The Boston Bruins continued to trim down their roster on Thursday, as the team made more cuts as they prepare for the regular season. While Bruins general manager Don Sweeney opted not to announce who had been cut, we can make some pretty safe assumptions based on who was present at Thursday’s practice.
Alexander Khokhlachev, Anton Blidh, Ben Sexton, Chris Breen and Brandon DeFazio all did not participate in Thursday’s practice. Khokhlachev and Blidh were the two biggest names that were off the list, as both players had a shot at taking fourth line positions for the Bruins.
However, despite the “significant” subtractions, Sweeney’s work is not done.
“We made a couple other transactions before practice,” Sweeney said at the team’s’ annual media day, per nesn.com. “And we’ll also make a couple (more). We have not spoken to a couple other players right here after practice, as well. So, yeah. We’ve cut down the roster significantly again here”
Note that neither of Boston’s backup goaltender contenders were cut on Thursday — that’s because the spot is still up for grabs. As our own Joe Marraccino discussed earlier this week, the goaltending battle will now be fought between Jeremy Smith and Jonas Gustavsson.
“We’re going to go through the rest of the other game (Friday), and we’re going to sit down as a group,” Sweeney said. “(Bruins’ Goalie coach) Bob Essensa has been working hard in terms of analyzing from his side of it, as well as we as a staff. I’m sure (head coach Claude Julien) will weigh in where we think it fits in. It’s been a heck of a competition throughout camp.”
For those of you who missed it, Gustavsson’s preseason got even crazier last week, when his wife gave birth to their first child.
“Obviously, Gus was thrown a curveball with his first child being born to he and his wife,” Sweeney said. “He went off for a couple days, came back and was able to play (Wednesday) night. So, we have a big decision to make, but we feel confident in being able to make that moving forward.”
Boston will play one final preseason game on Friday against the Washington Capitals, however, Tuukka Rask is scheduled to start.
As Boston prepares for the start of the regular season (which begins next Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets), Don Sweeney and co. will have to make one more round of cuts, and one of those goalies will be included there.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments, or reach out to me on Twitter @CamHasbrouck
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!