The Boston Bruins kick off training camp in just a few weeks, but they won’t be playing with a full roster right out of the chute.
For one, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, both restricted free agents, remain unsigned. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney remains optimistic that both players will get signed, but at the moment nothing is imminent, so there’s a chance camp begins without both young blue liners.
Then there’s injuries.
A lengthy postseason run banged up more than just a couple Bruins — Patrice Bergeron played through a groin injury, Joakim Nordstrom had a foot problem, Chris Wagner fractured his arm and Zdeno Chara needed a procedure to remove loose fragments from his elbow. The list goes on. There’s also John Moore and Kevan Miller.
Moore suffered a broken humerus on March 25 that kept him out for stretches of the postseason. He put off surgery so that he could gut through the injury, but finally received the required procedure during the offseason. Miller, meanwhile, didn’t play a minute of the postseason with a fractured knee and torn oblique — and those were just the final ailments from an injury-riddled season that limited him to 39 games.
In a Q-and-A Thursday with Boston Sports Journal’s Conor Ryan, Sweeney shared the latest on Moore and Miller with camp looming.
“John Moore’s timeline … he will not be ready for the start of training camp. He won’t be ready for the start of the season,” Sweeney said. “Kevan Miller has to be afforded all of the time that he needs — having surgery twice. So he won’t be pushed. He’s going to push himself. We just have to make sure he doesn’t push himself too hard and have any setbacks. We don’t have a timeline. Kevan will get back on the ice shortly. He’s hitting all his benchmarks off the ice. We’ll see where he’s at — periodically. Zee had a small elbow procedure, he’ll probably be fine.”
As far as defensemen go, the Bruins still have Connor Clifton and Steven Kampfer in addition to a slew of prospects (and Alex Petrovic on a PTO) to compliment the mainstays. But if McAvoy and Carlo hold out and Moore and Miller can’t go, the Bruins will be pretty thin at the blue line.