Should It Be Ryan Spooner Over Simon Gagne?


Sep 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Ryan Spooner (51) skates in the offensive zone during the second period against the Washington Capitals at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the Bruins made the announcement that Ryan Spooner would be sent down to Providence to start the season even though there were expectations that he would make the roster. The initial reaction to Spooner being designated for Providence was one of surprise and disappointment; just check the social media traffic coming immediately after the move was announced.

The biggest knock against Spooner are the flaws in his defensive game overshadowing the offensive skill set that led to him having an impressive preseason. There appears to still be trepidation coming from the coaching staff; most notably Claude Julien when it comes to having someone who he views as a liability on ice in Spooner. However, Julien’s tone regarding Spooner had a change in tone following an impressive performance by Spooner against the Islanders last Friday night.

On the other end of the spectrum is 34 year old veteran forward Simon Gagne. After receiving an invitation from the Bruins to attend training camp, Gagne has gone out and seemed to have caught the eyes of coaches and media members associated with the team. Gagne has seemed to make enough of an impression that CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty hints at the Bruins trying to find a way to get a deal done.

“I spoke with him [Saturday] morning, and I made a proposal to him in the sense of, ‘Look Simon [Gagne], I see you getting better, I want you to stick around and practice with the team.’ Peter Chiarelli

Gagne did not play a game in the NHL last year and his productions had shown a sudden and steep decline in terms of performance. According to bleacher report, this move from the Bruins bares strong resemblance to that of the team extending an invite to Jay Pandolfo during the lockout shortened campaign of 2012-2013 and everyone remembers how much of a help that was(crickets…….).

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It creates a discussion for Bruins fans to have with the regular season getting underway tomorrow and both players still participating in practice today. Going with Gagne, the Bruins could get that quintessential depth forward that they’ve used in years past. For Gagne, the expectations are low in what will be seen as a reclamation project possibly by the Bruins. On the positive side, Gagne has demonstrated to be proficient in all three levels of the game during the preseason.

On the other side, there is still the chance that Ryan Spooner could be called up to play with the big club in spite of being cut last Wednesday. In Spooner, the Bruins would be adding more of youth and offensive firepower, however it might not be possible due to the mistake prone defense he tends to play. The Bruins reported a need to be a tad more aggressive with their transition play and having players who possess speed would go a long way in assisting with that.

What do you think Bruins fans? Should the B’s go the way of giving another veteran castoff a chance or should Spooner’s offensive skill supersede his lack of defensive prowess? We will find out later today the answer to this question.