One of the Boston Bruins biggest off-season to-do’s was to search for a new back-up goaltender to play second fiddle to Vezina Trophy winner, Tuukka Rask.
After the news broke early last season that Nicholas Svedberg wouldn’t be returning to Boston, the B’s had to prepare for an off-season of trails and tribulations.
There was only ever four goaltenders in contention for this role. Zane McIntyre, Malcolm Subban, Jeremy Smith and Jonas Gustavsson. They all had equal opportunities to make an impression.
Zane McIntyre showed promise, yet not enough to see NHL action. Malcolm Subban portrayed the same as he always has, great athleticism, but bad all-round goaltending. Jeremy Smith went all the way, primarily because he has been trusted with the Providence Bruins starting job for a couple of seasons now, he was the surest bet inside the organization, yet failed at the final hurdle.
Last but not least, Jonas Gustavsson. A veteran guy who has been in the league for a while, mostly known for the few good seasons with the Detriot Red Wings. He has the experience, and with that he managed to hold things together throughout the preseason, and that’s why he is now the Boston Bruins second-string goalie.
Is this perhaps the safest bet? Going with a guy who has the experience. Does it show lack of faith in the Bruins pipeline? No. The simple fact, McIntyre, Subban and Smith really aren’t good enough to be playing at an NHL level just yet. Gustavsson is easily the best option to start a season.
In making this decision, the Bruins have signed Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year deal, worth around $700,000. Making him the backup in Beantown.
With NHL rosters finally set, teams across the league should all be ready for opening night. That’s tomorrow, folks. Hockey is back!