WASHINGTON - APRIL 11: Zach Hamill #52 of the Boston Bruins warms up before the game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on April 11, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
When the Bruins announced that center Zach Hamill had been recalled from the Providence Bruins after last night's game, most B's fans assumed that this move was an insurance policy in case Daniel Paille was suspended for his questionable hit on Dallas Stars forward Raymond Sawada. Moments later, we would learn that this move was made earlier in the day and had nothing to do with Paille's pending suspension. This certainly raised some eyebrows around The Hub of Hockey.
So, why did the Bruins called up a centerman, who has just 3 AHL goals this season when center is their strongest position? Is this just a depth move to give Claude Julien more options when posting his game night roster? Is this to give them more speed in the lineup? Are the B's trying to get a set-up man in the line-up now that Marc Savard is out? Do they think that a cup of coffee with the big club will motivate him? Did they do it so Wheeler and Seguin can play wing? Are they rewarding Hamill for his recent improved play in Providence? I say dig deeper.
Zach Hamill was drafted 8th overall by the Bruins in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Peter Chiarelli's first draft as General Manager of the Boston Bruins. Clearly, the expectations were high for the kid from British Columbia and Hamill looked poised to make the jump to the pro game fairly quickly. Media and fans both have marveled at Hamill's performances in rookie camps and training camps, but for whatever reason Hamill's talent has never translated to success at the AHL level. I'm sure most fans thought they would be seeing Zach Hamill in a Spoked-B and not a Spoked-P at this point in his career.
Hamill is in his fourth AHL season in Providence and you have think that this year is a make or break season for the highly-touted prospect. Although, Hamill is second in points on the Providence with 28, he has only found the back of the net 3 times this season and seems far from the offensive dynamo the B's were hoping for back in June 2007. So, is Peter Chiarelli getting ready to cut his losses with Hamill? Was this move done to showcase Hamill's abilities at the NHL level before the trade deadline? It certainly seems that way to this B's blogger.
1/26: B's GM Peter Chiarelli talks up Zach Hamill's NHL readiness on Toucher & Rich
The Bruins have several players on the big club who can play center. The B's seem to need more help on the wing than they do up the middle.
Jordan Caron proved that he is capable of playing at the NHL level. Why not call up Caron?
The call-up was made by GM Peter Chiarelli with what appears to be little to no discussion with Head Coach Claude Julien.
"Well I found out this afternoon. Peter [Chiarelli] informed me that they were going to call him up."
Claude Julien on Thursday night about Hamill's call-up
"Well I think people are thinking that’s why we called him up, but I knew this afternoon he was coming up. It really has no relation to Dan Paille and what’s going to happen there. It really was one of those call-ups that was said to me this afternoon."
Claude Julien on the speculation that the move was related to Paille's potential suspension
I don't pretend to know about the inner workings of NHL teams, but I have to believe that head coaches are very involved in the decision-making process when it comes to call-ups. This seems like a move that is being made by Chiarelli for his own motives.
Peter Chiarelli says that the timing is good to have a look at Hamill
Is that GM-speak for "we want to get him up here before the deadline"?
Then again, maybe I am just reading way too much into this. We might find out the answer to that in about 4 weeks. Stayed tuned.