Purcell hopes to rekindle NHL career in Boston on a tryout


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.


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. 


Morning Skate: Is Ovechkin clutch?


Morning Skate: Is Ovechkin clutch?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while still not believing what I saw in last night’s Patriots/Steelers game. Boy, has Tom Brady been a treat to watch over the course of his career. 


*Pro Hockey Talk asks if Alex Ovechkin is clutch. Why do I feel like this could develop into an “Is Joe Flacco Elite?” level of debate? 


*Nashville D-man (it still feels weird writing that) PK Subban is planning to use his creativity to help grow the game of hockey that he loves so very much. 


*Erik Karlsson is getting to the top of his game at a rather appropriate time as trade rumors start to swirl with him along with a massive price tag on his next contract. The question is this: Who has the prospects and the cap room to make a move for Karlsson work, and what would they have to give up to the Sens in order to get him? Multiple blue chip prospects, first round pick and an established, All-Star-level player would be my starting point.  


*Speaking of the Ottawa Senators, Vice Sports says that the Senators fan base deserves a better owner than Eugene Melnyk. 


*Ryan Reaves and Kris Letang headline a list of five big questions facing the Pittsburgh Penguins through the rest of the season. 


*For something completely different: A Spoiler-rific take on the Last Jedi, and the kind of things the next movie must do in order to make this movie more palatable to the hard-core fan base.  

Same B's lineup as they brace for glut of games leading into holiday


Same B's lineup as they brace for glut of games leading into holiday

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins have enjoyed a lot of down time over the first two months of the NHL regular season, but that’s beginning to change now as they enter the holiday season. Sure they will get the three-day break around the Christmas holiday just like everybody else around the NHL, but they’re heading into that three-day respite with a schedule of seven games in 11 days, including back-to-back games Columbus and Buffalo kicking off tonight at TD Garden. 

It’s good that this kind of busy sequence didn’t come down when the B’s were injury ravaged over the first few months of the season, but there’s never an easy time to play four 60-minute effort games in a span of six days, including a short rest matinee on Saturday vs. the Red Wings.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will undoubtedly roll lines a little more liberally and probably rotate some players into his lineup, but he’s going with the same forwards and D-men in front of Tuukka Rask on Monday night vs. the Blue Jackets. The Bruins are doing what they can during a dense portion of the schedule, and making certain they’re ready to give their best after dropping back-to-back games against the Capitals and Rangers last week. 

“You just need to make it easy on ourselves by not playing a hard game, and not doing damage to ourselves to make things more difficult,” said Brad Marchand. “You take care of the puck and keep it simple, and then whenever you get a day off you need to rest up and recover. That’s all you can really do.”

So Rask will get the nod with Anton Khudobin likely to start against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, and the lineup will be exactly the same as vs. the Rangers with Anders Bjork sitting for the second game in a row: