Bruins: Providence Bruins

Khokhlachev makes P-Bruins debut

March, 22, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Boston Bruins prospect Alexander Khokhlachev, known as "Koko," made his much-anticipated professional debut with the Providence Bruins on Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

"I thought he was OK," said P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy after Providence's 3-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. "He never got into the game, didn't get a feel for it."

Khokhlachev was thrown right into the mix and even worked on the power play.

"I was a little nervous before the game, but it was a good feeling to win in my first game," Khokhlachev said. "It's a big step for me and I'm really glad to be here now."

Boston selected Khokhlachev in the second round (40th overall) in the 2011 NHL entry draft. When the Bruins held their annual Black and White preseason scrimmage two years ago at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, Koko was one of the best players on the ice, and many people took notice.

A native of Moscow, Russia, the 5-foot-10, 172-pounder played the first half of the season for Moscow of the KHL before joining Team Russia for the World Junior Championship. He then returned to his junior team, the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. In 29 games, he scored 22 goals and added 26 assists for 48 points before he was assigned to Providence and made his pro debut Friday.

"It's been pretty hard to change leagues every three months," he said. "I played my first season in the KHL and it was a really good experience. After the World Juniors, I played two months in Windsor and now I'm here. I'm just trying hard wherever I play."

The Bruins also signed forward Alexander Fallstrom to an entry-level contract after he concluded his four-year collegiate career at Harvard a week ago. Fallstrom then signed an amateur tryout with the P-Bruins and he made his pro debut last Sunday.

"I'm really happy," he said prior to Friday's game. "This was my goal, something I've really wanted to do because I've heard other college players do the same thing, leave after their season ended, and it's something I wanted to do. I was really happy when Boston called.

"It all happened really fast, but it's been exciting. It's been a lot of fun. The guys are great and they've been taking care of me, and helping me figure everything out. It's been a great experience so far. It's a really good group of guys. As soon as you walk in the locker room you feel the winning mentality. It's a great group to be a part of."

Playing center on the P-Bruins' fourth line, Fallstrom posted an assist in his pro debut last Sunday.

"He was good," Cassidy said. "It was as advertised. He was good away from the puck. Not a terrific skater, but got to where he needed to go well. He's a bigger guy than you think. He's a good 6-foot-2. He's not the type of guy who's going to be a wrecking ball out there, but he went through some people's hands and took good angles."

The Bruins could envision Fallstrom as a Chris Kelly-type of player who has good instincts away from the puck and can chip in offensively.

P-Bruins drop opener to Manchester

October, 13, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Professional hockey is alive.

At least it is at the American Hockey League level, where the passion for the game was on display Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Providence Bruins hosted the Manchester Monarchs in the season opener, but the visiting team skated away with a 3-1 win.

It just so happens that both AHL affiliates are part of the past two Stanley Cup-winning teams, the Kings and the Bruins. With the current NHL lockout in progress and no hope of it ending any time soon, the AHL is loaded with young talent and future NHLers.

There's always strong attendance for P-Bruins games, but due to the lockout, it will be even better in 2012-13. The crowd outside the Dunk on Friday night was energized, and the fans continued to be excited because they were able to see a pro hockey game.

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien attended the game, which will be the norm until the NHL lockout ends and the Bruins are allowed to get back to work. For now, the team's coaching staff and management will heavily scout the players in Providence.

"It was good," Chiarelli said of watching a pro hockey game. "It was good to see kind of the fresh youngsters. I thought we had a really good start and we kind of got casual at the end. As far as watching it, it was great to see. It was good and as good as you can get right now."

P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy knows this will be an important season for his players, especially the prospects. Despite the team's loss in the first game of the season, the support from the fans was welcomed.

"The crowd always supports us," Cassidy said. "It's a crowd here, and we've got to start giving them something to cheer about. There are high expectations for home openers, and our season expectations are high. We didn't meet them tonight, and we'll learn from it."

"Ever since I've been here, we've had great crowds even when the NHL was going," P-Bruins captain Trent Whitfield said. "We've got a good hockey crowd here, and they understand the game. We've got to play together for 60 minutes. Tonight, I thought we played a strong 40, but 40 doesn't cut it, especially this year with all the talent in this league."

The Monarchs' Jordan Nolan was a member of the Cup-winning Kings this past spring. He should be defending that title, but that's not the case. He spent the summer celebrating the Cup win, but the 23-year-old forward also was hoping there would not be a work stoppage so the Kings could properly defend their title.

