In The Cards: Looking back on Orr’s Blackhawk days

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One of the biggest free agent deals took place when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Bobby Orr away from the Boston Bruins in June 1976. Orr’s time in Chicago was a forgettable end to his legacy, which also resulted in two terrible hockey cards. For their 1976-77 sets, Topps and O-Pee-Chee — not yet possessing a photo of Orr with Chicago — awkwardly painted a ‘Hawks uniform onto a picture of the superstar, complete with a doctored logo. Despite the injury-plagued Orr playing 20 games that season, the card companies didn’t bother getting an up-to-date picture, and again painted ‘Hawks colors on Orr’s photo for their 1977-78 sets. It was almost convincing, too, until you notice that he’s sitting on the bench next to a Bruins player. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueline buzz as free agency continues

Christian Ehrhoff (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets could add a veteran defenseman before the start of 2015-16. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports sources claiming Jackets management have had discussions with free-agent blueliner Christian Ehrhoff, who’s coming off a one-year, $4-million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Portzline suggests a deal between the Blue Jackets and the 33-year-old Ehrhoff is possible, provided the latter remains on the free-agent market long enough to drive down his asking price. Despite missing 33 games last season due to head injuries, the puck-moving rearguard could help the Blue Jacket’s power play.

The Jackets only have around $3.6 million in cap space for 2015-16, which Portzline believes is why they’re willing to be patient in their dealings with Ehrhoff. He also notes several other defensemen, including Andrej Meszaros, Cody Franson and Marek Zidlicky are available, but hasn’t yet confirmed if the Jackets are interested in them. Read more

Cody Franson says he’s waiting on right fit, sick of one-year deals

Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

If you were wondering what has taken so long for defenseman Cody Franson to sign a new contract, you’re not alone. Franson himself seems to be getting impatient.

In an interview with TSN 1040 in Vancouver, Franson opened an interview with questions about his contract and when hosts Matt Sekeres and Jeff Paterson remark that they thought Franson would have a contract by now, the unrestricted free agent blueliner said they weren’t the only ones.

“You and me both,” remarked Franson. Read more

Bruins prospect DeBrusk goes behind the back for slick shootout goal

Jared Clinton
Jake DeBrusk's brilliant shootout goal. (via Boston Bruins/Instagram)

It’s almost a shame that the NHL is changing its overtime rules in order to limit the amount of game-deciding shootouts, because it looks like there are some young up-and-comers who have quite the repertoire of moves.

Throughout prospect camp, we’ve been dazzled by shootout or breakaway goals from the likes of Carolina’s Sergey Tolchinsky and Minnesota’s Alex Tuch, but Boston prospect Jake DeBrusk brought out something special Friday afternoon at the Bruins’ prospect camp.

During a shootout competition, the 18-year-old DeBrusk went behind his back, behind his legs and snapped the puck up and over the netminder. Check it out, via MassLive.com: Read more

How would life be different for the Maple Leafs and Bruins had Toronto won Game 7?

Ryan Kennedy
The Boston Bruins celebrate their Game 7 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

With 3:35 left in Game 7, Matt Frattin had a chance to bury the Bruins. Taking advantage of a fumbling Dougie Hamilton, Frattin stripped the Boston defenseman at the Toronto blueline and charged up the ice with the opportunity to extend what was already a shocking 4-2 lead for the Maple Leafs. But Frattin’s backhand attempt went wide of Tuukka Rask’s net, and the Bruins weren’t dead yet.

You know what happened next.

Boston scored twice in the waning minutes to send the game into overtime, then broke the hearts of Leafs Nation when Patrice Bergeron pounded a rebound past a prone James Reimer. The Bruins, heavy favorites entering the series, narrowly escaped a massive first-round upset. Boston went on to lose in the 2013 Stanley Cup final. Read more

Bruins make savvy signing, ink Irwin to one-year deal

Jared Clinton
Matt Irwin (Rocky W. Widner/Getty Images)

With Dougie Hamilton gone from Boston and the Bruins lacking depth on the blueline, it was evident that GM Don Sweeney needed to pick up some help on defense. Sweeney found that help Friday, inking Matt Irwin to a one-year, $800,000 deal.

The signing of Irwin won’t necessarily have Beantown and its faithful parading in the streets, but it’s a solid, savvy signing by the Bruins, one that automatically improves the defense corps and provides Boston with a solid, depth defenseman. That’s exactly what Boston needed, too.

Behind the top-four consisting of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid, the Bruins’ defense was sorely lacking. While it’s not a knock against Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman or Colin Miller, the four have a combined 132 games of NHL experience. Irwin, who has spent most of the past three seasons in San Jose, has 153 games. While experience doesn’t always win out over skill, having Irwin, who has adjusted to the NHL game and won’t have to be broken in come October, is a boon to the Bruins backend.

It also helps there’s a lot more than simply experience to Irwin’s game, too. Read more

Jimmy Hayes to wear No. 11 with Bruins to honor late friend

Jared Clinton
Jimmy Hayes' No. 11 Bruins jersey. (via Boston Bruins)

Generally, when a player comes to a new team, they only switch their jersey number for one of a few reasons: it’s a number they had wanted previously but couldn’t wear, someone on the new club is wearing their favorite sweater number or there’s a retired jersey preventing the number from being worn.

The reason for newly acquired Boston Bruin Jimmy Hayes is entirely different.

For the past two seasons in Florida, Hayes has proudly worn the No. 12, but his new start in Boston is going to see him don a new number and he’ll do so proudly, knowing he’s paying tribute to a lost friend.

Hayes and the Bruins announced Wednesday that he will wear No. 11 in 2015-16 to honor the life of Corey Griffin, a friend of Hayes’ who passed away last summer. Read more