|Staying or going? David Warsofsky awaits fate with Bruins||10.02.14 at 5:51 pm ET|
At this point of training camp, cuts aren’t just about who will make it and who won’t. It’s also about managing how to keep players in the organization.
Take Wednesday’s cuts, for example. It’s probably no coincidence that forwards Justin Florek, Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev don’t require waivers to get sent down and ended up getting cut, while some of the players kept – Craig Cunningham, Bobby Robins and David Warsofsky — would require waivers in order to be demoted.
The Bruins don’t want to lose their players for nothing if another team claims them, so it’s no surprise that someone like Warsofsky, who is unlikely to earn a spot in the Bruins’ defensive rotation, has stuck around.
It’s a nerve-wracking time for Warsofsky, who has seemingly been ready for an NHL opportunity for a year now. He wants to play in the NHL and he wants to stay in the Bruins organization, but he understands those might be two very different things.
‘”I don’t really know, honestly,” Warsofsky said of what the next few days may hold for him. “I just focus on coming here every day and working hard. In the back of my mind, obviously I know that I have to clear waivers to go down to Providence. I don’t know what they’re going to do ‘ I don’t think anyone does ‘ so I think it’s just a waiting game for everyone.”
If the Bruins were to place Warsofsky on waivers with the intention of sending him to Providence, there’s a good chance that the Marshfield native and Boston University product could be claimed by another team. He’s had three solid seasons in the AHL at this point and put up nine points in 12 postseason games last season for the Baby B’s.
Getting claimed would be bittersweet for Warsofsky. If another team nabbed him, the 24-year-old puck-mover would at long last get an NHL job after spending three seasons in the Bruins’ organization with just six NHL games last season to show for it.
Peter Chiarelli has said multiple times since the offseason that he considers Warsofsky an NHL defenseman. Unfortunately for Warsofsky, Torey Krug is a better version than him, and there’s not enough space on Boston’s back end for two undersized left-shooting offensive defensemen.
“He played well when he played for us last year. I watched him in Providence a few times and again in the playoffs. I thought he did a good job, he carries the puck well, skates the puck well also,” Julien said. “He sees the ice very well when it comes to moving it. He’s got a lot of good qualities — the power play, has a good shot and a good puck-mover. There’s a lot of qualities that we see and he’s in the mix of things when you look at our Ds with nine of them.”
The Bruins could always keep Warsofsky on their roster and trade one of their nine remaining defensemen. Of the remaining nine, Dougie Hamilton is the only one who could be sent to Providence without waivers. Peter Chiarelli has said that he’s going to trade a defenseman at some point, so the B’s could move Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski or Warsofsky.
If the Bruins do try their luck with putting Warsofsky on waivers, he thinks he’d be able to find the positive in either of the situations two outcomes. The ideal scenario for him, however, is remaining in Boston.
“If I’m going to be in the AHL, I’d rather be in Providence than any other city,” Warsofsky said. “I’m comfortable down there with the coaching staff, the organization and the way they play. It’s a great city to be in if I am in the AHL, but obviously my goal is to play in the NHL, so the first opportunity, I want it to be here, but if it is somewhere else, it’s part of the business.”
|Pastrnak Watch: Close to game action, but still not cleared||10.02.14 at 2:40 pm ET|
Bruins forward David Pastrnak hopes to make his preseason debut either Friday night in Bridgeport against the Islanders or in Saturday’s preseason finale against the Red Wings at TD Garden.
The 18-year-old right wing, who missed time earlier in camp due to a shoulder injury before returning to practice Sunday, said he has not yet been cleared to play and is unsure of whether he’ll get into game action this weekend. The Bruins obviously hope he can play.
“That’s the hope,” Julien said. “Right now he’s feeling good, he looks like he’s ready. The only thing that’s stopping us from saying yes right now is we need the doctors to clear him. We’re confident he will be from what David’s telling us himself. He feels good, so we’ll see and we’ll probably be able to confirm that tomorrow morning.”
Julien hinted at the possibility of playing Pastrnak in both games if he’s ready, which would be a good test in determining whether the 170-pounder could handle the NHL schedule.
“I guess that depends on if he’s cleared,” Julien said. “If he’s cleared, he’s got a game, possibly two. I don’t know if it’s enough time to have a clear idea, but that’s all we have and we’ve got to live with it.”
Pastrnak was injured in just his second NHL practice, and with his size the biggest hurdle he’ll have to overcome to stick in the NHL, perhaps the fact that he was injured so early could factor into their evaluation of him.
Julien shot down that line of thinking, saying that it was more of bad luck (perhaps a toe pick) that led to him crashing into the boards and suffering the injury.
The Bruins can keep Pastrnak on the roster into the season for up to nine games before deciding whether to keep him in Boston and begin his contract or send him back to Sodertalje SK, his club in Sweden.
Pastrnak said he isn’t worried about having to prove everything in one game if he gets to play, but hopes that he can finally get into an NHL game.
“It’s always the worst part for a hockey player when you’re just watching games and you can’t play them,” Pastrnak said. “It’s real sad, but that’s part of hockey and that happens.”
|Gregory Campbell skating, doubtful to begin season||10.02.14 at 2:36 pm ET|
Campbell has missed all of training camp thus far, but began skating Thursday when he took the ice by himself at TD Garden.