"Obviously it's disappointing," Nolan said. "You win a Stanley Cup, and the goal is to be in the NHL the following season and defend your title. I played here [in the AHL] for a year and a half, and I'm comfortable here. I know the team and I know the boys, so I'm excited to be here. There are a lot of guys sitting at home with no jobs, nowhere to go, and they're sitting and waiting. I'm fortunate to come here and work on my game. I'm still young. I'm trying to get better and develop. I feel pretty fortunate I get to come down here and play.

"It's definitely been tough. You spend your day with the Cup, and you want to be able to do that again and definitely defend your title. You've worked hard all summer, and all the boys were excited to come back and we were looking forward to the season. Then this happens, and it's definitely disappointing, and hopefully they can figure it out pretty soon and we can be back out there playing in the NHL."

With the P-Bruins holding a 1-0 lead late in the second period, the fans enjoyed the first fight of the season when Providence's Bobby Robbins dropped the gloves with Nolan at 14:02. The bout brought the crowd to its feet, and Robbins waved his hands toward the crowd as he skated to the penalty box.

The Dunkin' Donuts Center was abuzz because pro hockey is back. Until the lockout ends, this is going to be the best hockey fans will see in North America.

"This might be the only hockey we get so we might as well enjoy it," said Donnie from Taunton, Mass., who did not want to be identified by his last name. "I think more fans are going to lean towards this because people want to see hockey. I think the [NHL] should be playing while they figure all this out. Everyone wants to see hockey. I think they should be playing until they figure everything out."

Until then, fans can feast their eyes on the future and enjoy good hockey at the AHL level.

Bruins assign young players to Providence

September, 14, 2012
With the NHL lockout looming, the Boston Bruins assigned many of their young players and prospects to the AHL's Providence Bruins.

Joining Providence will be Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Button, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Colby Cohen, Tommy Cross, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Michael Hutchinson, Jared Knight, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Adam Morrison, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky.

Players such as the above who are on their entry-level contracts are eligible to be sent down without clearing waivers, meaning that teams could opt to do so with a young star player, such as the Bruins' Tyler Seguin.

But it seems unlikely the Bruins would go that route with Seguin, who on Tuesday signed a six-year, $34.5 million extension. The 2012-13 season would be the last on his original contract. He was not included in Friday's announcement by GM Peter Chiarelli.

On Friday evening, an NHL source told's James Murphy that "at this point, players such as Seguin who have played more than 160 games regardless of being on an entry level contract cannot be sent down to the AHL or sign a contract to play there during a lockout. But that could change as discussions are ongoing to determine their situation."

Players who are on two-way contracts also are eligible to be sent down upon clearing waivers, and the Bruins are doing so with Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson, Jamie Tardif and Trent Whitfield. These players can re-enter the NHL and join their old team without having to pass through re-entry waivers, provided it's done at least three days before the start of the season. The lockout is set to take effect at 11:59 ET Saturday unless a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached.

Meanwhile, Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was viewed as having a good shot to make Boston's roster in training camp, will be heading back to the Ontario Hockey League, as will 2012 first-round draft choice Malcolm Subban, who will be sent to the Belleville Bulls. Junior players such as Hamilton and Subban can reach an agreement with their teams at any time and return to the NHL.
MONTREAL – The Boston Bruins announced that the organization will not renew the contract of Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray.

Murray was hired as the P-Bruins coach on Aug. 21, 2008 after five seasons as an assistant captain for the team. As a head coach he posted a 117-103-20 record.

“I have known Rob for a long time because I’ve been a teammate of his as well, as a player and I know he’s very passionate, hardworking guy,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “And he puts everything into his work and I have always liked his approach to the game and coaching. So to me he’s been very helpful in working with our guys down there and certainly I liked working with him.”

Murray has been offered a scouting position with the Bruins.

“The Bruins organization has been tremendous to me,” he said. “Working closely with [Bruins assistant GM] Don Sweeney has been great. We’ve grown a good friendship and a good working relationship. He’s always been very supportive. The Bruins have been great and it was a good situation in Providence.”

Murray enjoyed a 16-year playing career in both the AHL and NHL. After playing 1,018 games in the American League, he decided to get into coaching. Former Bruins GM Mike O’Connell hired Murray at the urging of scout Sean Coady. Murray first served as Scott Gordon’s assistant in Providence.

“Realistically, you come out of playing and the first or second year out, in the back of your mind you think you can still play,” Murray said. “You never want to give up the dream. The first couple of years [being an assistant coach] sometimes I wanted to jump right on the ice and get the job done for the guys, opposed to coaching.”

Murray credits Gordon for helping him make the transition from playing to coaching.

“He led me the right way and I appreciate all the work and all the help he gave me through the years, especially never coaching before,” Murray said. “I always had in my thought process I wanted to coach, but until you really do it, you don’t know what you’re in for. He helped me bridge that cap between playing and coaching.”

