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Sunday hockey notes

A fire ravaged Hampus Lindholm’s offseason home. It reminded him of what’s really important in life.

The Bruins acquired Hampus Lindholm in a March trade with the Ducks.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Last month, a Bruins videographer traveled to Lerberget, Sweden, to film Hampus Lindholm’s summer lifestyle for the “Behind the B” program. They recorded him surfing at sunset. They watched him work out at the rink of Rögle BK, where the star defenseman played as a teenager.

Lindholm, eager to help create content, was planning to host a dinner. He was going to make Swedish meatballs for his youth coach, Berth Larsson.

“The meatballs,” Lindholm said with a rueful grin, “got a little overcooked.”

The dinner plans — and a big part of Lindholm’s life — went up in smoke on Aug. 22. Late that morning, he had finished his workout, was filling up his gas tank, and was thinking about lunch when his mother, Petra, called him. The alarm company reported smoke at his offseason house, a four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot pad by the water.


Lindholm raced over to find a disaster.

A fire was ripping through his home. The windows and rooms were blacked out with smoke. Flames danced and grew, feeding on oxygen from the seaside breeze and the air trapped in his attic. Over an agonizing 12 hours that followed, nearly everything inside the house would be destroyed.

The local fire department of Höganäs had to call in reinforcements from nearby Ängelholm, Helsingborg, and Landskrona. Lindholm saw about 100 first responders “working their asses off” to tame the blaze.

“The firemen were there quick,” Lindholm said, recounting the incident in the Bruins’ dressing room this past week. “I got into the mode of telling the firemen, how can I help them out?

“But then after, you can’t do much. You just stand there and look at your house burning.”

Lindholm purchased the place four years ago with hopes of renovating it into a summertime haven. By the time of his March 2022 trade from the Ducks to the Bruins, it had become his paradise. It had a porch that overlooked the Öresund, the waterway between southwestern Sweden and northeast Denmark. He liked to sit and listen to the birds while drinking his morning coffee, and get out on the water during the sunny Swedish evenings.


He was not able to salvage much from the wreckage — only a few metal items. He lost “just material stuff,” he said, downplaying the loss of the home.

“When it happened it was traumatic,” Lindholm said. “The tough part was having friends calling and checking if you’re OK. That was the more emotional part of it. I’m not an emotional guy, but that got to me a little bit. People were scared for me.”

Local police, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported, started an arson investigation. A town official, Jonas Hellsten, told another news outlet, Helsingborgs Dagblad, that the fire likely began in a side building connected to the house. Lindholm believes the same.

“I had batteries charging for surfboards,” he said.

He owns a pair of Lift eFoil surfboards, which hoist the rider out of the water with an electric propeller. The rider steers and controls the throttle with a hand-held remote, approximately the size of a camcorder. They retail for upward of $10,000. Holding his hands apart, Lindholm described their lithium batteries as being about the size of a football.

The Lift company, according to its website, is based in Puerto Rico and has sold more than 10,000 eFoils worldwide since designing a prototype in 2015. A message seeking comment was not returned by publication time.


“Luckily no one was there,” Lindholm said. “Luckily it was the middle of the day.”

Lindholm believes something good will come of it. He is finding reason for optimism.

“My jerseys I’ve collected over the years,” he said, “I sent them away a few weeks before for framing.”

His childhood items? “My parents have all that stuff.”

One of the first responders, Lindholm said, wisely snatched a backpack that looked important. It sure was: his passport and travel documents were inside.

Also, his family’s pup — “a little wiener dog,” 4-year-old Nalva — had been staying with him but was off-site on that day.

Call him Lucky Lindy.

“I’m in a positive mind about it,” Lindholm said. “I’m usually pretty good about not caring about it. It was nice because you can see what actually matters to you. I think you get a little bit of a wake-up that material stuff doesn’t matter, it’s the people.”

It’s about the “soul of the home,” he said, rather than his lost possessions. “The spot is more special for me, than maybe that couch that I watched so many movies on,” he added. “It’s going to get rebuilt.”

Lindholm’s father, Jonas, and his Swedish agent, Johan Finnström (he works with Claude Lemieux in North America), will deal with the insurance company and the contractors, while Lindholm concerns himself with filling the temporarily vacant No. 1 spot on a Charlie McAvoy-less Boston blue line.


