June 26, 2013

What we've learned from Bruins' breakup day

By Jesse Connolly

After becoming an integral part of the team and dedicating countless hours to the Boston community, saying goodbye will be tough for defenseman Andrew Ference. (Getty Images)

The Bruins cleaned out their lockers at TD Garden Wednesday and unveiled who's been hurting and who won't be back next season. Here are the top tidbits from breakup day (written in a just-the-facts, more-insight-to-be-provided-later fashion, for the record):

* Patrice Bergeron has been under observation at a nearby hospital since the conclusion of Game 6. The center played Monday night's game with a fractured rib and torn rib cartilage. During the game, he suffered a separated shoulder.

What's worse, is those injuries directly led to Bergeron suffering a punctured lung. GM Peter Chiarelli described it as a "small hole" but said No. 37 is "fine now." Bergeron spoke with the media prior to leaving the building after Game 6.

According to Chiarelli, Bergeron had a nerve frozen (!) in order to play through the pain in what proved to be Boston's season-ending loss.

* Andrew Ference will not be a member of the 2013-14 Boston Bruins. The veteran defenseman, who was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames during the 2006-07 season, is set to become an unrestricted free agent. 

"With the current cap, Peter [Chiarelli] is not going to be able to keep me," said Ference, who earned $2.25 million annually on his recent three-year deal. "He's got to re-sign Tuukka [Rask] and obviously do his side of the business. With the new CBA, he is restricted. I wish it wasn't so."

Throughout his six-plus seasons with the club, Ference played in 373 regular-season games, notching 94 points. 

* Captain Zdeno Chara, who struggled during the Stanley Cup Final, has been battling a hip flexor, according to Chiarelli. The general manager described the ailment as "pretty potent."

* Future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr will not be re-signed. The 41-year-old veteran forward had 10 points (all assists) in 22 playoff tilts for the B's.

* Nathan Horton said he's loved his time in Boston, but he didn't want to provide any insight into his contract talks. "I can't predict what's going to happen," Horton said. 

Regarding Horton, Chiarelli said he'd "like to have him back." The GM also stated No. 18 was the only Bruin who needs surgery (shoulder).

* Many have suspected that Anton Khudobin would be leaving after one full season with the big club, as Niklas Svedberg provides a cheaper option to back up Tuukka Rask, following his sensational season in the AHL.

But, hold it right there, says Chiarelli. The general manager said he told Khudobin to let him "get Tuukka figured out first," then they'll get to him.

* Dennis Seidenberg had been nursing a groin injury since the first round. He also has a bone spur in his elbow.

* Defenseman Wade Redden's status is in limbo. Chiarelli said keeping the veteran rearguard remains a possibility. Redden came over at the deadline from St. Louis and played well in limited action, including at the start of the Toronto series in the first round.

* Burlington, Mass., native Jay Pandolfo will not be back and is leaning toward retiring. The 38-year-old forward had zero points in 18 regular-season games for the Bruins. Pandolfo is a veteran of 899 NHL contests. He won two Stanley Cups in New Jersey.

"Being a kid from Boston, I was happy to have a chance to play for them," Pandolfo said of being a Bruin.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com