Spooner a surprise among Bruins' early cuts

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Spooner a surprise among Bruins' early cuts

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- The Bruins made some surprising roster decisions following Friday nights preseason win over the New York Islanders, returning some of their shiniest young prospects to their junior hockey teams.

Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight, Dougie Hamilton and Alexander Khokhlachev were among 14 players cut from a training camp roster that was once 54 players, but has been cut down to 34 players heading into a weekend series against the Habs in Halifax and Montreal.

Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, Josh Hennessy, Kirk MacDonald, Nathan McIver, Kevan Miller and Jamie Tardif were all cut and assigned to the Providence Bruins training camp roster, as well. The AHL cuts were expected and both Hamilton and Khokhlachev were never expected to threaten for an NHL roster spot, but the early returns of Spooner and Knight were slightly eyebrow-raising.

Spooner made it through nearly all of training camp with the Bs one year earlier, but wasnt very effective in his preseason appearance against the Ottawa Senators in his hometown rink of Scotiabank Place. Knight skated with David Krejci and Milan Lucic in Fridays win over the Islanders, and played a decent while earning an assist, four hits and one blistering shot off the post while finishing at a minus-2.

The 19-year-old was a factor in the game, but was ultimately destined to return to the London Knights for more development.

Claude Julien gave some insight into the Bruins thinking earlier on Friday afternoon when asked about the chances of a junior player opening the season for nine games before returning to his team.

I dont know about that, said Julien. I think its going to be a decision that we all make together. If he earns it, I think theres no reason why that wouldnt happen. But at the same time, if you look at our prospects, the Jamie Arniels and the Jordan Carons and the Maxime Sauves and the Zach Hamills.

I think weve got a lot of depth in the American League that we can use that way as well. But if the junior player is ready, like every other year, I think we always find ways to make room or give him that opportunity.

The older tier of prospects is the exact reason why Spooner and Knight were sent back to the OHL so quickly. The Bs front office wants to get a look at AHL prospects likely to help the Bruins team if injuries befall any players this season, and certainly wants to reward players that worked diligently up the prospect development ladder.

To see some of those young guys do well is exciting, said Julien. There is nothing more exciting than after a game talking with your general manager and other coaches and saying Wow this guy really stepped up I liked his game. Its exciting because you hear me saying after training camp that we have some depth.

I like the job our scouts have done and bringing the right type of players and when you see them play, see it happen in front of your own eyes its even more encouraging. You can picture where this guy will fit in down the road if he does make the team.

It was unrealistic to believe that either Knight or Spooner would make the team and pointless to think that their return is a reflection on their performance in Bs training camp. The Bruins are a loaded roster looking to repeat as Stanley Cup champs, and thats no place for a bunch of teen-aged rookies.

The day will come for Knight, Spooner and Hamilton, but its just not there yet.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

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Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the World Cup of Hockey and Team Canada crowned as champions, the final few Bruins players involved in the international hockey tournament will be filtering back into regular training camp.

It was a brilliant tourney for Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, especially while forming the World Cup’s best forward line with Sidney Crosby. Marchand was one of the leading scorers and had the clutch game-winner in the decisive game.

As a line they combined for a ridiculous 25 points in six games and it was Marchand who scored a couple of the biggest goals in the biggest games against Russia and Team Europe.

“They did it all of last season for us, so I’m not shocked. They played well throughout the entire time they played there, so I’m really happy for them,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’s been kind of a weird camp. We’ve been missing a lot of guys, and to get all of those guys back is huge. They’re the leaders of the team, so to get them back is good.

“Marchand around the room is a funny guy, so he’s definitely missed. We miss them all.”

Zdeno Chara was a force for the surprising rag-tag group of players on Team Europe and led them to the best-of-three final series against Team Canada. Now that it’s over, the B’s teammates are looking forward to all three joining fellow World Cup participants Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes at camp probably at some point next week.

“It does [feel like training camp], but it will be nice to get those guys back,” said Adam McQuaid. “They are big parts of this team. We’re looking forward to having those guys back, for sure.”

That also includes getting their coach, Claude Julien, back as well after missing his presence while he served behind the Canadian bench with Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz. He’ll be rejoining the Bruins over the next couple of days, and getting through preseason road games against Detroit and Philadelphia before making some tough decisions on cuts at main training camp.

That’s when things will officially start getting back to normal for a training camp that’s felt like something was a little missing over the first few weeks of getting ready for the season. 

Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

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Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while taking a nap this afternoon so I can watch the 1:30 am replay of tonight’s Bruins/Red Wings game on the NHL Network.

*Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara scored the goals at the World Cup’s decisive game on Thursday night, and No. 63 got the clutch game-winner late in the third period for Team Canada. Then he watched as linemate Sidney Crosby won the MVP for the tournament in what could be perceived, from a Boston point of view, as a largely Canadian-based hockey media fawning over Sid the Kid once again. Look, he was the tournament’s leading scorer, but last night’s heroics probably should have tipped the scales toward the B’s agitator getting the World Cup hardware.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm seeking an eight year deal from his team. That could be another contract negotiation to watch closely if you’re a Bruins fan.

*Zach Werenski, one of the D-men the Bruins were trying to trade up to get two years ago in the first round of the draft, is looking like he might be NHL-ready for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

*Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is holding out with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just wants to get paid like the rest of his teammates.

*Marian Hossa says he still wants to play hockey when he’s 42 years old, or close to the age that countrymen Zdeno Chara is right now.

*Here are some preseason college hockey storylines with the world of NCAA hockey about to start up in force.

*A judge has ruled that the family of the late Derek Boogaard may pursue a lawsuit against the NHL over the death of their son.

*For something completely different: “Tex Ryan” takes his jokes to open mic night and I’m fairly this is Toucher and Rich skewering the Buffalo Bills head coach. And rightfully so.