WILMINGTON, Mass. The immediate futures are starting to take shape for plenty of Bruins with the NHL lockout a very real thing set to happen at the midnight deadline Saturday night headed into Sunday.
Some with European ties like Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci will be headed to their home countries before long.
Some like Milan Lucic, who is expecting his first child midway through the season, will be sticking in Boston to wait things out.
My only plan this year is to play for the Boston Bruins, said Lucic, without a hint of interest at playing overseas.
Some like Tyler Seguin might be wearing a familiar uniform if things go similarly to the last NHL lockout eight years ago.
The 20-year-old Seguin confirmed on Friday following an informal practice at Ristuccia Arena that he is eligible to play for the Providence Bruins this season if theres a lockout.
Ive been looking into it a little bit. You want to have some options if theres a lockout and I have mine, said Seguin. My understanding is that I could go to Providence. We havent decided on anything and havent really talked about anything. I havent talked to management since the contract, so nothing is in motion with that stuff.
Similar to Patrice Bergeron skating in the 2004-05 AHL season after his rookie year with the Bruins, Seguin could be playing for the P-Bruins farm club by virtue of being in the final year of his entry level contract with Boston. That means Jordan Caron would also be eligible to skate for the Providence Bruins next season along with a bevy of young prospects like Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight.
Anton Khudobin was on Providences clear day list last year, so the Kazakhstan goaltender might also be eligible for Providence again this year, but hed have to pass through waivers. That doesnt seem likely with the Bruins unwilling to lose their backup goaltender for the upcoming season.
Seguin, who led the Bruins in goals and points while pacing the NHL in plusminus last season in his breakout second NHL campaign, admitted he hasnt yet had any discussions with the Bruins about his immediate future if theres a lockout.
During the 2004-05 lockout year when young NHL players like Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal and Jason Spezza played in the American Hockey League, there were many skaters that reported to the minors after their NHL rookie season.
There were, however, much fewer NHL players that reported to the AHL after two seasons of service, and Seguin could qualify to play in somewhere as far reaching as the KHL this season by virtue of his 155 NHL games played and Stanley Cup championship experience. With the influx of talent expected to play in Russia if theres a lengthy NHL lockout, theres an argument to be made that playing in the KHL would be the better quality league for his overall development.
But theres also plenty of pros to watching Seguin continue to develop under the Bruins watchful eyes in the New England area while skating for Providence. The All-Star forward said he was willing to do whatever was best, and was waiting to have that conversation with agent Ian Pulver and Bruins management.
Seguin didnt sound overly enthused when asked if he was interested in heading to Rhode Island for a minor league hockey season, and mentioned overseas before AHL in his list of preferred landing spots. It was similar to Seguins reticence to potentially head to the World Junior tournament during his rookie NHL season when the Bruins were contemplating such a move.
I dont know. Obviously I want to play hockey, said Seguin, who said hes also in the market this fall for a permanent residence in Boston. I want to play in the NHL and I hope that works out. But if not I can always go overseas or I can play in the AHL.
So stay tuned before running out and purchasing the P-Bruins season tickets, but there is some chance Seguin could be playing in Providence this upcoming season after skipping it the first time around.