Bruins

Bruins reveal Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller injury updates plus Gemel Smith claim

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Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

Bruins reveal Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller injury updates plus Gemel Smith claim

The Boston Bruins announced four roster moves Thursday, including injury updates for defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller.

Here's a roundup of the moves:

--Charlie McAvoy (upper body) activated from injured reserve
--Kevan Miller (throat) placed on injured reserve
--Connor Clifton assigned to AHL Providence
--Center Gemel Smith claimed off waivers

McAvoy has missed the last 20 games. His addition to the blue line is much-needed at both ends of the ice with captain Zdeno Chara still out of action due to injury.

Miller suffered a throat injury during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 26 and will be re-evaluated in a few weeks.

Clifton, a 23-year-old defenseman, has played in nine games for the Bruins this season. He's tallied zero points with six shots on goal. 

Smith was claimed off waivers from the Dallas Stars on Thursday. The 24-year-old center has three points (two goals, one assist) in 14 games this season. He's most likely to fill a third- or fourth-line role for the Bruins.

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NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Former Bruin Ryan Donato nets two assists in Wild debut, throws shade at his old team

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AP Photo

Former Bruin Ryan Donato nets two assists in Wild debut, throws shade at his old team

In his first game with the Minnesota Wild since getting traded for Charlie Coyle and a fifth-rounder, a move the Bruins confirmed on Thursday, Ryan Donato notched two assists as the Wild beat the Rangers 4-1 at Madison Square Garden.

And he didn't miss the opportunity to throw some shade the way of his former team.

"They just said, ‘Go and play,’ and that’s when I think I’m at my best when (coaches) have the confidence in me and they let me play," Donato said, per The Athletic's Michael Russo. "It’s been awhile since the coaches have had a lot of confidence in me to play me in all situations."

🏒TOO IMPATIENT IN BOSTON?

Donato, the son of former Bruins star Ted Donato who grew up in suburban Boston, finished the night a plus-1, three shots on goal, nine shots attempted, two takeaways and four penalty minutes.

"He played well. The one thing I liked was his skill set, as far as intelligence offensively," Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters following the win. "He looked like he knew what he was doing with the puck, and felt confident doing what he did with the puck. It’s one game, but it’s a good step in the right direction for him."

Surely, this won't stoke the flames of those asking if the Bruins gave up too soon on the promising youngster . . .

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Charlie Coyle on joining Bruins: "It's really an exciting time"

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Charlie Coyle on joining Bruins: "It's really an exciting time"

It goes without saying that Charlie Coyle is pumped to be a member of the Boston Bruins.

That’s not much of a stretch for a kid that grew up in East Weymouth, played at Boston University and was a diehard Bruins fan growing up as a kid on the South Shore. So getting traded to the B’s from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round pick was welcome news for the 26-year-old Coyle earlier this week.

After watching his friend Chris Wagner go through all the fun of playing for his hometown team after signing with the Bruins last summer, Wagner's former South Shore Kings teammate is going to get to do the same thing as he joins fellow Massachusetts kids in Wagner and Matt Grzelcyk on the Bruins roster.  

"When you’re a little kid playing and fall in love with the game, you’ve got the big dreams and you want to play. I’m watching more Bruins games growing up in the Boston area, so that’s what you envision when you’re playing street hockey in your house or in practice or just skating on the pond when you’re younger," said Coyle. "You envision you’re playing for the hometown team, and I definitely did some of that when I was younger. So obviously it’s a cool moment right now. I don’t think it’s fully hit me."

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Coyle didn’t really have a strong grasp on where he’s going to fit in with the Bruins for the final quarter of the season this year, but it seems pretty clear based on Don Sweeney’s comments that he’s going to be the third line center for the Black and Gold.

“I’m going to talk to the coach a little more, and see what his thoughts are, and share our opinions back and forth. [We’ll] see where I can best fit in and help the team, so we’ll hit that when it comes. It’s really an exciting time,” said Coyle, who has 10 goals and 28 points in 60 games this season bouncing between center and right wing. “You dream of this when you’re younger, and to come back home and play. I remember how excited Chris Wagner was this summer when he signed with the Bruins.

“It was a cool feeling for me to watch him feel that way. You kind of envision what it would be like for yourself. To go through that now is really exciting, and all my family’s excited. I get to see them a little more, and I think it’s going to be a really great experience.”

Coyle will have to wait a few games for his Bruins debut on the home ice at TD Garden, but is expected to be in the lineup and ready to play when the B’s face off against the red-hot St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. But the Bruins are excited to get the big, strong and fast forward into their lineup to help finally stabilize a third line that’s been in flux all season, and perhaps bring out even more from the talented Coyle than ever seemed to happen in Minnesota with the Wild. 

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