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The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bear Essentials: From Ristuccia With Love

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
The Bruins are back in town and practice at Ristuccia at noon -- and thanks to a nice win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, the B's are back in playoff position, in eighth place and tied with the New York Rangers with 63 points.

A strong push throughout their road trip puts the Black & Gold within striking distance of Buffalo (64 points) for seventh and Philadelphia (65) for sixth. New Jersey (68) and Montreal (69), in fifth and fourth place respectively, loom on the horizon. Toronto (55 points) is the only team in the Northeast Division to play this evening (against the Islanders in T.O.).

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is tied for second in the NHL with a save percentage of .925.

Second place is misleading, however, because the man in first, Ty Conklin (.930), has played only 1254 minutes to Tim's 2311.

Boston has the fifth best road record in the Eastern Conference with a 15-11-2 docket and 32 points.

In the scoring department, captain Zdeno Chara has broken into the top ten amongst defensemen with a 9-28-37 line while Marc Savard is tied for second in assists (49) and is 16th in overall points with 62 points.

Milan Lucic is 15th in rookie scoring with his 6-11-17 totals and is tied for first in rookie game-winning goals with four.

9:59 a.m.

Thinking ahead to the end of the month, I thought the following explanations from the NHL would be interesting reading. JB

How is a trade made?
After two clubs have come to an agreement on a trade, the clubs must advise the League office, either by telephone or by FAX, of the terms of the trade. The League office then schedules a conference call with the two teams to review the transaction and give final approval for the deal. Prior to the trade call, the League office will ensure that the team has the appropriate salary cap space to make the deal; if draft choices are involved, that the club has the available choices; and that the team has available space on its reserve list to add the player (s). It should be noted that the 23-man roster restriction is no longer in force from February 26 on.

On the trade call, the League will a) review the terms of the player contracts and ensure that teams are aware of their respective obligations to the player (s) involved; b) ensure that, should a player have a no-trade clause, that the player has waived that right; and c) ensure that any conditions to consummation of the transaction have been clearly defined and agreed upon.

The trade becomes official after the trade call has taken place.

What if a player involved in a transaction has a "no-trade" clause?
No-trade clauses can vary from player to player. For example, a player may have a list of teams that he has agreed to be traded to. The League requires written documentation from the player that he has waived his no-trade clause. If applicable, the documentation must also stipulate which teams the player has agreed it is permissible for him to be traded to.

Can a trade take place after the 3:00 P.M. ET deadline on February 26, 2008?

Trade calls may take place after the 3:00 p.m. deadline but the League must have been advised of any and all transactions, including the specific details, prior to 3:00 p.m. It is not unusual that a number of trades are agreed to between the clubs just before 3:00 p.m. However, due to the volume of trades occurring just prior to the deadline, the League may not be able to conduct the actual trade call until after 3:00 p.m. There are five League officials that conduct trade calls and calls may last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the deal.

How is a player's salary charged against a team's salary cap when a trade is made at the deadline?
The salary that is charged against a team's cap is the pro rated amount remaining of the player's average yearly salary. For example, if a player has an average yearly salary of $2 million, the amount charged against the acquiring team's cap is the pro-rated amount remaining of $2 million.

This is calculated by dividing $2 million by the number of days in the season (187). The amount ($10,695) is then multiplied by the number of days remaining in the season from the day the trade is made (41 days if trade is on deadline day) to ascertain the amount charged against the team's cap ($438,502).

10:18 a.m.
For our younger readers...


The Sports Museum is now accepting entries for The 2008 Will McDonough Writing Contest. Students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to apply.  

The contest (the fourth annual) is named in honor of the long-time Boston Globe sports columnist. It is designed to encourage the development of language and writing skills while incorporating the topic of sports and such concepts as teamwork, responsibility, fairness, courage and determination. Students enter the contest by submitting an essay on one of several topics. Essays will be judged on topic development, organization, style and mechanics. Editors and writers from the Boston Globe will determine the winners.

The Sports Museum is asking principals and school administrators to let their teachers and students know about The 2008 Will McDonough Writing Contest. Applications and guidelines can also be downloaded off The Sports Museum’s website,  The deadline for submission is March 11, 2008. The winners will be announced via The Sports Museum’s website on March 25.
1st place winners will take part in an award ceremony at The Sports Museum within the TD Banknorth Garden and receive a $100 savings bond. Their guests, members of the Globe editorial staff and members of the McDonough family will be there to take part in the celebration. This year’s ceremony will take place prior to the Boston Celtics game on April 2nd.

If you have any questions about The 2008 Will McDonough Writing Contest, please call Michelle Gormley at (617) 624-1233.

12:16 p.m.
It looks like an optional practice here in Wilmo (where gas is down to $2.85).

Forwards Petteri Nokelainen, Vladimir Sobotka, Jeremy Reich, Shawn Thornton, Peter Schaefer, defenseman Mark Stuart and Bobby Allen are on the ice with goalies Tim Thomas and Alex Auld.

Coaches Ward, Houda and Essensa are in charge...

3:27 p.m.
Aaron Ward is on his way back to Boston.

"He's on his way now," said Coach Julien. "And I guess we'll evaluate him and see if everything is good and he is clear to go for Saturday."

Just his traveling home today is good news.

"Yah, it's a good sign. Yesterday was just a precautionary measure, as far as [flying]. The pressure up there, when you have a throat injury, can be a little risky, so we wanted to make sure we kept him under a bit of observation," said Coach.

And Chuck Kobasew?

"He's probably in the same situation as Ward," explained Julien of Chuck's timetable. "We're hoping to have them in the lineup on Saturday.

"Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to give you a definite answer."
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