With my “wonderful” Dell XPS M1330 laptop only willing to work half-days right now, there isn’t much time to blog more than just a quick mailbag each night.
So here’s another edition of the TheBruinsBlog.net mini mailbag:
Steve wrote: Who would you predict to be the Brad Marchand the 2011-12 Bruins, as in a rookie/prospect making a significant impact that was not expected. Tyler Seguin is expected to make an impact this year, but Jordan Caron/Ryan Spooner/Jared Knight?
Matt Kalman: Well, let’s keep in mind that with Seguin expected to be a fixture in the lineup, Benoit Pouliot expected to be given every chance to play until he loses his job, and Joe Corvo imported to replace Tomas Kaberle, there might not be any room for a “Brad Marchand” this year. Nonetheless, Spooner and Knight seem one more year away. On a lesser team, one or both would be logging top-six minutes even at 19. But the Bruins just don’t have the space to give those guys the necessary time to develop their games in the NHL.
Caron is an interesting case. He obviously held his own in the NHL last season and was inconsistent in the AHL. I think the reason for his Providence struggles were two-fold: he needs more skill around him to be successful because so much of his game is intangibles, and after playing a key role in the NHL playing in the AHL was a bit of a letdown. The year of experience, and the opportunity to practice with the NHL team during the playoffs, had to help Caron immensely. We know head coach Claude Julien loves him (not because he’s French-Canadian) because he’s a hard-working, responsible player who does exactly as he’s told by the coaches. If Marchand comes back better this coming season (and with a strong head on his shoulders) I could see Caron plugging into Mark Recchi’s old spot with Marchand and Bergeron and Pouliot battling for just third- or fourth-line minutes.
Tom Donington wrote: How do the players in the room feel about the acquisition of Corvo, along with his baggage? I understand they’re not in the room right now, but will it weigh on certain players (like a Andrew Ference) or is there a real feeling that stuff outside the room/in the past doesn’t matter to the other guys? I guess without having seen much of Corvo (other than the job he and Dennis Seidenberg did on the Bruins a few springs ago when I coveted him as a player, not knowing about his legal past), I’m curious regarding the type of person he is and if he’s reformed enough that I can feel OK rooting for the guy, or if he’s still an absolute creep.
MK: Sounds like someone’s been listening to mid-summer sports radio. Here are my feelings about this matter, without having firsthand knowledge of Corvo’s recent off-ice activities. Obviously, I can’t answer for the Bruins players right now, but general manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff have been pretty judicious about making sure there are no bad apples in that dressing room.
Now as far as the incident with Corvo in question, it happened nine years ago. He’s played a lot of years since then and seems to have been accepted by his teammates. He skated many years in Carolina for a franchise that’s run by conservative people and is very image-conscious in a conservative area. There were no incidents reported.
So now he comes to Boston and because the incident happened here and because there wasn’t much to talk about on sports radio for a week in July, people start to worry he won’t fit in. If Corvo proves to be a poor fit, it’ll be because he can’t adjust to the system or fails to utilize his shot. Barring another incident, I don’t see something that happened nine years ago affecting how he fits in with the Bruins’ chemistry.
Bryan wrote: Do you see the Bruins giving Dougie Hamilton a 10-game tryout in the NHL this fall before sending him back to juniors – if not for actual playing time, just enough to whet his NHL appetite?
MK: Bryan, it’s simple: No way, Jose. Hamilton will come to camp, hang with the big boys, maybe even get in an exhibition game, but there’s no reason to give him a 10-game tryout. The Bruins are deep on the back end and if there are injuries, the likes of Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski are next in line to get in there. Hamilton is at least two seasons from being NHL-ready, so in the fall of 2012, maybe you give him a tryout. But for now, it’s all about development and that will be in junior for a full season, with maybe even a date at the World Junior Championship.