BOSTON — The Bruins may begin to pare down their 51-man training camp roster before Monday’s first preseason game at Montreal.
“I think maybe there may be some few cuts before we even play our first exhibition game,” coach Claude Julien said Friday after the second day of practice. “I’d say it could be a few, may not be that many but just a few.”
The Bruins are likely to split the team into two groups for the first two preseason games, which come on back-to-back nights. One group will travel to Montreal on Monday, then a second group will go to Baltimore for Tuesday’s game against the Capitals.
In order to do that, the roster would likely still need to be at least in the mid-40s.
“That’s something (general manager Peter Chiarelli) and I talked as we go along here,” Julien said. “Sometimes we say, ‘OK, well there’s certain guys there, it’s pretty clear and let’s bring the group down a little bit,’ and at the same time you know you got a lot of games and you know you don’t want to overtax certain players and veterans that have played a lot last year so on and so forth.
“So we keep guys around and give them a look around and give the veterans a bit of a break here, so that’s something that we don’t really say we’re going to be down to this number after game or so on, but we have an idea of when we’re going to start to bring it down.”
That could spell an early end for depth players like Jack Downing, Mike Moore, Steven Spinell and Ben Youds. The majority of the cuts come after a week or two and most of the preseason schedule is completed.