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Reports: David Warsofsky, Matt Lindblad depart Bruins in free agency 07.01.15 at 2:07 pm ET
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David Warsofsky

David Warsofsky

The Bruins have lost a couple of young depth players to teams in the Metropolitan division.

TSN reporter Frank Seravalli reported Wednesday that the Penguins had given defenseman David Warsofsky a one-year deal, while ESPN’€™s Joe McDonald reported that center Matt Lindblad had signed with the Rangers.

A native of Marshfield and product of Boston University, Warsofsky is a good offensive-minded defenseman who has been stuck in Providence due to the presence of Torey Krug in Boston. The 25-year-old has played just 10 NHL games since the Bruins acquired his rights from the Blues in 2010.

Lindblad played two games for Boston in each of the last two seasons, with the vast majority of his professional career being spent in Providence since leaving Dartmouth College. The Illinois native could have been a candidate to push for a roster spot in Boston next season, but the Bruins declined to send him a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent this week.

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Bruins send David Warsofsky to Providence 12.09.14 at 7:36 pm ET
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The Bruins returned defenseman David Warsofsky to Providence Tuesday, according to the AHL transactions page.

Warsofsky practiced with the Bruins Tuesday for the first time since suffering a groin strain on Nov. 6. He had been up with the NHL club playing in place of the then-injured Torey Krug.

The Bruins, who have suffered multiple injuries on their defense this season, could see the return of Zdeno Chara to the lineup as soon as Thursday.

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Bruins confirm David Warsofsky out 2-4 weeks with groin strain 11.09.14 at 6:26 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed in a statement Sunday that David Warsofsky is out 2-4 weeks with a groin strain. The Boston Herald was the first to report the injury.

Warsofsky was called up late last month after Torey Krug suffered a broken finger. He played in four games, notching an assist in Thursday’s win over the Oilers for his only point of the season thus far. He was injured in the same game.

Krug could return to the lineup as soon as Monday. If he does not, Matt Bartkowski is expected to return after being scratched the last four games.

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David Warsofsky out ‘for a while’ with injury 11.07.14 at 1:36 pm ET
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David Warsofsky

David Warsofsky

WILMINGTON — Claude Julien said after Friday’€™s practice that he isn’€™t worried about David Krejci‘€™s status and that Patrice Bergeron simply took a maintenance day. The other absence from practice, however, left reason for concern.

Julien said that David Warsofsky is injured and is out for “a while.”

When asked for a more specific timetable on the player, Julien said he couldn’t give one.

“I have no idea. I’€™m not a doctor,” Julien said. ‘€œI know he’€™s out for a while. I don’€™t know how long.”

Warsofsky’€™s injury is unknown. He did not play the final 6:46 of Thursday’€™s win over the Oilers. He played four games for the B’€™s since being recalled to replace the injured Torey Krug.

Friday was Krug’€™s first practice with the team since suffering a broken finger last Tuesday against the Wild. Krug had skated on his own in recent days before joining his teammates Friday.

“It’s coming along nicely [and has] made some good progress the last couple days,” Krug said. “It’s great to be back on the ice with my teammates and competing and everything like that, so it’s feeling better, that’s for sure.”

The Bruins next play Monday when they host the Devils at TD Garden. Julien would not rule Krug out for that contest, saying the B’s will “cross that bridge when we come to it.”

If Krug is not able to go on Monday, Matt Bartkowski could re-enter the lineup after sitting the last four games as a healthy scratch.

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Bruins place Jordan Caron, David Warsofsky and Craig Cunningham on waivers 10.04.14 at 1:29 pm ET
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Jordan Caron

Jordan Caron

The Bruins placed Jordan Caron, David Warsofsky and Craig Cunningham on waivers Saturday.

Teams will now have 24 hours to claim the players. The Bruins noted in a press release that Warsofsky was waived with the intention of being sent to Providence.

The most notable name of the bunch is Jordan Caron, the team’€™s first-round pick in 2009. In 123 regular-season games, Caron has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. He also has played in nine postseason games, with one goal.

Warsofsky, a native of Marshfield who played college hockey at Boston University, is a decent candidate to be claimed by another team, as he is an NHL-ready defenseman whose offensive play makes him a valuable power play asset. He told this week that though he wants to remain in the Bruins’€™ organization, his goal is to be an NHL player.

