Claude Julien returns -- where he ranks in Bruins history

Claude Julien returns -- where he ranks in Bruins history

Claude Julien makes his return to Boston to face his former club for the first time since being fired in February. Here's where Julien ranks in Boston's coaching history.

Bruins send McAvoy, Miller back to Boston for tests

File photo

Bruins send McAvoy, Miller back to Boston for tests

Bruins defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller were sent home to Boston from Vancouver for medical tests, coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday ahead of the B's game against the Canucks.

Cassidy said McAvoy took a hit against Edmonton last week in a game in Boston and "hasn't been feeling right" and Miller was hit on the hand by a shot.

McAvoy was out for nearly two weeks last January after having a cardiac ablation, a procedure to correct an abnormal heartbeat. Cassidy didn’t confirm that’s what this issue is.

Defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was called up from Providence of the AHL on an emergency basis. 

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Hagg Bag: How about a Bjork-Donato line with _______?

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Hagg Bag: How about a Bjork-Donato line with _______?

It’s that time of the week again. Time for the Hagg Bag mailbag with real questions from our readers using the #HaggBag hashtag on Twitter, sending messages to my NBC Sports Boston Facebook page or emailing my account. Now on to the bag!

Sup Haggs?

A lot of people have been yelling about getting someone to play on Krejci's wing but after watching the last couple of games, I'm intrigued by Bjork and Donato playing together. Backes isn't the most fleet of foot guy on the team and I don't see him as a great fit between those two guys. Do you think the B's could possibly trade for a guy like Jason Zucker? I'd be willing to give up Heinen and maybe one of the young D-men and maybe draft picks or whatever. I think a Zucker, Bjork, Donato line would have some serious potential and Backes, at this point of his career, would probably look better playing wing with Kuraly and Acciari.

Billy Hud
Revere, MA

JH: Hey Billy. I think there was a better shot of trading for Jason Zucker when he was unsigned with the Minnesota Wild over the summer. I like the player and think he is the kind of guy that the Bruins obviously need right now. In my humble opinion, the Bruins are short one established top-six forward right now. I know some people think it’s the third-line center that the Bruins should be chasing instead, but what happens if you get a fairly young guy such as Zucker and pay him? Now you’ve blocked Trent Frederic and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson from winning that job and you’ve tied up money at a spot where you could have a young player on an entry-level deal if you show a little bit of patience. The Bruins still need a goal-scoring winger on the second line and that’s where I’d be chasing if I were Don Sweeney right now.

I do think that the Bruins are going to have to give up either Bjork, Heinen or Donato to get a quality player. I’d be okay with potentially shipping Matt Grzelcyk as well if It was the right deal that could improve the Bruins as Toronto and Tampa have clearly done over the past 8-10 months. I am with you on Backes, though. He needs to be a bottom-six winger at this point in his career, though I’m still not ready to relegate him to the fourth line. I honestly worry more about the concussion stuff eventually catching up to him.

Favorite and least favorite Star Wars character & movie. Show your work.

--Dave Green (@DavidMGreen)

JH: Favorite Star Wars character? Chewbacca. He’s loyal, he’s physically stronger than everybody else and he’s proud enough that he needed to be kicked in the butt to go down the garbage chute. Least favorite Star Wars character? That’s easy. Jar Jar Binks. I have taught my 5-year-old son that his name is actually Jar Jar Stinks and he still believes that to this day. Favorite Star Wars movie is Empire just like everybody else, and my least favorite is probably the Phantom Menace. Although the Last Jedi was a big disappointment to me as well, though I’m not opening up that Pandora’s Box in the mailbag. Thanks for the question, Greenie!

Hi Joe!
Your thoughts.....

We all know ‘Krech’ had his best years with bigger wingers (Lucic, Horton, Iginla and a small sample with 61Nash).  Still think having a winger with snarl, size, & skills to go with DeBrusk and/or can move up/down in lineup is the answer...And as I briefly stated before, really think that player is currently being wasted in Anaheim... Nick Ritchie. 

If and when he is traded (like possibly Anderson, another big, skilled winger with CBJ) to Toronto or another division/conference team... oh, well a loss for B’s!!

