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Bear Essentials: Three days out...

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Monday, June 17, 2008

10:55 a.m.

I'd be remiss if I didn't post the following:

Getliffe, second-oldest former NHL player, dead at 94
Associated Press Jun 16, 2008

Ray Getliffe, Photo: CHC
MONTREAL - Ray Getliffe, the hard-hitting forward credited with giving Canadiens teammate Maurice Richard the nickname "The Rocket," has died. He was 94 and the second-oldest living former NHL player.

Getliffe was about four months younger than Clint Smith, who played for the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Getliffe played 10 seasons with the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens from 1935-45. He died Sunday in London, Ontario, his son told The Canadian Press on Monday.

John Getliffe said his father felt he was fortunate to play the game for a decade.

"He enjoyed it all, it was a great experience and he always said if he had to do it all again, he'd do exactly the same thing," he said.

A native of Galt, Ontario, Ray Getliffe retired at 31 with 136 goals and 250 points in 393 games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 1939 and again with Montreal in 1944.

But his best-known contribution to hockey may have been the moniker he is credited with giving the great Richard in 1942.

"I was sitting on the bench during a practice with Murph Chamberlain and Phil Watson," Getliffe told the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup Journal three years ago. "(Elmer) Lach was on the ice with Richard and fed him a lovely pass.

"Richard got the puck and took off. I leaned over to Murph and said, 'Wow, Richard took off like a rocket!' Dink Carroll, he was a sportswriter with the (Montreal) Gazette, heard me and the next day in the paper wrote something about Richard skating like a rocket.

"It wasn't too long after that Dink was using the nickname 'The Rocket' when he was writing about Maurice Richard."

Getliffe is survived by his wife of 74 years, Lorna.

Our condolences to his family and friends. JB

11:26 a.m.

Hey! I just wanted to let you guys know that GM Peter Chiarelli is having a preplanned media conference call to discuss the upcoming NHL Entry Draft at 2 p.m.

We here at The Bear Essentials will surely have some stuff to report shortly afterward, so make sure to check in!

2:57 p.m.
Here is a just a snippet of the very informative teleconference with Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli.

His opening statement...
I think this draft is the deepest in awhile. We had heard that it would be, and it seems that it is, in fact deep...Our philosophy is to draft the best player available, and that may be a defenseman. But this might be a draft where we balance between our needs and the best player available, because of the depth of real good defensemen that are available. Speaking to that depth, I know over the course of the latter half of the year, our scouts had been clamoring (to get) multiple second round picks. That noise has been more frequent this year, as opposed to last year. I have seen the top 30 players, and...our scouts (think) that there are a good group of guys in the second round and maybe even the third round.  So I am excited about the draft....There is here is going to be some activity around it, and I look forward to the weekend. 

Blake Wheeler

On Blake Wheeler...
Blake told us yesterday that we are his number one choice and he intends to sign with us on July 1st. He has visited with us and, I guess, three or four other teams. And yesterday, we heard the news (that we were his choice). He is a big guy.  He played center last year, but I think he is a natural winger. He is strong on the puck; protects the puck very well. He is a charater kid. He is close to playing (in the NHL, but) you have to get your feet wet first, so we will see how it goes in camp. But he is a big strong kid who was very enthusiastic, and we are excited to have him.

On how obtaining Wheeler and Matt Marquardt might change what the B's do on draft day...
It (changes our philosophy) a little bit because we had to address size and skill on the wing, and that is certainly what Blake has. But the (players in this draft) are (born in the) 90's and I believe he is an 86, so there is a gap there as far as a development stage. Especially if we stay at (pick number) 16.  A guy that you get at 16 isn't likely to be a player that is ready to play any time soon, so you still have to fill in that gap in that four years...(It changes our philosophy) in terms of needs, but you still have to pay attention to the development schedule of the 90s (birthdays).

The GM spoke for quite a while, so keep it here for more. JB

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