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|All eyes will be on Milan Lucic, who just signed an extension for $6 million per season over three seasons and is coming off a rough playoffs.|
Q. I know people are excited about Zdeno Chara and Hamilton playing together, but do you think there's any concern about having two guys that are that big -- and maybe not quite as quick -- on the ice at the same time? -- JT (Hartford, Conn.)
A. It appears that won't be the case, as head coach Claude Julien has paired Dougie Hamilton up with Dennis Seidenberg throughout camp and plans on keeping it that way to start the season. I do agree with you, though, that a Chara-Hamilton pairing wouldn't have been a great idea, if not for the reasons you mentioned, also for the fact that it would put too much pressure on Hamilton to start his NHL career playing with a future Hall of Famer like Chara.
Q. Do you think David Krejci is ever going to develop into the 80- to 85-point-per-year player a lot of us thought he'd be? Or is he just not consistent enough to reach that level? -- Jim P. (Springfield, Mass.)
A. I think I got this question in a mailbag just prior to the start of last season, and at that time, I thought Krejci was poised to become that 80- to 85-point-per-year player in the 2011-12 season. He was coming off an amazing playoff performance with 23 points in 25 games in the Bruins' Stanley Cup run, and the time seemed right for him to continue that success. But as you pointed out, he had some bad streaks and just never seemed to take it to the next level. While this is a shortened season and hard to evaluate, I believe Krejci will have a strong season because I really think he is motivated by the doubt and trade rumors surrounding him. He has a chip on his shoulder, and I think it will translate into a big season. Q. Do you think the Bruins are comfortable with Anton Khudobin as the backup or do you think they're keeping their eyes open for other options? -- Rick (Boston) A. Rick, based on the recent focus on building goaltending depth, I feel the Bruins are always keeping their eyes open for help between the pipes, and that isn't necessarily a reflection on their current goalies, like Khudobin. That being said, everyone from management to scouts to coaches that I have spoken to regarding Khudobin raves about him and believes he can handle a solid workload if needed. I think they're very confident with a Khudobin-Tuukka Rask tandem, and should either Rask or Khudobin falter, Nicklas Svedberg has played well and in my eyes could be a future star in the NHL. Q. Will Seguin be a wing again or center this year? -- Mike C. (N. Kingstown, R.I.)
A. Mike, Tyler Seguin will be a wing to start the season, and even if there is some line shuffling to be done, I still see him remaining on the wing. He found success there last season, and the Bruins like the defensive responsibility it teaches him. The Bruins are so deep at center, so unless they trade a pivot, Seguin will be riding the wing.Q. Any chance Ryan Spooner makes an impact with the Bruins this season? -- Kelly J. (Portland, Maine) A. Kelly, I said in my 2013 Bruins predictions that Spooner would make the team instead of Jordan Caron, and thanks to Caron's current injury, Spooner was given that chance. Now I'm not saying he won't later in the season, but Spooner failed to prove me right and was sent down to Providence on Thursday. I still hold out hope Spooner reads our blog, though, and makes me look smart!
Q. Given GM Peter Chiarelli's history in Ottawa, do you think he attempts to reunite Chara and Wade Redden as a defensive pairing? -- Brian (Portsmouth, N.H.)A. Brian, I have been campaigning for this reunion on Twitter, and I do think there is a chance this happens. Redden just cleared waivers and is an unrestricted free agent. An NHL team can definitely get him for cheap right now, and based on the familiarity there, I could see Chiarelli at least looking into this if he hasn't already.