The Boston Bruins announced yesterday that the club had assigned goaltenders Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
This news means both Jonas Gustavsson and Jeremy Smith have been left in camp, on a professional tryout, to compete for what would be the backup job to B’s starting goalie Tuukka Rask.
It had been under heavy debate who should start second string for the Bruins, and now we are all one step closer to finding out just who will get the gig at the end of training camp.
The two who have been sent down (Subban, McIntyre) appear to be the correct two, as both are young, inexperienced and perhaps need the development of the AHL. However, Malcolm Subban has been looked after greatly by this hockey club, and it appears to have come to no avail. He has been given a number of chances and is yet to take any of them.
The thought of perhaps trading Subban whilst he still has value is something that should be considered. But it seems as if the Bruins want to continue to develop the young goaltender themselves.
Zane McIntyre is a guy who has impressed greatly at college level and has lots of potential, but needs to keep playing in order to grow and improve, then maybe we’ll see him wearing the spoked B.
Gustavsson and Smith will battle it out with only ten days left until the season begins, and it couldn’t be closer. Both have impressed in preseason so far, as the Bruins are currently undefeated. It’s preseason, yes. But it’s the only time these types of players get to prove themselves. At least one of them has to make it count.
As close as it is at this point, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jonas Gustavsson get the backup role. His experience at previous hockey clubs like the Detriot Red Wings, puts instant confidence in a team, knowing your guy between the pipes has been there and done it all before.
Gustavsson also has desperation on his side. Knowing he’s been in the league for a while, this really could be his last opportunity. He’ll want to make it count, that’s for sure.