"It’s conceivable McQuaid could be the odd man out with eight NHL defensemen on the roster."
That's what NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty wrote about Adam McQuaid in his Countdown to Camp series two weeks ago.
That prediction came true Tuesday morning when the Bruins traded McQuaid to the Rangers in exchange for former Bruin defenseman Steven Kampfer and two 2019 draft picks -- a fourth-rounder and a conditional seventh-rounder.
The 31-year-old had only played 38 games last season due to a variety of injuries and healthy scratches, but was one of the toughest Bruin blueliners over the last decade. McQuaid had 462 penalty minutes over his career, the fifth-most among all NHL defensemen during that stretch, despite playing over 100 fewer games than the rest of the top six.
The Black and Gold still have a glut of defensemen vying for playing time this season, with Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and John Moore all signed, plus youngsters looking to make a case for playing time during the preseason.
With the Bruins traveling group from China now on their way back to Boston to be reunited with the rest of the team at the end of this week, it was time for Boston to make their first cuts of training camp. There were no shockwaves with any of the moves as veteran NHL D-man Mark Fayne and forward Marcel Noebels were released from their veteran tryout agreements, and junior players Cedric Pare, Daniel Bukac and Kyle Keyser were all returned to their respective junior hockey teams.
Wiley Sherman, Austin Fyten, Olivier Galipeau, Brett McKenzie, Joel Messner, Tanner Pond and Alex Sakellaropoulos were also reassigned to AHL training camp, which should be getting started in Providence in short order.
The most notable of all the cuts is probably the local hockey product in 31-year-old Fayne, who has played 389 NHL games for the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers over his career. Fayne was buried in Edmonton after signing a decent-sized contract with the Oilers, however, and hadn’t seen any NHL action since the 2016-17 season.
The 23 Bruins players returning from China will get a couple of days off after arriving back in Boston per the parameters of the CBA, so the Black and Gold will be operating with a smaller group in camp for the next few days until the two camp groups get reunited.
The real question is how long 18-year-old rookie sensation Jakub Lauko will remain in camp with the Bruins after scoring in his preseason debut last Sunday, and then scoring again on a breakaway in Tuesday night’s preseason win over the Capitals in Washington. So far he’s shown the speed, tenacity and maturity to be able to play at the NHL level, but things are obviously going to get more challenging for him as goes along.
Bruins 3, Flames 1
Jake DeBrusk scored two goals, including the game-winner in the third period, as the Bruins complete a two-game sweep of Calgary in China. Click here for today's box score.
BRUINS EXHIBITION RECORD
EVAN TUUKKA RASK GOT INTO THE ACT
- SATURDAY: at Red Wings, 7 p.m.
- MONDAY: at Flyers, 7 p.m.
- WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26: vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m.