Bruins

Nine Bruins on hand at 1st captain's practice

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Nine Bruins on hand at 1st captain's practice

WILMINGTON, Mass. – It’s officially the end of the summer.

The Bruins convened for their first unofficial captain’s practice on Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena, and the attendance included many of the “A” list players from the Black and Gold roster. Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron ran the practice as the two leaders of the team, and Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Dennis Seidenberg, Matt Beleskey, Zac Rinaldo, Tuukka Rask and Providence College alum Noel Acciari were in attendance for the first session.

Former Northeastern University and ECHL goaltender Adam Geragosian was also on hand to assist the players and give the Bruins two goalies at practice.

The Bruins ran through some breakout drills and had a little half-ice scrimmage at the end of the practice session, but it was more about the B’s stretching their legs and dusting off their hands. The mere presence of the B’s players at captain’s practice simply means that winter is coming for the Bruins.

Bruins' Steven Kampfer opts out of NHL Return to Play over family health concerns

Bruins' Steven Kampfer opts out of NHL Return to Play over family health concerns

The Bruins weren’t expecting any of their core group to opt out of the NHL’s Return to Play plan when it begins with Monday’s start to training camp.

But they did lose one player who likely would have been invited as a depth piece when defenseman Steve Kampfer announced he was opting out of playing this summer over family health concerns.

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The Bruins defenseman was one of a handful of players including Sven Baertschi, Roman Polak and Travis Hamonic who decided not to play in this summer’s postseason while the COVID-19 global pandemic is still hitting North America with full force.

Kampfer made the announcement on his Twitter account on Saturday night as the Bruins released their 33-player roster for training camp that includes 29 skaters and four goaltenders. Here’s the entirety of Kampfer’s statement that centers around a congenital heart defect shared by both his wife and his one-year-old son that could create complications were they to contract COVID-19.

“This was one of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever had to make,” said Kampfer. “We have taken [COVID-19] very seriously. Family will always be my priority.”

Kampfer played in 10 games for Boston this season as a spare defenseman for the first half of the regular season, but had been playing in the AHL with the P-Bruins in the months leading up to the regular season going on pause in mid-March. Kampfer had three goals and nine points in 22 games for Providence after registering a pair of assists in Boston amid sporadic playing time this year.

Last season Kampfer played in 35 games for the Bruins as a seventh D-man and scored an unforgettable goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final while suiting up for three games during the playoffs last spring.

The rest of the Bruins roster for training camp had no surprises with a mix of the group that won the Presidents' Trophy for the 2019-20 season along with prospects like Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen, Zach Senyshyn, Trent Frederic and Jakub Zboril who could give the Black and Gold some youthful punch this summer.

Here’s the roster that’s expected to take the ice on Monday when training camp begins for the B’s at Warrior Ice Arena:

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Paul Carey, Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic, Ondrej Kase, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Karson Kuhlman, Par Lindholm, Brad Marchand, Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Chris Wagner

Defensemen: Brandon Carlo, Zdeno Chara, Connor Clifton, Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril

Goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak, Max Lagace, Tuukka Rask, Dan Vladar

Stanley Cup odds 2020: Bruins are co-betting favorites after schedule reveal

Stanley Cup odds 2020: Bruins are co-betting favorites after schedule reveal

The Boston Bruins' quest for redemption is back on.

The NHL and NHL Players Association officially ratified a Return to Play plan for the 2019-20 season Friday and unveiled a full schedule for the league's round robin and qualifying series, which will lead into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston was the top team in the NHL with 100 points when the league paused in March and will play a round-robin tournament with the other top three teams in the Eastern Conference: the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers.

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So, where do the Bruins stand among the NHL's top contenders for the Cup? According to DraftKings Sportsbook, right at the top -- along with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here are 12 teams with better than +3000 odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup at DraftKings Sportsbook following Friday's schedule release:

Boston Bruins: +650
Tampa Bay Lightning: +650
Colorado Avalanche: +800
Vegas Golden Knights: +800
Washington Capitals: +900
Philadelphia Flyers: +1000
St. Louis Blues: +1100
Dallas Stars: +1500
Pittsburgh Penguins: +1600
Edmonton Oilers: +2300
Toronto Maple Leafs: +2900

The Bruins have their work cut out for them in the round robin format, which they'll begin Aug. 2 against the Flyers. Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia all are among the top six championship contenders, with the Lightning neck-and-neck with the Bruins at +650.

The B's are deep, talented and experienced: They boasted the NHL's best goal differential (plus-53) when the league shut down and are led by a core group of veterans -- Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask -- who know Stanley Cup success and failure.

They also have the NHL's goals leader in David Pastrnak and plenty of motivation after losing Game 7 of last year's Stanley Cup Final on home ice to the St. Louis Blues.

If Boston can avenge that loss, it will be the first team since the 2008-09 Penguins win a Cup after losing in the Cup Final the previous season. It appears the oddsmakers like their chances.