Bruins

Purcell hopes to rekindle NHL career in Boston on a tryout

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Purcell hopes to rekindle NHL career in Boston on a tryout

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s going to take a few things to fall into place, but NHL veteran winger and former University of Maine star Teddy Purcell is hoping that he comes away with an NHL job in Boston at the end of training camp.

The 32-year-old Purcell found himself in the AHL for the bulk of last season after eight straight seasons in the NHL, including a five-year stint in Tampa Bay where in his best season he finished with 24 goals and 65 points in 2011-12. Now he’s with the Bruins on a PTO tryout agreement for training camp where he can lend a bit of an experienced hand on the wing just in case things don’t pan out with younger Bruins prospects like Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen among others.

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Purcell has been skating at right wing along with Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner in the first couple of days in Bruins training camp, and is just trying to keep things simple as one of a growing number of NHL veterans looking for employment.

‘I know I have my work cut out for me, but hopefully I’ll get put in a good spot to show them what I can. . . and then work hard and hope for the best,” said the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Purcell, who had two assists in 12 games with the LA Kings last season to go along with 10 goals and 38 points in 38 games for the AHL’s Ontario Reign. “There’s a lot of things you could blame [for the career downturn], but you’ve just got to be better yourself as a player. You can also say you could work harder or in hindsight make different decisions about where you signed and stuff, but when it comes down to it you need to be better as a player. I worked hard this summer, and hopefully I can come in and make an impression on the guys [in management] upstairs.”

Purcell said the tryout with the B’s came together just a couple of days before the opening of training, so perhaps the former Kings, Lightning, Oilers and Panthers forward was insurance just in case the Pastrnak holdout became a thing during camp. Either way, Purcell has walked into a situation with Boston where a couple of top-6 winger spots are currently open for competition, and much of the competition is lacking the experience Purcell brings to the table with nearly 600 career games in the NHL.

So it stands to reason that Purcell actually walked into a pretty good opportunity to win a job if injuries or rookie jitters become a factor up front for the Bruins. Just as Drew Stafford came in at last spring’s trade deadline and made an impact in Boston after a down period in Winnipeg, Purcell hopes to do the same kind of career resuscitation in Boston.  

“It happened pretty quickly, and as an older guy I don’t know a whole lot about the younger guys coming up,” said Purcell. “I’ve heard there are some good players there and they’re going to be hungry for spots, and management probably knows them a little better than they know me. But as an older guy, you just have to come in with confidence. I’ve played on a lot of good teams with good players, and I’ve played up and down the lineup.

“There are good players here too, so it won’t be anything too new for me. I just need to go out and play my own game, and try to impress those guys [making the decisions].”

Purcell still had enough in the tank to put up 14 goals and 43 points between Edmonton and Florida a couple of years ago, so there’s clearly still some offensive ability there if the Bruins decide they want to go with a little more experience. 

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Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.

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Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork

DeBrusk-White-Pastrnak

Agostino-Nash-Backes

Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McAvoy

Postma

 
Khudobin

McIntyre 


 

Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

Bergeron’s return also a boost for Bjork

BOSTON – Clearly, the return of Patrice Bergeron had a positive effect on all things Bruins up and down the lineup, but it might have individually done more for rookie Anders Bjork than anybody else.

The 21-year-old from Wisconsin and Notre Dame had his first breakout game for the Bruins with a couple of goals, three points and a plus-2 rating in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on Thursday night.

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It’s no coincidence that Bjork’s rookie breakthrough arrived in his first game lining up at right wing alongside Bergeron and Brad Marchand after the youngster skated with those two forwards pretty exclusively through training camp. Bjork jumped right out with the immediate chemistry when he hopped to the front of the net and smacked home the rebound of a Bergeron shot for the important game-tying score, and both Bjork and the Bruins were off and running.

“He’s an awesome little player, and you can tell he’s really finding his stride right now. You know, he had an awesome game tonight, and [he’s] so good at reading the ice, open areas and where to go,” said Brad Marchand, of his rookie linemate. “It takes a little bit of time to build chemistry, but I think we’re coming along.”

Bjork cashed in his second goal of the first period on the power play after getting a centering pass from David Krejci and then firing under the bar from the slot for his third goal of the season. He had a couple of chances at the hat trick in the first period but missed high and wide with a couple more scoring chances, and instead finished with a career-high four shots on net and seven shot attempts in 12:28 of ice time.

“[Bergeron] obviously brings a lot of skill and passion and he brings a lot of other things that you don’t really realize – in the locker room and on the bench and stuff. So I mean, you can definitely see why he’s one of the best players in the NHL, not just because of what he does on the ice, but in the locker room as well.

“These guys are so easy to read off of. They’re going right away and they’re in the right spot all the time, so it makes it easy for me to get open and receive a puck like I did [on his first goal]. [The two] of them just playing the right way and also with that much skill…it’s pretty deadly.”

The Bruins hope Bjork continues to be a deadly combo for other teams when paired with Bergeron and Marchand now that things are starting to look like they were drawn up in training camp.