The Bruins were pleasantly surprised by the performance of Colby Cave after calling him up from Providence a couple of months ago.
The 24-year-old center was clearly not a scoring machine with just a goal and five points in his 20 games with the Bruins, but Cave had shown good hustle, a non-stop work ethic and never seemed like his NHL moment got too big for him. Those are all impressive traits for a player going through it for the first time at the NHL level, and that’s probably why Cave didn’t make it through after being placed on waivers by the Bruins this week.
Cave was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, as it was current Oiler GM Peter Chiarelli who signed him in Boston as one of the last things he did before getting fired a couple of weeks later. Clearly the Bruins were hoping that Cave would get through waivers to clear the way for him to be sent back to Providence after a number of healthy scratches, but Bruce Cassidy also wished the young forward good fortune in the Western Conference.
“I’ve got a fondness for him. I had him down in Providence too, and I’ve always got a fondness for the guys that pay their dues in the American League,” said Cassidy. “Now he gets an opportunity somewhere else. It’s a loss for the Bruins organization because he’s an asset, but it’s a great day for the person."
“It’s a mixed bag, but I’m happy for him right now because I hope he gets another opportunity to play there. Who knows how it will play out? [But I hope] he gets a chance to extend his career in the NHL. As far as the player goes, he’s a good kid that works hard and is a solid depth player. He’ll probably have a better opportunity there than he was getting here recently.”
With young prospects like Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Trent Frederic poised to get extended looks as bottom-6 centers at the NHL level, it was clear that there wasn’t going to be much of a future for Cave with the B’s no matter how much he was liked by the coaching staff. But the Bruins also lose a player for nothing that could have served as good organizational depth if injuries crop up for Boston in the second half of the season.
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