The Boston Bruins announced their training camp roster and schedule that begins Monday at Warrior Ice Arena. This will be a very interesting 10 days for the Black and Gold as there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before the puck drops on Jan. 14 at New Jersey against the Devils.
Beginning Monday and based on the roster size, the Bruins will have two separate groups that will have workouts that will last an hour and 15 minutes each, with a 30 minute break in between the two sessions. The team will follow that schedule through Friday’s sessions. Coach Bruce Cassidy will have to use this time to determine his 23-man roster for opening night as there are no preseason games this season.
Training Camp Roster Set
With the Bruins announcing their 41-man training camp roster, there were no surprises among the three-position groupings. There will be 24 forwards, 12 defensemen, and five goalies taking the ice.
Patrice Bergeron (C), Anders Bjork (LW), Anton Blidh (LW), Paul Carey (C/LW), Charlie Coyle (C/RW), Jake DeBrusk (LW), Matt Filipe (C/LW), Trent Frederic (C/LW), Ondrej Kase (RW), David Krejci (C), Karson Kuhlman (C/RW), Sean Kuraly (C/LW), Robert Lantosi (RW), Par Lindholm (C/LW), Brad Marchand (LW), Greg McKegg (C/LW), David Pastrnak (RW), Nick Ritchie (LW), Zach Senyshyn (RW), Craig Smith (C/RW), Oskar Steen (C), Jack Studnicka (C/RW) and Chris Wagner (C/RW).
Jack Ahcan, Brandon Carlo, Connor Clifton, Matt Grzelcyk, Steven Kampfer, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Nick Wolff and Jakub Zboril.
Callum Booth, Jaroslav Halak, Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Swayman, and Dan Vladar.
The Bruins did not bring anyone for a Professional Tryout (PTO), mainly for their defense. The St. Louis Blues brought in forward Mike Hoffman for a PTO, which allows him to go through the Blues camp workouts, but he has a chance to ink a contract with the PTO team or with another team. Sami Vatanen is a PTO candidate for the Bruins. He is a veteran defenseman that could fit in with the young blue line that Boston plans to begin the season with.
A Lot of Question to Be Answered Quickly
Cassidy, his staff, and the Bruins front office will not have a lot of time to answer questions prior to the first game. Brad Marchand is expected to begin training camp with the club as he appears recovered from sports hernia surgery he underwent in September. The hope is he will be able to play in the opening game. More importantly, David Pastrnak, the team’s leading goal scorer from last season, is still recovering from hip surgery in September and won’t be available until mid-February at the earliest.
Losing Pastrnak leaves a huge hole on the first-line right wing. Boston is hoping that Ondrej Kase, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline last February, or Craig Smith, who signed as a free agent from the Nashville Predators in October, can fill the void until Pastrnak is healthy.
Another position that needs to be worked out is on defense. With Torey Krug leaving in free agency for the Blues and captain Zdeno Chara also leaving and going to the Washington Capitals, that leaves two big holes that will be tough to replace.
After their top three defensemen in Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Matt Grzelcyk, there are a lot of questions about who fills out the last three spots. However, there is no shortage of prospects ready to make the jump to the NHL full time. In net, the Bruins will return the duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. However, the question is, with the parameters set by the NHL as they try to navigate through the season amid COVID-19, who will be the “taxi squad” goalie?
It will be interesting who the Bruins chose, as they have some young goalies who would benefit from a year with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League, should the P-Bruins opt into the season, tentatively scheduled to begin Feb. 5. They could also send them to the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL following the camp.
The Fun Begins Monday
Opening night will come quickly at New Jersey on Jan. 14, and with no preseason games to evaluate players, the club will have to do so with inter-squad scrimmages to help finalize their roster of 23, down from the 41 participating at camp.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.