The hardest part about sports of any kind is making cuts because these players put everything they have into making the team. The day after the Bruins finished their pre-season play with a 5-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the front office started to make their tough decisions. This morning, GM Peter Chiarelli announced that forwards Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner and Matt Lindblad have been released from their duties with the team (also goaltender Niklas Svedberg). According to Chiarelli, “the opening night roster” needs to finalized by October 1st, and that the team will carry 23 players going into October 3rd vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning ( 13 forwards, eight defensemen, two goaltenders).
With these cuts, it still leaves forward Jordan Caron or Nick Johnson as being capable of being labeled the 13th forward. “Versatility, first and foremost” is what Chiarelli said the team is looking for to be able to be the “healthy scratch.” Chiarelli went on to state “It’s a tough decision because there’s three or four guys who had good camps. I know there are two guys who you’ve been focusing on, Johnson and Caron, and I think they both played well. Both defensive responsibility, they both have that size, they both have that experience; one guy has more than the other. Style of play is a little bit different, so that’s tough. That player doesn’t play often (healthy scratch), but with injuries may have to get in there.”
The two players (Johnson and Caron) have made strong cases to make the team, which makes the job for Bruins front office even tougher. In the next couple of days we will know which player fits the mold of the team better, but it still doesn’t make the cutting process any easier.