Bruins

Neely: Marchand was spoken to about 'putting a negative focus' on himself and B's

Neely: Marchand was spoken to about 'putting a negative focus' on himself and B's

BOSTON – Bruins ownership and upper management made it pretty clear on Wednesday morning that the bosses’ patience has run out with some of Brad Marchand’s antics after the licking incidents in the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Marchand was never penalized or hit with supplemental discipline after opting to lick both Leo Komarov and Ryan Callahan, but the Bruins left winger was put on notice by the NHL in the second round of the playoffs that things wouldn’t be so consequence-free the next time.

BREAKING DOWN THE BRUINS

Marchand made some heartfelt comments that he needs to “cut that [expletive] out” in his end-of-season chat with the media last week. On Wednesday, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and team president Cam Neely took it one step further in their end-of-the-season press conference. Jacobs said that Marchand has basically used up all of his wiggle room with the Bruins and that should be enough to get No. 63 on the straight-and-narrow with his behavior.

“I saw humor in it [at first], and then I thought it was, as it went along, it got pretty silly and not productive towards the team,” said Jacobs. “This is a player [in Marchand] that, I can only think of 30 other teams that would love to have him, so there’s a margin that you give him. But I think he used up that margin.”

Well, that’s a pretty definitive statement from the guy that signs the checks for the Black and Gold and probably speaks to a level of seriousness that the actions took on when they continued in the series Tampa Bay. Neely backed up his owner’s comments and also acknowledged that Marchand is one of the best players in the world who really doesn’t need to do that kind of stuff anymore.

“Brad should be contrite. He was spoken to." Neely said. "I don’t want to go into the details, but he understands how he put a negative focus on him, his family, the organization, his teammates, and the coaching staff. The thing that people don’t understand [is that] Brad is a really good guy. If you don’t know him, and you see this other stuff, then you really don’t think highly of him. He’s a tremendous hockey player. He’s got to the point now where his game on the ice, without the antics, should speak for itself.”

There’s no doubting that the NHL and Bruins organization have made their feelings known and Marchand himself has voiced his desire to change his game for the better. Now, it’s on all parties involved to make sure that happens while at the same time also allowing No. 63 the leeway to continue being an elite NHL left winger. It might not be easy and it will be a shame if it becomes a situation where Marchand’s fun personality is bottled up on the ice, so it remains a work in progress for the organization and player.

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Bruins not ruling out bidding on John Tavares

Bruins not ruling out bidding on John Tavares

Ilya Kovalchuk signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings Saturday despite receiving significant interest from the Boston Bruins. 

After missing out on acquiring the 35-year-old Russian winger, the Bruins may have set their eye on free agent center John Tavares. 

Tavares, 27, has played all nine seasons of his career with the New York Islanders, scoring 272 goals and tallying 349 assists. He scored a near career-high in goals last season with 37, and should be in line for a large pay-day once NHL free agency begins on July 1st. 

If the Bruins decide to commit big money to Tavares, they risk their salary cap flexibility if they decide to resign Charlie McAvoy and Ryan Donato. Nevertheless, Boston has shown a willingness to spend and upgrade their roster in order to make a Stanley Cup run next season. 

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Morning Skate: Ex-Bruin Dougie Hamilton on the move once again

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NBC Sports Boston Photo

Morning Skate: Ex-Bruin Dougie Hamilton on the move once again

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while declining all interviews prior to the July 1 free agency period.

*Dougie Hamilton has now been traded twice in the last three years despite statistically being one of the best defensemen in the NHL. Certainly, he’s got fancy stats fanboys in his corner with an armada of bar graphs and pie charts that will tell you he’s one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL, and anybody can see that he scored 17 goals last season. But it’s also clear that Hamilton has soured on each of his last two organizations leading to an exit, and the feeling seems pretty much mutual based on the stuff surrounding both of those departures.

I can tell you in Boston that one of the final straws with Hamilton was a Vegas team party at the end of the regular season where every member of the team aside from Hamilton and Reilly Smith was in attendance. They were both traded within a couple of months after that. By all accounts even noted party machine (sarcasm included) Zdeno Chara was there. It was one of several signals in that final season that Hamilton wasn’t really fitting in with what the Bruins were doing as a team. There were other things as well over the years where it was clear that Hamilton was a little sensitive to criticism and a little set in his ways, and self-focused, on the ice. He’s certainly not a bad kid or a divisive teammate, but it says a lot that Hamilton dropped to Boston’s spot in the draft and now has been dealt twice despite his considerable talent.

Hopefully, the Carolina Hurricanes become the NHL organization where Hamilton gets comfortable and doesn’t eventually want to leave for another fresh start.  

 

*Speaking of the Hurricanes/Flames deal, Carolina is certainly getting the new look that they were hoping for.

 

*John Tavares will opt to talk to several teams in the free agent interview period, so he’ll become the focus of the next couple of weeks until he decides where he wants to sign a mega-big deal.

 

*TSN has their top-60 free agents with the pre-July 1 interview period officially set to begin on Monday morning.

 

*The first born-and-bred Brit was selected in the NHL entry draft this weekend when Liam Kirk heard his name called.

 

*For something completely different: Here’s what to expect from the next Jurassic World movie in the series.

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