Kampfer: Nothing but fond memories


Kampfer: Nothing but fond memories

BOSTON -- The writing was on the wall for Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer when he was sent down to Providence several weeks ago.

The puck-moving defenseman wasnt developing as a puck-moving defenseman while sitting behind six solid Boston blue liners at the NHL level, and was caught in between the AHL level and establishing himself in the big leagues.

The dilemma came to a head when he was thrown into the lineup against Philadelphia last month once injuries hit the Bs rear guard, and he was rocked by Brayden Schenn minutes into the game while attempting to shake the rust off. It was easy to envision the same thing happening in the postseason if Kampfer were tossed in there after a long stretch of inactivity.The Bruins needed more of a veteran presence among their current defensemen corps, so they sent Steve Kampfer to the Minnesota Wild for a veteran defenseman."In his defense, Kampferhad kind of a tough ride this year. I think it happens. I dont know if its a sophomore jinx, but it happens sometimes. When he came in his rookie seasonhe had some swagger and gave us that little bit of puck moving and skating that we were looking for at the time," said Peter Chiarelli. "For whatever reason it wasnt there this year. In the defense of Steve he maynot have hadthe opportunity because we didnt have the injuries that maybe he would have had the opportunity to play. "I believe he is an NHL player. I think he will be in the NHL and we got a NHL player in return."

The 23-year-old managed to get into only 10 games this season for the Bruins with two assists and a plus-6, and the writing was on the wall when he was switched out in place of Andrew Bodnarchuk prior to Bostons six-game road trip.

Kampfer said he has nothing but fond memories winning a Cup in Boston after learning of the trade, and will get a chance to compete for a full-time NHL job in Minnesota.

Best of luck to all the guys. I will miss the boys in the locker room, said Kampfer in a text Its a great group there.

The Bruins acquired Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Zanon in exchange for Kampfer, and also collected former Boston College star Mike Mottau along with Brian Rolston for prospects Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin. Both had bounced back and fourth to the ECHL level in the Bs organization this season.

Zanon is a lefty-shooting, stay-at-home defenseman that will give the Bruins options once the playoffs start, and he provides the defensive grit and shot-blocking abilities that the Bs coaching staff prefers in the postseason. His presence also allows the Bruins to slide Dennis Seidenberg up to the top D pairing with Zdeno Chara once the postseason begins as they did during last years playoff run.

Mottau has been a fringe NHL defenseman over the last two seasons while playing 49 total games for the Islanders, and brings the same puck-moving skills that Kampfer provided at his best.

None of the moves will push the Bruins over the top if they again repeat as Stanley Cup champs, but it gives Boston much better defenseman depth than last season when they had only Shane Hnidy and Kampfer behind the struggling Tomas Kaberle.

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back


Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.


Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week. 

Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.