Hockey, Lindholm said, has been a refuge for him of late.

A day after the fire, he was scheduled to be in Paris for the NHL’s European player media days. He took a frenzied trip to a clothing store, picking out a white shirt and charcoal suit, and flew to France for a long day of interviews.

“It had been such a crazy day,” Lindholm said, “it was kind of nice — they were saying they weren’t going to have the insurance company come until [a week later]. Just sitting there at home, it would be depressing. You’ve got to get away and do stuff, be active.

“You’ve been in the league long enough, I’m good at separating hockey from personal relationships. You can’t let that stuff affect you. I was happy to get away and focus on hockey for a few days.”

The Bruins posted video of Lindholm, cheerily performing. “Bonjour Bruins fans!” he said in a selfie the team posted on Twitter. “Here in Paris for the NHL media tour. I don’t know if there’s any B’s fans here in Paris right now, but if so, I’ll find you guys.”


Pastrnak’s mates

will deal with it

Bruins superstar winger David Pastrnak is entering the last year of a deal he has vastly outperformed ($6.667 million a season) and could cross the double-digit threshold on a long-term extension.

His teammates won’t be hassling him about the new deal.

“It’s a hard thing to talk about,” Brad Marchand said. “Whatever way he’s leaning — even if he’s potentially looking at moving on — that’s not something he wants to talk about. If he’s going to sign, then it’s going to get done. We’re not worried about it.


“The team clearly wants to get it done and has been very vocal about that. It’s something that we obviously want to happen, but we don’t need to add pressure on him to talk about it in the room.

“If he wants to bring it up, then we’re happy to talk about it. If not, give him the space. We all have to go through it. They’re stressful times. You don’t need guys adding to that stress level. Especially with him. We just need him to score goals for us, we don’t need to throw him off.”


Firing took them

a bit by surprise

This past week both Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall, speaking for the first time since Bruce Cassidy’s firing, said they didn’t expect to have a new coach.

“You always take blame personally,” Marchand said, “feeling you could have done more, especially as a leader, to help out and get any message across that he’s trying to push. In hockey sometimes, it’s about a change. He was here for a long time. Sometimes it’s good to get a new voice and switch it up.

“The newer generation of players is a little bit different. Sometimes they need a softer voice.”

That’s not necessarily Jim Montgomery’s style. He can be blunt with his assessment of players, as they will learn, and blunt in general.

Asked at the annual preseason golf tournament, held at Pinehills in Plymouth last Thursday, Montgomery quipped: “Honestly, I wish I was at Warrior getting prepared.”

Chara staying close to home

It has been a summer of reunions for the Bruins, who welcomed back Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on one-year deals, and gave Tuukka Rask an ambassadorship role.

What’s next for Zdeno Chara?

Agent Matt Keator said there was nothing to report when Chara was spotted by the Globe at Warrior Ice Arena this past week. He was leaving the building with a bag, marked by a Pine Street Inn logo, that held black and gold objects that looked like kids’ hockey gloves. He popped into the New Balance store on that Brighton block, smiled, and said a few cheery words to a photographer, and left in his Mercedes-Benz sedan.

With five left-shot defenders on one-way contracts, the Bruins don’t seem likely to have room for Chara, 45, though more injuries could change that. Perhaps another East Coast team, not too far from Boston, will have a sudden need.

This seems quite clear: Whenever Chara decides he is done, a role with the Bruins is his if he wants it. The team would be silly not to offer.

“He goes down as one of the best and greatest,” general manager Don Sweeney said earlier this summer, when asked about Chara’s Boston legacy.

“Really ultimately changed the culture of where the group was when he came on board and won a Stanley Cup and was a champion in this city, both on and off the ice and an iconic player, obviously, to have the most games played ever as a defenseman in the National Hockey League. That one might not be broken. As a person, just a really special individual on and off the ice.”

