Toucher & Rich

BOSTON (CBS) — We may still be experiencing some summer weather, but make no mistake — winter is coming, and with it will be the 2014-15 Boston Bruins season.

With training camp officially kicking off Thursday, Toucher & Rich welcomed CSNNE Bruins insider Joe Haggerty to the program to discuss the upcoming season, go up and down the roster, lay out expectations, delve into some of last year’s locker room issues, and more.

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Haggerty’s lines to start the season would look like this:





“Hayes scored 19 goals last year. I think they’re expecting him to provide a lot offensively as one of their better offensive players,” Haggerty said. “I don’t see him as a fourth liner. They made a trade and they signed him to a multi-year contract. He’s not a fourth-line player.”

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Haggerty also discussed his story which detailed the locker room divide in last year’s team.

“The two players that I mentioned most prominently as having a disconnect and being divided from the rest of the team were Reilly Smith and Dougie Hamilton,” said Haggerty. “I think that was a big part of what was going on. I had multiple people around the organization tell me after the season was over — and this is just an example of what was going on — the Bruins had a get-together in Vegas. … It was sort of a last hurrah get-together for that team, and they decided to do it in Las Vegas. Everybody that was on the team went, except for two people. The only two people that didn’t go were Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith. … I think it’s indicative of the separation that those players had from the team.

“Togetherness is a very important thing with a hockey club, and I think from that respect, a lot of their teammates probably felt like they were separating themselves from the group,” Haggerty continued. “And by the same token, if those players aren’t showing up for something like that to be with their teammates after the season is over while everybody else is, it speaks to them having maybe issues with the team as well or just not wanting to be with their teammates. And I think that’s indicative of a huge problem within the dressing room.”

With both players now traded away, Rich raised concerns that this is another example of players being smeared after their departure, but Haggerty said he’s simply stating what happened.

“The Bruins made like five different contract offers to Dougie Hamilton during this whole negotiating period. They never got a response from him. There was an imminent threat of [another team issuing] an offer sheet, and they were getting no real contact or assurances from Dougie’s side of the fence,” Haggerty said. “All signs pointed to the Bruins — and in hindsight, they continue to think — that Dougie Hamilton just didn’t want to be there anymore. And his behavior toward the end of the year, separating himself from the team, his actions during negotiations about a contract, I think they all said the same things.

“And I think within that dressing room, guys like Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, what they want to do is they want to win. They want to get back in the playoffs and they want to get over last year and not have a repeat of that, and they want to remove whatever they saw as the problem on last year’s team that created that soft, wishy-washy team that didn’t have the swagger and the attitude and the toughness that you needed. I think players like Reilly Smith and players like Dougie Hamilton did not play Bruins-style hockey, were not willing to pay the price.”

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Listen to the full interview with Haggerty below.