“If I’€™€™m going to be in the AHL, I’€™€™d rather be in Providence than any other city,” Warsofsky said. “€œ€œI’€™€™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.”€

Cunningham was vying for a job as a fourth-line center or 13th forward after playing the last three seasons in Providence.

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Staying or going? David Warsofsky awaits fate with Bruins 10.02.14 at 5:51 pm ET
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David Warsofsky

David Warsofsky

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.

Though there are too many guys ahead of Warsofsky on the depth chart, Claude Julien agrees that the defenseman is capable of handling NHL minutes.

“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. “€œHe 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.

“€œIf I’€™m going to be in the AHL, I’€™d rather be in Providence than any other city,” Warsofsky said. “€œI’€™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.”

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David Warsofsky deserves chance somewhere in NHL 09.07.14 at 9:33 am ET
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Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins

David Warsofsky has spent three-plus seasons in the AHL. (Jared Wickerham, Getty Images)

Being NHL-ready and stuck in the AHL because of organizational depth is tough, but sometimes there’€™s a solution.

If it were another player, it would be logical to thank the organization for the chance and respectfully ask the team to explore trade options, but it’€™s more complicated than that with David Warsofsky.

The chances of him cracking Boston’€™s lineup as long as Torey Krug is around and healthy are remote, but the Marshfield native grew up a Bruins fan and has family here, so the idea of parting with the organization isn’€™t as appetizing.

“€œI’€™ve got a big family around here, and everybody loves coming to the games, so that’€™s obviously easy for them,” Warsofsky said this week as he attended each of the Bruins’ semi-formal practices at Ristuccia Arena. “€œAt the end of the day, it is a business, so I think wherever hockey takes me, that’€™s where it is. Right now it’€™s Boston, so I’€™m pretty happy with that.”

Warsofsky, who played at Cushing Academy before heading to Boston University for three years, has spent three seasons (parts of four) in Providence since being acquired from the Blues in 2010 for Vladimir Sobotka. In Providence, he’€™s played his game — that of an undersized puck-moving defenseman –€” and last season put up 32 points in 56 regular-season games and added nine more in 12 postseason games.

He also held his own in six games last season for Boston, contributing offensively by scoring his first NHL goal in his fourth game on Dec. 28 against Ottawa and assisting on a Chris Kelly goal against the Senators on Feb. 8.

“Obviously to get a couple games in and get that confidence that you can play at that level is obviously good,”€ he said. “In my head I obviously thought I could play at that level, but the reassurance of coming up here and playing well definitely helped a lot too.”

This offseason, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he considers Warsofsky to be in the group of nine NHL defensemen he feels the Bruins possess. He’€™s probably right, but as long as Torey Krug is in town and healthy, none of us can be sure.

Both players possess similar size (Krug is listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Warsofsky is listed as being the same height and 10 pounds lighter). They’€™re both strong skaters and power play assets. Warsofsky, at 24 years of age, is less than a year older than Krug.

With all the defensemen the Bruins have, there isn’€™t room for that redundancy. Krug has spent the majority of his Bruins career as the team’€™s No. 5/6 defenseman in addition to his power play responsibilities. Warsofsky isn’€™t going to leapfrog him.

“It is a tough situation with all the defensemen they have here, and obviously Torey and me play a similar type of game,” Warsofsky said. “I’€™m just focusing on myself right now, [which] is all I can really do; control what I can control and I’€™ll see what happens [in training camp].”

So again, a player in Warsofsky’€™s position might look for opportunities elsewhere, much like how the Bruins have looked at trade options to give Jordan Caron an opportunity to be in an NHL lineup every night. As a restricted free agent this summer, Warsofsky could have tried to leverage his way to another team, but instead happily signed a one-year, two-way deal to stay with the B’€™s.

“€œObviously I wanted to come back to the Bruins,” he said. “€œThis is my hometown and I want to play for the Bruins for a long time.”

Whether that happens remains to be seen. The Bruins need to make some sort of trade in order to free up space if they want to give Krug and Reilly Smith, both unsigned entry level free agents, respectable contracts. Trading Warsofsky wouldn’€™t solve any of the team’€™s cap woes, but including him in a trade would both yield a better return and finally give Warsofsky the opportunity he seems to deserve.

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