Bruins

Carlo, O’Gara know ‘nothing set in stone’ with Bruins roster spots in reach

bruins-brandon-carlo.jpg

Carlo, O’Gara know ‘nothing set in stone’ with Bruins roster spots in reach

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Nobody has told Brandon Carlo and Rob O’Gara that they’ve made the NHL roster for the Bruins out of training camp, but it’s sure beginning to look that way with the dominoes falling in their direction.

Fellow youngsters Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly and Malcolm Subban are undoubtedly headed to Providence as they’ve disappeared from preseason practices with the NHL group, but the 19-year-old Carlo and the 23-year-old O’Gara are still standing with the Black and Gold.

Clearly, those two D-man prospects have been buoyed by their sterling training camp performances, and injuries to Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid have opened the door for them at this early point in October.

Both McQuaid and Miller may be out of commission at the start of the season and Christian Ehrhoff walked away from a possible contract from the Bruins because he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in Boston’s top-six to start the year.

Carlo, who was begun skating in a potential top pair with Zdeno Chara, is just hoping this odyssey ends with him in the opening night lineup on Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“It’s nice to still be kicking around, and just going day-to-day here to see how it goes. Nothing is definitely set in stone, so I’m just trying to go out there, practice and show that I want to be here,” said Carlo. “You see a lot of different things being here throughout camp, and it really puts it in perspective that you have to earn your spot, and there are guys here fighting to keep their spot.

“It’s pretty cool because it really brings that compete level up, and I really enjoy that. Overall, I’m just trying to take in the experience, and do the best that I can out there.”

O’Gara hasn’t been placed in a preseason role quite as prominent as the top pair spot that Carlo has enjoyed since his very first preseason game, but the 6-foot-4 defenseman has been solid, smart and confident in all situations as a possible stay-at-home D-man.

“I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but it’s exciting to be here. I just need to keep working, and that’s it,” said O’Gara. “From the beginning just think about what I can control, and that’s it. I just work my hardest and not worry about who’s going where. There’s a lot that goes into these [roster decisions] so we’ll see what happens.”

The situation becomes more difficult for Don Sweeney and the Bruins when McQuaid and Miller are ready to return. Boston is sitting with seven D-men on one-way NHL contracts before even counting Carlo and O’Gara. But that might be a decent problem to have if two rookie D-men continue to impress into the regular season and show that they’re ready to provide the Bruins with much-needed upgrades on their back end. 

 

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

The 2019 NHL Draft is scheduled to begin Friday, and less than two weeks later free agency will open for all 31 teams.

It's going to be a busy and important couple of weeks for franchises looking to make major changes to their rosters with the hope of winning the Stanley Cup in 2020 and beyond.

Let's take a look at the top unrestricted and restricted free agents that could hit the market in July.

Click here for the top 25 free agents of the 2019 NHL offseason>>>

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Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

As Bruce Cassidy enters the final year of his contract as head coach of the Boston Bruins, it probably goes without saying that he deserves an extension. 

The good news for B's fans, according to Joe McDonald of The Athletic, Boston is pleased with Cassidy's performance and plans to address his contract. 

'He’s under contract, so we have decisions that we’re going to progress with, and he’ll be part of that,' general manager Don Sweeney said. 'He’s under contract, so it’s not a concern right now, but we will address it.'

After a 107-point 2018-19 campaign, good for the second-best mark in the NHL, Cassidy led the Bruins to the brink of a Stanley Cup only to fall in Game 7 at TD Garden to the St. Louis Blues.

One of the major themes of this year's Bruins team was their resiliency under Cassidy. Boston fought back from a 3-2 deficit in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto and a 2-1 deficit against Columbus to win those series, and then won another Game 6 on the road down 3-2 to the Blues. 

The Bruins have made the playoffs in each of their first three seasons with Cassidy leading the charge, improving their finish in the postseason each year. 

BRUINS UNDER CASSIDY

2016-17: 44-31-7 (95 points), lost in the first round (4-2)
2017-18: 50-20-12 (112 points), lost in the second round (4-1)
2018-19 49-24-9 (107 points), lost in Stanley Cup Final (4-3)

Cassidy is the second-fastest Bruins coach to reach 100 wins as he has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the league. And team President Cam Neely certainly thinks highly of him. 

'He’s done a very good job for us, obviously,' Neely said. 'Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two, back-to-back 50-win seasons — pretty impressive. He learned from our playoff losses and how to maybe coach a little bit differently in the playoffs.'

We'll see if the Bruins extend Cassidy before the 2019-20 season starts, but it definitely seems like they view him as their long term answer on the Black and Gold's bench. 

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