Would even call up Senyshyn for ‘trial’ on when games count and given big shot after a decent preseason, why not? Heinen, Donato, man up!!

Keep the write ups coming!!!

Saitama, Japan 

JH: Ritchie would have been a solid idea last week before the Anaheim Ducks signed him to a three-year deal after his protracted holdout. He has some good size and pretty decent physicality as the Bruins have seen first-hand, and he’s obviously got talent as a first-round pick. I even noticed that Anaheim special assignment scout Dave Nonis had a pretty long conversation with Sweeney that made me think the wheels were turning on something with Ritchie, but may there is still something to be done with Anaheim now that they’re in pretty tough salary-cap straits. So, stay tuned with the Ducks and the Bruins.

Zach Senyshyn was one of the first Bruins prospects sent down to Providence and cut from training camp, so I don’t think the B’s were overly wowed by what they saw out of him. I don’t think he’s close right now. The more likely scenario is a trade in the coming weeks with one of Bjork or Heinen probably going the other way for a young, top-six type winger or third-line center, but it’s difficult to pull off early-season trades. We may see the Bruins simply try to shine it on with their young guys for a bit until the trade deadline gets here. I will keep the write-ups coming.

At what point do the bruins run out of patience with tuukka? #HaggBag

--matthew wilson (@mattframingham)

JH: We may know as soon as Saturday night in Vancouver when it comes to Tuukka Rask. If Jaroslav Halak gets a second consecutive start then Bruce Cassidy has already run out of patience with his slow-starting No. 1 goalie less than 10 games into the season. Who can blame him? Rask has given his team zero shot to win in two out of his four starts this season, including both starts against likely playoff teams. Rask has a 4.08 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage. Those numbers are putrid. Frankly, he really doesn’t deserve to play at this point until he turns his game around.

Would you be willing to create a package that is centered around Brandon Carlo? If they won’t take Krug he’d be the next D-man I’d move

--Bar Bobby (@BGBobLucy)

JH: If it comes to that, but it would have to be a game-changing top-six goal-scorer that the Bruins envision in their lineup for a long time. I like Carlo a lot and still think there’s an upside to his game offensively along with the clear size, strength and toughness qualities that will make him a good shutdown D-man. The guy is 6-foot-5 and strong and can skate. Those kinds of D-men stay employed in the NHL for a long time.

The one consideration with Carlo, and with Charlie McAvoy for that matter though nobody should consider trading him, is that the entry-level contract is ending this season and both of those young D-men are going to start costing a lot more money. If it was a player such as Artemi Panarin with assurances he was going to sign with the Bruins, I would include Carlo in that type of package to the Columbus Blue Jackets. If it’s an aging player, such as Wayne Simmonds, who's about to cost a lot of money in free agency, I would not be wasting my good young players on an admittedly still-good asset that’s in decline.

Morning Joe,

Is Bjork going to get a look on the Krejci-Debrusk line anytime soon? I think he has looked pretty great coming off injury and without any real preseason action. With the speed of Debrusk and Bjork, I think the line could fly if old man Krejci can keep up. Thoughts?


Mark (Jacksonville)

JH: Hey Mark. I wouldn’t mind seeing Anders Bjork with Krejci and DeBrusk at some point after Heinen and Donato have gotten their looks there. That being said, I thought Heinen looked good back with Krejci and DeBrusk on Thursday night in Edmonton after a couple of healthy scratches. He picked up his first point of the season on a nice play that helped set up Krejci’s goal early in the game. Heinen is the best two-way player of the three winger candidates to play there and I think that’s a big reason why he is going to continue to get looks. If Bjork continues to play a heavier brand of hockey to go along with his speed and skill, though, he’ll get his look there too. He just needs to continue to build on some of the good things we’ve seen from a hungry player that wants to establish himself. I just wonder if Bjork is the guy who eventually gets moved for an established player given his value as a prospect. He’s also shown a bit of a softness to his game at times that the Bruins can’t be wild about. He’ll score in the NHL, but I’m not sure if he’s ever going to be strong or heavy enough to be a frontline player on a playoff team.

That’s it for this week’s bag, we’ll see you next week!  

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