Jamming the crease (cont.)
Posted: Friday November 9, 2007 1:32PM; Updated: Friday November 9, 2007 3:37PM
If anyone was keeping a candle lit for the speedy return of Boston forward Patrice Bergeron, yesterday's solemn press conference should have doused it. When three spotlights for local TV cameras in the room are noted as a hazard to his comfort, you get a sense of just how far away he is from returning to action.
Meeting with the media for the first time since he was the victim of a brutal hit-from-behind delivered by Philly's Randy Jones, Bergeron described himself as feeling dizzy when he walks and said he has trouble performing everyday activities. Wearing a neck brace and hunching awkwardly, he said he still feels a lot of symptoms from the concussion he suffered on the play, but he remains positive about his future.
"I'm sure I'll be back," he said. "But right now, my goal is to feel better as a person."
That had to be a positive message for his teammates, but you have to think that the Bruins, who've been held to just one goal in each of their last three games, and six of their last nine, will continue to struggle without Bergeron's contributions. Call-ups from Providence -- diminutive center Vladimir Sobotka is an intriguing option -- are the first course of action, but it wouldn't surprise anyone to see another one of those Bruins panic deals that have generously improved the fortunes of so many other teams around the league.
Flames to cook up deal?
Now that the Blues and Avs have cracked the ice with the season's first trade -- Thursday's blockbuster that saw 2001 first-rounder Jason Bacashihua go from St. Louis to Colorado in exchange for a 2008 seventh-rounder -- we can probably expect a few more teams to tinker with faulty formulas.
One club that should be active: the Calgary Flames.
Losers of four straight and participants for maybe 20 minutes in each of those contests, the Flames are a team that has yet to become comfortable with the demands of Mike Keenan. To the fiery coach's credit, he's been patient during the process, allowing his players time to adjust. But it's becoming clear that not everyone is on board, and a shakeup seems inevitable.
Stephane Yelle, a solid defensive player who could add something to any team's penalty kill, could be available. Center Craig Conroy, who has just two goals this season despite playing alongside Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay for long stretches, is another candidate. His contract brings a $2.85 million hit, but it only goes through this season and becomes more manageable for another team to assume with each passing day. Calgary would like to add scoring (who wouldn't?), but might be willing to take on a veteran forward with leadership experience and a winning background.
Atlanta's Bobby Holik, perhaps?
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