“I don’t know where he stands. He’s skating now, he just started skating on his own,” Julien said. “I think it’ll be doubtful to start the season because starting to skate and get full practices and contact, getting in game shape, it’s going to be tough for him to do that in this short span. The good thing is he’s skating and hopefully he progresses in the right direction.”
With Campbell out, either Chris Kelly or Craig Cunningham could center the fourth line to begin the season.
Julien also said that players who have already been cut are possibilities to play in Friday night’s game against the Islanders. Justin Florek, Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev were among four cuts made Wednesday. Linus Arnesson never skated in training camp due to a groin injury and was never listed in the team’s cuts, but Julien said Wednesday that the defenseman was no longer in camp.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Pastrnak Watch: Trying to salvage preseason action||09.30.14 at 11:10 pm ET|
As the Bruins continue to assess the candidates vying for open forward spots, David Pastrnak remains out of game action due to his recovery from a shoulder injury.
Pastrnak has been practicing since Sunday and took the most contact he’s taken thus far in Tuesday’s practice. In particular, he bounced back from a huge hit from defenseman Kevan Miller during drills.
Still, with no preseason games under his belt and just two left on the Bruins’ schedule, Pastrnak’s chances of making the B’s as the first or third-line right wing are dwindling. Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s game that the B’s hope Pastrnak will be able to play either Friday against the Islanders in Connecticut or in Saturday’s preseason finale against Detroit.
“Our goal is to hopefully get him in a game,” Julien said. “Today he practiced well; I think he had more contact today, so he’s certainly looking good, but until the trainers tell us that he’s ready for games, we’re not going to play him. He’s a young player that we’re certainly not going to take a risk with. For our sake and for his sake, he would like to at least get a game in and see how he fits in.”
If the Bruins maintain hope that Pastrnak could play in the NHL this season and don’t see enough to make up their minds in the preseason, they can keep him on the roster and play him for up to nine games without burning the first year off his entry level contract. That would seemingly provide ample time to decide whether the speedy right wing is worth keeping in Boston or sending back to his team in Sweden.
“It’s not my call. You’re asking the wrong person,” Julien said when asked of that possibility. “It’s not my call when it comes to that.”
Loui Eriksson manned the right wing on the first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic Tuesday against the Islanders (their first time playing a game together this preseason), with Julien admitting after the game that the trio struggled. Then again, it’s worth remembering that it took until the ninth game of the season with Jarome Iginla last year that Boston’s first line really started clicking.
|Islanders beat Bruins in preseason contest||09.30.14 at 9:42 pm ET|
The Bruins came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period of Tuesday’s preseason game against the Islanders but ultimately fell, 5-3.
Boston first got on the board in the first period with a goal from Patrice Bergeron putting in his own rebound, but three straight goals from the Islanders gave them a 3-1 lead heading into the third. After Brad Marchand took a cross-checking penalty, Matt Bartkowski scored a shorthanded goal and Marchand took a pass from Loui Eriksson upon exiting the penalty box for a breakaway on which he tied the game. Cal Clutterbuck beat projected Providence backup goaltender Jeremy Smith to make it 4-3 with 3:09 remaining in the game. The Islanders got an empty-netter from Scott Mayfield with 1:11 to seal the victory.
Niklas Svedberg started the game for the Bruins, allowing one goal on eight shots. Smith took over halfway through the second and allowed two goals late in the second before settling down in the third.
Torey Krug and Reilly Smith did not play, but are expected to this weekend. The Bruins’ lineup for the game was as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Eriksson
Marchand – Bergeron – Cunningham
Gagne – Soderberg – Fraser
Caron – Kelly – Robins
Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – Boychuk
Bartkowski – McQuaid
The Bruins have two more preseason games remaining. They’ll play the Islanders in Connecticut on Friday before wrapping up the preseason Saturday evening against the Red Wings. The B’s will host the Flyers in their season-opener Oct. 8.
|David Pastrnak still not participating in full practice with Bruins||09.30.14 at 12:57 pm ET|
The Bruins held two practice sessions Tuesday at TD Garden in anticipation of Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Islanders.
Torey Krug and Reilly Smith took part in both sessions, though they are expected to be kept out of the lineup. They could get their first preseason action Friday in Connecticut.
David Pastrnak took part in the second session and will not play Tuesday. Though the team said that he is not officially cleared for full practice with the team, he is clearly taking contact, as was evident when he took a big hit from Kevan Miller Tuesday.
Anthony Camara (undisclosed), Linus Arnesson (groin) and Gregory Campbell (core) are all still out for the B’s.
|Bruins release Ville Leino from tryout, send Chris Breen to Providence||09.29.14 at 4:08 pm ET|
The Bruins released veteran forward Ville Leino from his tryout agreement and sent defenseman Chris Breen to Providence Monday.
After Monday’s practice, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Leino is weighing his options between trying to stay in the NHL or heading to Europe.
“I talked to Ville this morning in part because of Reilly [Smith] coming back and we had to cut down some numbers, too,” Chiarelli said. “So I spoke with him this morning and he wasn’t sure what he was going to do as far as NHL or European competition.”
Breen was signed this summer as a free agent after spending his first four professional seasons in the Flames organization.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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