The Wanna B's Woes

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hockey season has sadly been over for eleven long, dreadful days, but there are still plenty of things to cover during the offseason. There will be time to cover the draft as well as free agency, so I'm going to start my summer off with the Providence Bruins.

The Baby Bruins roster is always changing. Whether players get sent back to juniors, get called up to Boston, get traded, and on an every night basis: alternate every other game because there are so many of them. Whatever the case, I never know who I'm going to get to see play that night. Heading into next season, however, there are some names I definitely want to see back on the roster and some that I don't think will be back.

Starting with the guys from the point, there are a total of eight defenseman on the P-Bruins roster right now. Alain Goulet signed to Amateur Tryout in April, after joining fellow Bruins the past two years at the Rookie Development Camp. This name is not one I've seen brought up in talk with Providence; therefore I am not sure he will be returning next year. Most likely, he will be released from his contract. David Kolomatis and Matt Stephenson are two other defensemen that were added to the roster late in the season. Both players who alternated different games, and are ones I would place on the "unsure to return" list.

Names known in Providence and by Bruins fans are Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid, Jeff Penner, and Andrew Bodnarchuk. Boychuk definitely proved why he deserves to be wearing a Bruins jersey. This past season he was the leading scorer of the team with 66 points and 20 goals. As a defenseman, these are impressive stats. McQuaid, on the other hand, is more of a reliable defenseman. He doesn't always show up on the score sheet, but he makes up for it on the back end by always throwing his body around and passing the puck up to his forwards. Penner's style is one of the most unique I've seen. He's used on the power play, he's one to stay healthy all season, ended up a team hight +22, plays physical, and can rush the puck up the ice. To me, he's a very skilled defenseman, and it actually blows my mind he hasn't gotten called up by Boston yet. Bodnarchuck has some experience with the team, having played for them the past 2 seasons. Again, he's another one that doesn't contribute as much offense as some, but still plays a big part for this club.

As for forwards, there are fifteen of them total, while a hockey roster only allows 12 on the bench. This is where the alternating came in also. There are too many centers and wingers to sit here and write something about each of them, so I will simply mention a few. First, there's Vladimir Sobotka who knows Route 95 very well. For those of you outside Boston, that is the highway taken to get from Providence to Boston, which Sobotka seems to be doing more often than not. He's always getting called up and sent back down. I love when he plays in Boston because his style of play at a young age amazes me. Be sure to see him on the roster for Providence next year. Other notables that I think will be on the 2009-2010 roster are Brad Marchand, Wacey Rabbit, Matt Marquadt, Marty St. Pierre, and Jordan Knackstedt.

Out of the four goalies currently on the roster, I strongly believe (and hope) that Tuukka Rask will be playing for Boston next year. Rask played all sixteen of Providence's playoff games and 57 of the regular season. His first call up from Boston last season was versus the New York Rangers where he posted his first NHL career shutout. Adam Courchaine, Kevin Regan, and Kevin Natsiuk will have some competition during Development Camp to see who gets the top spot.

*I will post updates from the week of July 6th- July 12th from Ristuccia, on the Providence Bruins and draft picks*


Andy Lavery said...

Great blog, Hailey. I'm pretty sure Sobotka is a lock to be on the parent club from day one of this upcoming season. The B's haven't re-signed Stephane Yelle because they want Sobotka to take his spot on the roster. Boychuk could very well be joining Sobotka on Causeway Street, depending on what the Bruins do regarding trades (there will be trades...Kessel being one of them) and free agent signings. If he does make the Big B's, he'd be on the 3rd defensive pairing, possibly paired with Ference. Sobotka is definitely more likely to make the drive up 95 (no pun intended), but Boychuk could see some NHL time this season.

As for the goaltending, the biggest problem with Tuukka is that if he is the backup goalie in Boston, his cap hit is $3.5M. The Bruins are already tight against the cap already, but if they don't bring him up they could lose him to tier 4 free agency (I think it's tier 4..could be wrong). I think Tuukka will be up with the Boston Bruins though, so PC is going to have some decisions to make in order to stay under the cap. It'll be an interesting next few weeks.

The Puck Stops Here said...

Thankyou Andy :)I would love to see Sobotka start the season in Boston and spend most of his time there. Hopefully PC has realised he is ready for the NHL. As for Boychuk, the Bruins only used him once during the 08-09 season, which is weird because he is such a strong defenseman. I wouldn't be surprised to see him up with the B's. Only problem with that is the amount of d-men we have.

Yes, Tuukka's $ could be a bit of trouble but If they get rid of Ferndandez and his 4.75 million and then possibly P.J. Axelsson and Shane Hnidy, it could work.

Thanks for the comment :)

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