The Bruins stayed off the ice Thursday while general manager Don Sweeney and coach Bruce Cassidy made their latest round of training camp cuts.
With one preseason game remaining Saturday at TD Garden against Chicago, the Bruins are down to 32 players, including those who are injured.
The cuts included the signing of defenseman Alex Petrovic, who was in camp on a tryout agreement, to a one-year, two-way contract. He was promptly waived for the purpose of assigning him to Providence of the American League, as were forwards Paul Carey and Brendan Gaunce.
Robert Lantosi, who was in camp on a minor league contract, was sent to Providence’s camp, and Ryan Fitzgerald, Kyle Keyser, Joona Koppanen, Jeremy Lauzon, Zach Senyshyn, Pavel Shen, Oskar Steen and Urho Vaakanainen – none of whom require waivers – were assigned to Providence.
Here’s a position by position look at where the Bruins roster stands with one week until the regular season opener at Dallas next Thursday:
The locks: Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci, Karson Kuhlman, Danton Heinen, Charlie Coyle, Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner, Joakim Nordstrom
The bubble: Par Lindholm, Anders Bjork, David Backes, Trent Frederic, Peter Cehlarik, Brett Ritchie, Cameron Hughes, Jack Studnicka
What’s going on here: Cehlarik (lower body) and Hughes (oral surgery) are around because of their injuries. Bergeron and Krejci are obviously also banged up, with Bergeron missing all of the preseason so far and Krejci skating just two shifts in one game. The Bruins hope to have both for the preseason finale Saturday, but Studnicka and Frederic are around to fill in at center if the veterans can’t go.
Kuhlman is a lock considering he’s done nothing to relinquish the status he finished last year with as at least one of the top four right wings on this team
Nordstrom hasn’t played in the preseason and he hasn’t taken contact yet in practice. That makes Lindholm pretty close to a lock. Bjork’s waiver exempt status probably means that although he’s outplayed Ritchie and Backes, the Notre Dame product will start the season in Providence. Considering the work Backes has put in to make himself serviceable he’s probably earned 13th or 14th forward status to start the season.
The projection (assuming Bergeron and Krejci are healthy):
Heinen-Coyle-Ritchie or Bjork-Coyle-Heinen
Backes, Ritchie or Bjork
The locks: Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, Steven Kampfer
The bubble: Jakub Zboril
What’s going on here: The top six is set, with no one challenging Clifton for the only job that could have been up for grabs.
Zboril has had a decent camp but is probably still around in case the Bruins need a left shot defenseman to fill in for the last preseason game. Kampfer didn’t re-sign here to start the season in Providence and he would need waivers to go down, so he’s pretty much assured of the seventh defenseman job.
IR: Moore, Miller
The locks: Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak
The Providence-bound: Maxime Lagace
What’s going on here: Ho-hum, Rask and Halak will start the season together by sharing time. Lagace will be in a time share in Providence assuming he clears waivers, otherwise the P-Bruins will have to lean on Keyser and Daniel Vladar this season.