— The Boston Bruins are less than two weeks from their season opener and Anders Bjork (shoulder surgery in February) still hasn’t played in a preseason game. Didn’t participate in contact drills in practice the other day. Looks to me like he will start the season in Providence.
— Curt Bennett is in the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame now, but why isn’t he in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame?
Yes, he was born in Canada, but moved to the U.S. permanently as a young child and grew up and was trained as a player in Rhode Island.
He’s undoubtedly qualified. At a time when the NHL was almost exclusively Canadian, he posted back-to-back seasons of more than 30 goals in the mid-1970s.
He was American enough to play for the U.S. in the 1976 Canada Cup and in the world championships in 1978 and 1979.
The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2018 class has already been chosen and will be inducted in December.
But when the nomination window opens again on Jan. 1, 2019, I’ll be submitting Curt’s name. He should be in.
— With the announcement this week of staff changes, it appears the Bruins have parted ways with strength/conditioning coaches Mike Macchioni (Boston) and Garrett McDonough (Providence). If true, it’s too bad. Mac and G are first-rate professionals and all-around good guys.
— It’s the preseason and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is already minus-1 after its handling of Max Domi’s punchout of Aaron Ekblad.
— Strong week for recruiters Kris Mayotte and Ron Rolston at Providence College and Jason Guerriero and James Marcou at Brown University.
These guys are tireless. Mayotte and Rolston are in British Columbia this weekend. Marcou recently spent a week in western Canada.
The Friars received verbal commits this week from ’01 defenseman Cam McDonald of Muskegon of the USHL and ’02 forward Chase Yoder of the NTDP U17.
McDonald comes from good bloodlines. His father Reid played at Michigan Tech and uncle Brian Swanson played 70 NHL games with Edmonton and the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Bears landed ’00 Salisbury School defenseman Luke Krys and ’98 defenseman James Crossman of Odessa of the NAHL.
Krys’ father Mark was an original Providence Bruin in 1992-93. His older brother Chad plays for Boston University.
— The Providence College hockey family was shaken by the death of Mark ‘Roo’ Adams at age 27 on Monday. He played on PC’s 2015 national champs.
I came away from every conversation I ever had with Roo with a smile on my face. That’s the kind of kid he was.
A celebration of his life will be held on Monday night at 6 at The Golf Club at Turner Hill in Ipswich, Mass.
Deepest condolences to Roo’s family.
— It was fun to listen to lively 94-year-old Ralph Warburton on Thursday night when he was the first to be honored at Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinement. The back rink at Thayer Arena in Warwick is named after him. He is a treasure.
— Thursday was Guy Lafleur’s 67th birthday. I watched him carve up the Bruins and every other NHL team countless times during his brilliant career. Meeting him at a house party in North Smithfield in June was one of the high points of my summer. Happy birthday, Flower.