Chris Wagner paid his dues in the minors, but the AHL will once again be his path back to the NHL.
The Boston Bruins’ veteran forward, along with John Moore, was waived Saturday afternoon. Both players cleared waivers, and while Moore ended up cracking the Opening Night roster (due to Curtis Lazar starting the season on injured reserve), Wagner is headed to Providence.
It’s a tough break for Wagner, who simply was outplayed by too many people in camp this offseason after spending much of his first three seasons in Boston as the fourth line right wing.
Unsurprisingly, he is bummed.
“Listen, he’s disappointed,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday. “He wants to be here, he wants to help us win, feels he can. We just had tough decisions to make. It’s not like we said, ‘Well, he can’t play.’ We just decided, on that line, to go in a different direction. And then you run out of spots.”
While it is surely little consolation to Wagner, him getting sent down is an indication of the depth that the Bruins now have in the bottom six. He’s a capable player, though, and if injuries or poor performance necessitate it, Wagner undoubtedly is on the shortlist to be called up.