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BHN Puck Links: Boston Bruins Sign DeBrusk But NHL Season In Doubt

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The Boston Bruins signed Jake DeBrusk to a two-year, $7.2 million contract on Monday, and once again Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney utilized his leverage and patience to get a team-friendly deal.

Why would some NHL owners be ok with scrapping the 2020-21 season and why are NHL agents fuming over the owners’ latest attempt to redo the collective bargaining agreement?

That and more in your latest Boston Hockey Now Puck Links!

After Jake DeBrusk’s agent Rick Valette, on more than one occasion, said his client was a $6 million per season player, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney convinced him and DeBrusk to put ink to paper and sign a team-friendly deal for the cap-strapped Bruins. (Boston Hockey Now)

In my latest ‘Off The Record’ for National Hockey Now, I report on how the owner’s latest attempt to rewrite a CBA, just under five months after the current one was signed has the players and their agents fuming. Are there some owners who would just prefer to not even have a season? (Boston Hockey Now)

While nothing there likely won’t be any NHL free agent signings until the NHL and NHLPA agree on a tentative schedule and format for the 2020-21 season, that doesn’t mean teams aren’t preparing to pounce once that happens. The Boston Bruins have continuously been linked to unrestricted free agent winger Mike Hoffman throughout the offseason and you can expect them to be in the mix when we find out when we can drop the puck. (Boston Hockey Now

Boston Bruins prospects Urho Vaakanainen and Cooper Zech have been loaned to clubs in Europe as they try to get back into game shape for a potential 202021 NHL season. Vaakanainen, a top defensive prospect whom the Boston Bruins have been shopping on the NHL Trade market, is returning home to play for SaiPa in Finland’s Elite League. Zech, whom the Bruins signed as an NCAA free agent in April 2019 will head to Slovakia to play for HK Nitra. (Pro Hockey Rumors)

The Chicago Blackhawks hired U.S. women’s national team, captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, as Player development coach and promoted Meghan Hunter to the Director Of Hockey Administration and amateur scout on Monday. The Coyne Schofield hiring and Hunter promotion, along with Hockey Analytics Coordinator Mary DeBartolo, makes the Hawks the only NHL team with three women on their NHL Hockey Operations staff. (ESPN)

As longtime Toronto Sun Columnist Damien Cox wrote recently, with COVID vaccines on the way but time ticking on a 2020-21 NHL season, it may be time for the NHL and NHLPA to seriously consider scrapping this coming season and be ready to get back to ‘normal’ with a full 2021-22 season. (Toronto Sun). 

While Cox’s suggestion of waiting until next fall for the NHL to return to the ice makes a ton of sense, there still isn’t even a guarantee that NHL arenas could allow full or close to full stands by then. (CBC)

The Florida Panthers continued their Hockey Operations overhaul on Monday, hiring former NHLer and most recently, Montreal Canadiens Director of Amateur Scouting Shane Churla for the same position. (TSN)

Speaking of the Montreal Canadiens, it appears Habs fans are set to plan a Stanley Cup parade after the offseason Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has had. (Montreal Gazette)

Finally, for Murph’s Music Pick Of The Day, my late grandma who raised me and helped get me into hockey would’ve been 102 today. Her favorite song was ‘As Time Goes By’ from Casablanca and we danced to that at my wedding. Her favorite player was Rick Middleton. We’ll always have ‘Nifty’ and the Garden ‘Mum’. Miss ya!

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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rickwmurray

There’s no doubt Sweeney’s one of the better gm’s at signing players, what he can’t do though and this is critical to any GM’s longevity in the nhl; is swing a good trade or sign anyone of consequence. His draft record alone would be enough to get most gm’s shown the door how he and that nitwit Neely have managed to stick around is beyond me!

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