Well Bruins Nation, it looks like one of my dire predictions has come true. With a quarter of the team heading off to Europe, and some of the rest have openly wondered if there will be a season at all for the Boston club, I’ve decided to take a look at what’s going on with my ‘hometown’ hockey franchise. The AHL Providence Bruins have started their training camp up in North Smithfield. The Providence Bruins have been a reliable source of players in the past for the NHL, and they’ll continue to be that.
The Providence Bruins has been a one-time home to many of the Big Bruins on their way up. Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas, and Brad Marchand are three of the more recent Boston players that once donned the spoked “P”. Also there at training camp was Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. He took the time to discuss with the media how he felt the team in case this weekends talks were successful in ending the NHL lockout.
“If/when [training camp starts], it will be shorter and there will be fewer players that come to it because if it’s into Providence’s season, to be fair to them, you don’t want to pull out half their team,” Chiarelli said. “So we have the coaches here to oversee it, look at these guys and get a flavor and when the time comes, you’ll pull up some of these guys. But it will be a shorter camp and quick turnaround. I just want them to focus on the task at hand . . . that they don’t think about the NHL,” continued Chiarelli. “This is a good league, a really good league and we want to put a good team out there. A lot of time those bubble players, they may think they are, but they’re not fully engaged down at the American [Hockey] League and that hinders their development. That’s the biggest thing, that they’re focused on the task at hand and let’s get your development up and running.”
There are at least eight players the Boston Bruins could call up for short term (or longer) filling of the roster. The most likely candidate spent half of last season in a Bruins jersey. That would be #38, Jordan Caron. Jordan was the only one of the Providence players to get a review last year from me due to his playing time on the ice, and his dedication to make a sincere effort to play at the NHL level. Chiarelli also informed the media that he made an arraingment with the OHL to call up Dougie Hamilton and Malcolm Subban as needed (and if necessary).
The Bruins have been about the long game. Long term development of their players as they come up through the leagues. While we’re all bummed that we won’t get to see the Bruins playing already, at least we’ll know we can have a solid set of players who can come up and help us out in case we have another injury laden season like we did last year.