Wides checked in...
I just got off the phone with Dennis Wideman -- look for that piece to be up tomorrow morning.
Wideman sounded good -- great actually. But when I asked him how he had been doing on the golf course, he said that he hadn't been able to play quite as much golf as he would have liked this summer.
"The last month and a half I've been playing quite a bit, but before that I hadn’t played much," he said. "I’ve had a lot of weddings and stuff this summer."
Then #6 really started talking about golf.
"I love the golf course," he said. "I would play everyday if I could."
"The thing about golf, for me, is that you never win," continued Wideman. "The only way you’re gonna win the game of golf, [especially] when you’re playing by yourself, is if you birdie every hole.
"That’s never gonna happen."
"You can always get better you can always improve. That’s what I love about the game," he said.
But Wides also loves hockey, too. And, clearly, he's almost ready for the season.
|Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, right, is congratulated by Wideman. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
"Going to the rink everyday and going through the grind of a full season -- it's always exciting," he said. "To be at the rink is probably the main thing, and being around the guys.
"There's a lot of down time during the summer and sometimes I sit around saying I wouldn’t mind going to the rink right now and going to practice.
"It's good to be around that many people and close friends like that for such a long time."
Wideman also explained that he thinks that the Bruins learned quite a bit from last spring.
"We’re still a pretty young team," he said. "A lot of our guys, including myself, haven’t played a lot of playoff games.
"We had a big layoff in between the rounds and I think we got out of our playoff mentality and it took us a few games to get it back and hopefully we can learn from that.
"You have to keep mentally sharp."
Jacobs to Speak to Felger
Today, 98.5 The Sports Hub
, the B's new radio home, will host Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs this afternoon.
Afternoon host Michael Felger will speak with Mr. Jacobs today at 3:00 p.m.
The Sports Hub will begin streaming their programming online at 1:00 p.m. Click here
to check out The Sports Hub homepage and listen to a stream.
8:42 a.m. Just thinking ahead...
Prior to the July 1st deadline, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli outlined his hopes for the free agency period.
"If I can afford it, I’d like a top-4 defenseman," he said. "And I’d like another big physical forward."
Done and complet. Enter Derek Morris. Entrée Steve Begin.
Begin, a surprise pick up that will no doubt help Boston fill the voids left by veteran forwards Stephane Yelle and P.J. Axelsson, arrived first.
"He’s a real physical guy," said Chiarelli of Begin late on July 1. "He’s not huge, but he’s big enough at 6’ 200 pounds. And he makes up for it in the way that he plays.
"He has a history with Claude [Julien]…and I remembered him playing in the Calder Cup for the St. John’s Flames. He’s a tremendous, tremendous competitive player and person, kills penalties, will fill a role and has some energy."
On July 25th Chiarelli added Morris, a veteran defenseman, who most recently played for the Rangers.
"We are very excited to have him on board," said the B's GM. "Derek is a right-shot defenseman who’s got considerable offensive skills.
"He can play both sides. He has a very thick, strong body, [and a] very competitive edge.
"And he can move a puck, can find a seam and we feel that he’s an upgrade to our defense."
Thankful that Chiarelli signed them to a contract, both men explained that they couldn't be happier to be in Black & Gold.
"I chose Boston," said the Quebec-born Begin on July 1. "I know Claude Julien. He coached me before in Montreal for two years.
"I like Claude, he’s a great coach and I looked at the Boston Bruins where they have a great team, and it seemed like a pretty good match.
"So it was an easy choice for me," he said.
Begin was asked if it would be a strange transition. After all, he was at the center of the Boston/Montreal rivalry for several years with altercations with Marc Savard
and Shawn Thornton
coming to mind.
"That’s going to be fun to have them on my side now and me on their side," said Begin of his former foes, now teammates, in Boston. "So that’s why I’m pretty excited too.
"Like I said with Montreal, the games are always big and the games are always very important, and it’s fun to be on the other side now."
Thornton, in particular, agreed. During his recent online chat on BostonBruins.com, Thornton wrote: “Any time I have played against a guy that I despised playing against, that usually means that he's a guy you want on your team. I am excited to be playing with him.”
Certainly, the Bruins will be excited to play alongside Morris, as well. Morris is durable (and has missed just seven games over the past three seasons) and his career NHL totals to date are 76 goals and 264 assists for 340 points with 794 penalty minutes in 793 games.
Morris, a free agent pickup like Begin, called Boston an "opportunity to come into a situation that most hockey players dream about.
"The biggest thing for me obviously as a hockey player -- a little bit selfishly -- [is that] you’re looking for an opportunity with a chance to win," continued Morris. "I had a few other calls from other teams that I was entertaining but once I got a call from Peter with the Boston Bruins it pretty much made my decision very easy.
|Morris (53) reaches out for a pass. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) |
"I know a lot of people from Boston, I realize the history there. I realize how tight everybody is, how passionate they are about hockey and I think being a hockey player you want to be around that."
The city, itself, was a huge draw for Morris.
"Boston is a city that’s in it’s own [league]," he said. "Every time we came into the city from another city, players are just abuzz about how beautiful it is downtown, how passionate the people are.
"I know a few people from Boston that are really tight to their families, which I think most of us are. And you look for that as an opportunity to have a place where schooling’s great, obviously for my kids.
"My wife’s going to love the city. She’s going to love the people," he said.
And having the team going in the right direction sealed the deal for both men.
"The team’s where I think it should be,” said Morris. “And as a player you don’t [only] look at it like, ‘Oh I’m going to go there because now the team’s the best.’
“You’re going there because you love the city and the opportunity is there for the chance to win the cup.
"Like I said earlier, that’s what you dream of as a player -- opportunities like that – and when they come by you don’t like to let them slip."
Begin was a little more succinct.
"I'm going to be on the right side now," he said.