BOSTON -- The Bruins started training camp Wednesday with fitness testing -- everyone on the NHL camp roster passed -- but two players are lagging slightly behind physically due to injuries suffered in last spring's playoffs.
Gregory Campbell (broken bone in his leg) and Patrice Bergeron (separated shoulder, cracked ribs and a punctured lung) will be full participants in training camp practice, but neither may play in exhibition games for a while. Coach Claude Julien said they wouldn't be cleared for action if the regular season started this week.
Both acknowledge they're a bit behind their teammates, who are hitting the apex of their summer training regimen at the opening of camp, but are confident they’ll be ready to start the season in October. Campbell has tinkered with his skate boots to come up with some extra padding for the area around the bone held in by screws, and Bergeron admitted he’s still feeling some “tenderness” in his ribs. They say pain management may be a necessary part of the early season.
“They’re going to practice with us,” said Julien. “They’ll be on the ice. I think when it comes time to play those exhibition games it will be a conversation with our trainers making sure there isn’t a risk factor if they play.
“They wouldn’t be cleared today if we were playing a game, but that might be changed in the upcoming days . . . or in a week from now.”
Boston will play its first exhibition game Monday against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, a mere four days after the opening of camp. Clearly, Campbell and Bergeron will need to make some progress to play Monday, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they skipped the exhibition.