After Gordon was named head coach for the New York Islanders, Murray was named head coach in Providence after five seasons as an assistant.

“I was confident in my ability to do it and I still am,” he said. “I have no regrets with the way I coached and how it worked out. It’s unfortunate it’s come to an end at this point.”

The Bruins organization knows Murray is a valuable asset and character guy, so he’s been asked to stay on as a scout. But coaching remains a passion and a goal for him.

“It’s something that I want to continue to do,” he said. “Where and when I’m not sure. It’s something I definitely want to continue to do and I have the utmost confidence in my ability to do it. I would like to keep coaching and hopefully something comes along.”

While behind the bench in Providence, Murray helped develop many of the current Bruins players, including defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

“He’s a great coach,” said Boychuk. “He develops guys well, and does a good job to push guys and try to get them to the next level.”

Bruins sign three to ATOs

April, 6, 2011
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins officially announced the signings of Carter Camper, Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner to amateur tryout agreements. All three will make their pro debuts this weekend with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.

Camper, 21, is an undrafted product out of Miami University and posted 183 points in 156 games during his four-year collegiate career.

Knight, 19, was Boston’s second-round pick (32nd overall) in last June’s NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Spooner, 19, was the Bruins’ second-round pick (45th overall) in last year’s draft. He split the 2010-11 season between the Peterborough Petes and Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL and posted 81 points in 64 regular-season games.

Bruins sign Warsofsky

March, 24, 2011
BOSTON -- The Bruins have agreed to terms with Boston University junior
David Warsofsky to an entry-level contract. He will report to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.

The 20-year-old defenseman appeared in 34 games this season for the
Terriers and posted 7 goals and 15 assists for 22 points. In three seasons with the Terriers, Warsofsky had 22 goals and 46 assists for 68 points and 122 PIM in 113 games.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound native of Marshfield, Mass., was originally selected
by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2008
NHL Entry Draft. His rights were acquired by the Bruins on June 26, 2010
from the Blues in exchange for Vladimir Sobotka.

During his freshman season at BU in 2008-09, Warsofsky won a National
Championship, Hockey East Championship, and Beanpot Championship. Prior
to BU, he captained the US National Under-18 team in 2007-08.

Bruins recall Caron from Providence

February, 7, 2011
BOSTON -- The Bruins have recalled Jordan Caron from Providence of the AHL. The 20-year-old forward will join the Bruins at practice on Tuesday.

Caron began the season with Boston and played 20 games, posting three goals and four assists until he was assigned to the P-Bruins on Dec. 6. The rookie has played in 27 games for Providence and has registered 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points.

The Bruins selected him in the first round (25th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Bruins' Kampfer named AHL All-Star

January, 11, 2011
BOSTON -- Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara weren’t the only Bruins players to be named All-Stars on Tuesday.

While Boston’s goaltender and captain will be heading to Raleigh, N.C., for the NHL All-Star game on Jan. 30, rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer was named an AHL All-Star on Tuesday.

Kamper, who has played 15 games for the Bruins since his recall from Providence on Dec. 8, was informed of his AHL nomination by P-Bruins coach Rob Murray.

“It’s exciting to be named to the All-Star game for the AHL,” said Kampfer. “It’s exciting, but obviously you want to stay here and hope that you’re up here during that week.

“If you’re going to miss an All-Star game, I think that’s the only one you want to miss because you’re [in the NHL]. At the same time, it’s an honor being named and I’m happy for every other guy who was named as well.”

It’s a safe bet Kampfer will remain in Boston and the AHL will have to find a replacement for him.

Whitfield clears waivers

January, 7, 2011
WILMINGTON, Mass. – The Boston Bruins announced this morning that forward Trent Whitfield has cleared waivers and will be assigned to the Providence Bruins of the AHL, pending a physical.

Whitfield, a veteran of 13 pro seasons and second in the Bruins organization, ruptured his Achilles tendon last summer and he’s been out indefinitely. He has been practicing with the P-Bruins and earlier this week showed no ill effects from his injury.

Whitfield, 33, has played a total of 193 career NHL games with the Capitals, Rangers, Blues and Bruins.

Bruins recall Arniel from Providence

November, 27, 2010
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins have recalled forward Jamie Arniel from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis, and he will join the team on its trip to Atlanta.

Bruins forwards David Krejci and Jordan Caron did not practice Saturday because of the flu.

This is Arniel's second recall to Boston. He was brought up on Nov. 9 and was a healthy scratch against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 21-year-old forward has played in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season and has registered 9 goals, 7 assists for 16 points.

Brian McGrattan assigned to Providence

October, 29, 2010
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Boston Bruins have assigned forward Brian McGrattan to Providence for a three-game conditioning stint.

He is scheduled to play all three games for the P-Bruins this weekend, and he said he’s excited for the opportunity to play in some games. He will return the Bruins on Monday.

The Bruins signed the 29-year-old tough guy as a free agent earlier this month and he’s been a healthy scratch for all seven regular season games. He did play in two preseason exhibition games for Boston, but his last real game action was with the Calgary Flames last February.

“I want to come down here and get my legs going in a game situation,” McGrattan said. “I haven’t played too much in the last 6 or 7 months. I’m looking forward to coming down here and playing. I’ll use these three games as a stepping stone to get in the [Bruins’] lineup.”

Shawn Thornton currently occupies the Bruins’ enforcer role, and Boston’s fourth line of Thornton, Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell has been playing well this season. The Bruins are 5-2-0, so for anyone to crack into the lineup at this point could be difficult.

To say McGrattan and Thornton have been in a tussle or two during their respective careers would be a huge understatement. In fact, one of McGrattan’s first pro fights was against Thornton. It was during the 2002-2003 season when McGrattan was playing in the AHL for the Binghamton Senators. Thornton was with the Chicago Blackhawks, but got sent down to their affiliate, Norfolk Admirals.

“He gave it to me,” McGrattan remembers. “He was pissed off because he just got sent down.”

The pugilist’s fraternity is a close one, and now that both are on the same team, they’re hanging out, laughing and joking with one another.

“It’s been good,” McGrattan said. “He’s been one of the guys who talks to me the most on the team, and we’ve had a pretty good connection so far. I’m just looking forward to getting in the lineup.”

McGrattan has played in 182 games in the NHL, splitting time between the Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes and Ottawa Senators. He made his NHL debut with the Senators during the 2005-2006 season, and spent last winter with the Flames, playing in 34 games with 86 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder still owns the AHL record for penalty minutes in a season with 551 in 71 games during the 2004-2005 season as a member of the Binghamton Senators.

McGrattan has a working relationship with Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli from their days with the Ottawa Senators.

“It’s been great,” McGrattan said of his brief time in Boston. “Coaches have been great, management has been great and I’m just looking forward to getting in the lineup.”

The P-Bruins will host the Albany Devils tonight (7:05) at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. They’ll will travel to Worcester on Saturday to play the Sharks, before returning home on Sunday to host Worcester.

Bruins recall four players from Providence

April, 13, 2010
The Boston Bruins have recalled four players from their AHL affiliate in Providence: Forwards Drew Larman, Mikko Lehtonen, Maxime Sauve and goaltender Dany Sabourin.

All four players, including Zach Hamill, who was called up last Saturday, will continue to skate in Providence while the Bruins open the 2010 playoffs in Buffalo against the Sabres. All five players will be available to participate in Bruins practices during the playoffs and be available for the Bruins playoff roster.

There may be additional players recalled subject to players’ availability, according to a team release.

Penner, Hamill called up

April, 10, 2010
The Bruins have recalled defenseman Jeff Penner and forward Zach
Hamill from the Providence Bruins (AHL). Both players
will join the team for the trip to Washington, D.C., and be available for Sunday’s game against the Capitals, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli.

This is the first recall to Boston for Hamill, 21, who was selected by the Bruins in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2007 draft.

Penner, 22, was signed by Boston as a free agent in March
2008 after spending the 2007-08 season at the University of
Alaska-Fairbank. He made his NHL debut on March 9 against the Maple Leafs.

Bruins recall defenseman Bodnarchuk

April, 3, 2010
The Boston Bruins have recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from Providence on an emergency basis. He will join the Bruins in Toronto.

The 21-year-old Bodnarchuk has skated in 70 games with Providence this season, posting five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. He is ranked second on the team with a plus-7 rating.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder was selected by Boston in the fifth round (128th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

P-Bruins goalie Regan to have hip surgery

April, 2, 2010
PROVIDENCE -- Providence Bruins goaltender and South Boston native Kevin Regan will miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury. He is scheduled to have surgery later this month.

The 25-year-old had a similar procedure on his other hip last spring. A product of the University of New Hampshire, Regan was selected by the Bruins in the ninth round (277th overall) in the 2003 draft.

During practice early this week, Regan told P-Bruins coach Rob Murray that the pain was so bad that he couldn’t finish practice. Regan's contract is up at the end of this season. He is 10-7-2 with a 2.84 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 22 career games for Providence.

As a result of Regan’s injury, the P-Bruins have signed former UMass-Lowell goaltender Nevin Hamilton to a professional tryout.