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Cut by Boston, Ferraro feeling Burns-ed

9.24.2000
The P-Bruins forward is miffed that the Bruins coach didn't take the time to explain why he was demoted to Providence
By BOB DICK
Journal Sports Writer

PROVIDENCE -- During the first week of the Boston Bruins training camp, coach Pat Burns sat in the stands at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., and watched and evaluated the players -- about 63 or so -- go through their daily scrimmages and drills.

Burns never laced up his skates and got on the ice with the players. Who knows how many, if any, he talked with.

In any case, when it came time for his first cuts before the start of the exhibition season, there were no real surprises, except for one: Peter Ferraro. Only two years ago Ferraro had played 46 games for Boston and had 6 goals and 8 assists before starring for Providence in its 1998-99 run to the Calder Cup, scoring 9 goals in 19 postseason games. Ferraro played so well he was selected the MVP of the playoffs.

So, there were more than a few eyebrows raised when Ferraro's name appeared on the early cut list. To say the least, Ferraro, who was on the University of Maine's 1993 NCAA title team and a year later played on the 1994 U.S. Olympic team, was stunned and angered by his quick demotion.

"What was upsetting," Ferraro said the other day at the Providence Bruins's training camp at Providence College, "was the way things were handled. I know they have decisions to make but, normally, in the past if you play well in camp you get rewarded with a couple of exhibition games."

There was no doubt in Ferraro's mind that he had played well during the Boston scrimmages that included the annual Black and White game held in Lowell.

"I actually felt I was one of the better players in those games, so, in that respect, it is pretty discouraging. I felt I was going to have an opportunity to get looked at this season. I had a tough year last year with
all the injuries, but I came into camp in great shape. I felt I played well enough to play in a couple of exhibition games. I'd like to find out the reasons behind their decision."

That is unlikely to happen. "The one thing that is most discouraging through all of this is that there really isn't any communication," said Ferraro, who never heard from either Burns or assistant coach Peter
Laviolette. "Players like to know where they stand. When that doesn't happen, it is really difficult, especially when you know you have done a good job."

Ferraro admits he has been in a nasty mood since his arrival in Providence. He's trying hard not to let his anger over the situation mess up his play in the Providence camp.

"Sure, I'm in a sour mood, but I'm not going to hurt my chances of getting an opportunity either with this organization or another one. I've said it before that I love playing in the Boston organization," Ferraro said.

New Providence head coach Bill Armstrong has taken Ferraro aside and told him he needs him to be a leader for the club both on the ice and in the locker room.

"It's a great opportunity for him and we're in this together. He told me he didn't want me in a situation where I wasn't going to come to play every night and not work hard," said Ferraro, whose twin brother, Chris, is in the New Jersey Devils camp.

"I reminded him that I've been sent down before and just because I'm here I'm not going to float out there. I'm not that type of person or player. I'll work hard here. I've proven on the ice what I can do."

Ferraro, who has another year left with the Boston organization, said he is not about to start demanding a trade. "My agent told me to sit tight and not do anything rash. Look, maybe Boston still has plans for me, but that is something I would like to find out."

Ferraro realizes he can't sulk over what has happened to him. "You never know what opportunities are coming along. I've always worked hard and do the best I can. I hate losing. I'm a competitor. I'll just try and put together a full season here and play well. But, from here on out, my main objective is to get back up to the NHL, preferrably with Boston," he said.

From his perspective, Ferraro believes he has done all the right things over the past couple of years.

"Each time I've been sent back, I have remained positive. Two years ago, I helped the team win a Calder Cup. I'm not patting myself on the back because I can be more critical of myself than anyone else. But I think I have done the right things since I have been in this organization. I just wish there was a little more communication. I'm not being critical of them, it is just the way they do things. However, it would be nice to know where you stand."

Copyright 2000 The Providence Journal Company

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