Loose pucks

Coincidentally, one of Hampus Lindholm’s mentors, former Islanders captain Kenny Jönsson, is a volunteer firefighter in Ängelholm. His company was called, but he was not on rotation the day of the fire at Lindholm’s home … Bergeron needs three goals to pass Rick Middleton (402) for third on the Bruins’ all-time list, behind Johnny Bucyk (545) and Phil Esposito (459). Bergeron is 18 points shy of becoming the fourth Bruin to reach 1,000, joining Ray Bourque (1,506), Bucyk (1,339), and Esposito (1,012) … Krejci (962 games) enters the season on track to play in his 1,000th on Jan. 5 in Los Angeles, with a silver stick ceremony held the following week at TD Garden, when the team returns from California. A productive year could see Krejci (515 assists) pass Wayne Cashman (516) and Esposito (553) and move into fifth place in Spoked-B annals … Did you know that Marchand is seventh in points (795), sixth in goals (351), and ninth in assists (444) among all-time Bruins? Assuming the hips cooperate, Marchand, 34, could finish his career well inside the top five of each category … The Canadiens made Nick Suzuki their captain. Suzuki is 23. When Patrice Bergeron was that age he was an alternate to Chara, still a bit unsure of his place in the game. “I think it would have been a big adjustment for me,” the third-year Bruins captain said. “At that age, you’re still trying to learn the league. There’s some guys that can always help you along the way.” Suzuki’s game, at this point, is Bergeron-lite … One of the top prospects eligible for the 2024 NHL Draft, Newburyport’s Cole Eiserman, committed to the University of Minnesota. Eiserman, who will play the next two years with the US National Team Development Program, spent the last two seasons at Minnesota prep powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Sidney Crosby’s old stomping grounds … Flyers prospect Jay O’Brien (Hingham) is finally healthy after battling a hip issue the last two years. Boston University will benefit … Eiserman’s teammate at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Mack Celebrini, is another top 2024 prospect. The Vancouver native committed to BU. In the meantime, he will play for the USHL’s Chicago Steel … The Stars signing GM Jim Nill to a one-year extension doesn’t quite seem like a vote of confidence. Nill entered the weekend with about $7 million in cap space to sign his best player, Jason Robertson. That probably wouldn’t be enough to sign him long term. See: St. Louis re-upping two players of similar ages, production, and talent levels — Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou — to twin eight-year, $65 million pacts ($8.125 million AAV), and Ottawa handing Tim Stützle $66.8 million over eight years ($8.35 million). Would Robertson accept a bridge deal, like teammate Jake Oettinger (three years, $12 million)? Goalies have been getting bridge deals on their second contracts, but deals for young star skaters have been trending longer and larger. “I don’t hold that against those players at all,” Hall said. “Those guys are also forgiving eight years of prime real estate in their career for some security, and I don’t blame them. Hopefully the UFAs coming up that deserve a lot of money can get paid, as well.” … Some around the league expect Nathan MacKinnon, entering his walk year, to set a salary cap-era average annual value record. Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million AAV is the current mark …The Avalanche keep winning this summer. The champs signed BU’s Evan Rodrigues to a one-year, $2 million deal, a pittance for a forward coming off a career-high 43-point season with Pittsburgh. “Crazy,” MacKinnon said of the deal. “I saw he shot like 7 percent last year and he got 19 [goals]. So, if he gets hot, who knows how many goals he’ll score?” … The Premier Hockey Federation’s Metropolitan Riveters, who played games last season at the Devils’ practice rink in Newark, are moving to the American Dream megamall in nearby East Rutherford, N.J. The rink is surrounded by three levels of glass-walled stores and attractions, meaning shoppers will be able to watch a bit of free women’s hockey. That, plus the upgraded back-of-house amenities for the players (dedicated locker and office space, nearby gym) are wins for the PHF. Riveters president Digit Murphy was a bit out of touch, however, when she suggested to ESPN that players could take part in on-ice fashion shows to help promote the mall businesses. Joe McGrath, desperate GM of the fictional Charlestown Chiefs, would be proud … Just because Jake Virtanen was recently found not guilty of some disturbing sexual assault charges does not mean he is worthy of NHL employment. The rumors of the Oilers and Flames angling to get him in camp were disappointing. There are more deserving players — even Ryan Spooner (0.76 points per game in the KHL) outproduced Virtanen (0.44 in the KHL) last year … Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell’s view of Boston: “It’s a lot of traffic.” Maybe Chara can introduce him to the city’s best bike routes.

Matt Porter can be reached at matthew.porter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.