- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Boston Bruins have created an intriguing television series called “Behind the B” and the first of 13 episodes did not disappoint.
NESN aired the premiere Monday night. It started with a great scene as coach Claude Julien addresses the team after its Game 6 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals.
Bruins players sat motionless and stunned in their locker room after giving up two goals in a span of 17 seconds late in the third period to lose the game and series. Julien told his team, “There’s nothing to be ashamed about.”
Julien added it was a tough way to finish the year and admitted that injuries were a key factor why the Bruins weren’t able to win their second title in a three-year span. He told his players not to forget the opportunity they earned and that they “did a hell of a job” and played their best hockey when it counted.
Witnessing what it was like for the players in the minutes following their loss was fascinating. From first-hand experience, it was nearly 30 minutes before members of the media were allowed into the Bruins locker room after Game 6 and most of the players were still sitting at their stalls in full uniform.
Later in the episode, we saw how Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli already began to prepare for the 2013-14 season before last season was complete. He spoke to his staff about the salary cap and it was quickly obvious that there would be certain players who would not return, including veteran defenseman Andrew Ference.
It also was obvious during the episode that the Bruins hockey operations staff believed there were “too many red flags” concerning forward Tyler Seguin and all agreed it was time to trade him.
At one point, assistant GM Jim Benning said, “We’re not babysitters.” He then added if Seguin gave the Bruins half of what the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane gave Chicago, Boston would have won the Stanley Cup.
The thought of trading Seguin, the organization’s No. 2 overall pick in 2010, was compared to the Bruins trading former goalie Andrew Raycroft to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Tuukka Rask, and the Phil Kessel trade to the Maple Leafs for a pair of first-round picks that turned into Seguin and defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
Chiarelli, his staff and Bruins president Cam Neely concluded that Seguin did not fit into the team’s culture and decided to trade him for the right price.
Prior to the trade, Chiarelli learned via Twitter that free agent forward Nathan Horton chose not to re-sign with the Bruins and would sign elsewhere. Chiarelli made Horton an offseason priority and was clearly disappointed when he did not return.
“F--- me,” Chiarelli said after he got off the phone with Horton’s agent, Paul Krepelka.
The rest of the episode revolved around newcomers Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson, along with the organization’s rookie development camp. It ended with goaltender Tuukka Rask participating in the Deutsche Bank Championship pro-am event at TPC Boston.
If you’re a Bruins fan, this is hockey reality television at it best.
5dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald