season just ahead of training camp. Some may want to draw a parallel to David Pastrnak’s negotiations, but 20 goals and 50 points aren't even close to the same as 34 goals and 70 points. That’s why $6 million a season isn’t going to get it done for the B’s 21-year-old game-breaking right wing.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has the details of defenseman Cody Franson signing a PTO with the Chicago Blackhawks and showing exactly how tough the landscape is for veteran NHL players looking for jobs around the league.
*Interesting times as more and more hockey writers are joining up with The Athletic, including Eric Duhatschek leaving the Globe and Mail for the online sports destination.
*Dylan Strome is facing a key training camp with the Arizona Coyotes as he attempts to finally justify his first round draft status in his third try with the Desert Dogs.
*Jack Eichel is sure he’s going to remain with the Buffalo Sabres in the long term, and that means an eight year deal for a massive amount of money. There’s no guarantee it’s going to happen in this preseason, but it’s going to get done at some point between the Sabres and their franchise player.
*For something completely different: It must be intimidating for Steven King fans to get the gig writing a screenplay for a classic like “It”, but it also sounds like he nailed it if Rotten Tomatoes reviews are to be believed.
BRIGHTON, Mass – The long regional nightmare for Bruins fans might be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
That’s because Patrice Bergeron hopped on the ice on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of his team’s morning skate and then stuck around to jump in and out of drills while showing strong progress from his fractured right foot suffered at the end of February.
Clearly, Bergeron isn’t ready to play now and will miss his 11th consecutive game Monday night when the B's face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at TD Garden.
Still, it looks like No. 37 will be headed on the four-game road trip after the game and could potentially become an option to play at some point over the next week or two. Certainly, it’s a sign that Bergeron is going to be able to come back and play meaningful games before the playoffs. That’s something that has the 32-year-old excited after missing the past three weeks.
“It was nice to be back on the ice and skating. It felt good. It’s been a long three weeks, but it was nice to finally move forward and be on the ice. It was definitely nice to be on the ice with the guys,” said Bergeron, who skated on Sunday with Bruins Skating and Skills Coach Kim Branvold as well. “There’s definitely still some discomfort, but it’s a lot better. That was to be expected that it wasn’t going to be perfect when I was back right away.
“I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel right now being on the ice. We’re trying not to set a timeline right now, but just make sure I feel good and have my bearings on the ice. So far I’m happy with where we’re at.”
Certainly, it would be good timing if Bergeron returned soon when it appears David Backes (deep laceration on his right leg) is going to miss a week or two and Jake DeBrusk is out with no timetable for a return after getting dinged with a big hit in Carolina on Boston’s most recent trip.
Impressively, the Bruins have gone 8-2-0 since Bergeron has been out. Riley Nash has been a point-per-game player in March while filling in for No. 37 with three goals and nine points in nine games along with a plus-4 rating. Still, the Bruins all know their all-around game will rise to another level when they get their best all-around player back in the lineup and re-form what’s been the best two-way forward in the NHL this season with Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
BRIGHTON -- Ryan Donato will make his NHL debut for the Bruins on Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and it looks like he’ll do it as a member of the third line.
The newly-signed Harvard star was wearing No. 17 at morning skate on Monday at Warrior Ice Arena, and skating on the left wing with Noel Acciari and Brian Gionta in a new-look third line made necessary by injures to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Jake DeBrusk in the last few weeks.
Donato signed with the Bruins on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how ready he is to “plug and play” at the NHL level after crushing NCAA competition with 26 goals in 29 games for the Crimson this season.
Otherwise it was a fairly standard lineup for the Bruins aside from Tommy Wingels dropping down to the fourth line to allow Acciari to center the third line, and thereby allow Donato to play the wing position where the B’s project him to be at the NHL level.
In other very positive B’s news, Bergeron -- recovering from a fractured right foot -- made a return to the ice, working on his own ahead of morning skate and then jumping in here and there in the team skate/
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Blue Jackets based on morning skate: