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Bruins, Canadiens alumni to face off at Winter Classic

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The current rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will not be the only one celebrated at the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The League announced Wednesday that there will be an alumni game played at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 31, pitting legends of the heated rivalry against each other one more time.

For many who have been involved in the competition between the Bruins and Canadiens over the past nine decades, the mere sight of the opposition's logo rekindles the embers of a rivalry that never goes fully dormant.

Canadiens expect skillful Semin to spark offense

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Right wing Alexander Semin has rare talent, which is why Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin gave him a one-year contract last week.

"He's high-skilled," Bergevin said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. "He brings something that not a lot of players do have, and obviously things didn't go his way in Carolina. He's going to have a chance to prove he is still the player he once was. He's still young, only 31 years of age. We hope he will bring his skill and compete level to Montreal."

Bergevin was here to promote the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET: NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). It was the first time Bergevin publicly addressed the signing of the former Carolina Hurricanes forward.

New-look Bruins hope to be rolling by Winter Classic

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the first time in eight years.

General manager Don Sweeney has overhauled the Boston roster since he was hired May 20 to replace Peter Chiarelli. The Bruins signed unrestricted free agent forward Matt Beleskey, traded for forward Jimmy Hayes, traded away forward Milan Lucic and defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and let several role players leave as free agents.

It will take some time for chemistry to develop, and all of the players will have to become acclimated with the style of play Sweeney and coach Claude Julien want to implement.

The Bruins are going to be in a state of flux, but they're also going to be in the spotlight because they're scheduled to host the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriots, on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Although nothing will tarnish the buzz surrounding the event, given the venue and the longstanding rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens, neither wants to be in the midst of a lackluster season when New Year's Day rolls around.

So for three months leading up to the Winter Classic, Boston will have added motivation to make sure it's playing well enough to be considered one of the elite teams in the NHL.

"You never want to be behind the eight ball right away, so you want to have a good start of the season," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said at the stadium Wednesday. "That's definitely the plan and the goal. This game is definitely something we're all looking forward to."

Winter Classic 'can't go wrong' with Bruins, Canadiens

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A more perfect summer day could not have gripped the Boston area Wednesday. Temperatures soared into the low 90s with an occasional cooling breeze and the region was baking under a strong sun that rarely darted under cloud cover.

It was a day made for golfing, or perhaps hitting the famed beaches stretching along the coastline of nearby Cape Cod. Yet at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots of the National Football League, the talk was about hockey, specifically the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens that will be played here on Jan. 1, 2016 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"[Patriots owner Bob Kraft] promised me it would be at least 60 degrees cooler on New Year's Day," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in his opening remarks.

There was little need on this day to conjure up the anticipated cold and possible snow that could greet the Bruins and Canadiens when they take to the playing surface placed in the middle of Gillette Stadium's football field to continue their fierce rivalry. A glance at the outline of the ice rink in the middle of the turf, and a look at the scoreboards in each end zone displaying the Winter Classic logo, was enough to send most of those on hand on their own trip down memory lane.

Crosby, MacKinnon work Tim Hortons drive-thru

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 4:52 PM / News

NHL.com

Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon may have found a summer job close to home: working a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

Crosby and MacKinnon -- Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia natives -- greeted customers at the doughnut shop in nearby Dartmouth as part of a commercial shoot.

"Look who served me coffee today at Tim Hortons … Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby!" customer Angie McLeod wrote on Facebook, according to The Chronicle Herald. "They were filming a national commercial today. Keep watching Tim's commercials to see if I make the cut!!"

Devils place forward Zubrus on unconditional waivers

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 3:16 PM / News

NHL.com

The New Jersey Devils placed forward Dainius Zubrus on unconditional waivers Wednesday for the purpose of terminating his contract.

Zubrus was due to make $3.1 million in the final year of his contract, according to war-on-ice.com.

"It's always hard. He's been here a number of years and he's been a good contributor," Devils general manager Ray Shero told NJ.com. "He's a big boy. We had a good conversation and said he understands. It's not the easiest part of the business, but these are decisions you sometimes have to make."

Bruins-Canadiens rivalry takes centerstage at 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium

Alumni Game featuring team legends to be played at Gillette Stadium Dec. 31

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- Representatives from the National Hockey League, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New England Patriots, National Hockey League Players' Association and Bridgestone gathered today at Gillette Stadium to detail plans for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. In January, the NHL announced that the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year's Day, 2016. The event will be televised live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 1 p.m. ET.

When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following the Toronto Maple Leafs' appearance in 2014.

After injuries, Murray poised to boost Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 10:59 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

When the Columbus Blue Jackets selected defenseman Ryan Murray with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, they envisioned a player who could quickly become a fixture along their blue line.

Injuries have kept Murray from reaching his potential; he played 12 games last season after sustaining a knee injury, after having knee surgery in the summer of 2014. He would miss five additional weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained in November.

But the 21-year-old appears primed to turn things around this season.

"I've been on the ice for almost two months now," Murray told the Blue Jackets website. "I've done some things differently this summer, changed it up a bit; the workouts have been less weight-based and more body and movement-focused things.

"I spent part of the summer at home in Saskatchewan, hanging out with my friends and family, relaxing, playing golf, and it was great. It was good to go home and recharge, and now I'm back here and ready to work."

Bernier, Maple Leafs $2.21M apart in arbitration: report

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 9:48 AM / News

NHL.com

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, a restricted free agent who is scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday, has submitted a request for $5.1 million for one year, with the Toronto Maple Leafs offering a one-year, $2.89 million contract, according to Sportsnet.

TSN reports the Maple Leafs' offer is the minimum allowed.

Bernier, 26, went 21-28-7 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 58 games for the Maple Leafs last season, when he made $3.4 million, according to TSN.

Ryan Smyth considers housing McDavid: report

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 10:46 PM / News

NHL.com

Former NHL forward Ryan Smyth said he hasn't been asked but has considered letting Edmonton Oilers prospect Connor McDavid live with his family this season.

"Haven't been contacted at all (about McDavid) … it's all rumors," Smyth told the Edmonton Journal on Monday. "I haven't put my name forward. It's not that I haven't thought about it though."

Smyth, who played for the Oilers for 15 seasons and retired in 2014, lived with Kelly Buchberger and his wife Carla when he started his NHL career in 1995, the Journal said.

"Three or four months I lived with them," Smyth said. "I babysat for them and they fed me."

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Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

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