Less than a week before the official start of training camp, the Boston Bruins have apparently made their roster arrangements for the team’s preseason-opening trip to China as part of the 2018 O.R.G. China Games.
Speaking before the annual Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament in Bolton, Mass., on Tuesday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Noel Acciari, Zdeno Chara, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug, and Sean Kuraly will not make the trek around the world for the Sept. 15 and Sept. 19 head-to-heads with the Calgary Flames.
Heinen and Kuraly have been excused after making the trip to China this summer for #BruinsGlobal.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 4, 2018
Krug and Acciari, both coming off injury, will play back in Boston and are expected to be ready for Opening Night.
The decision to not bring Chara seems relatively easy to understand.
At 41 years old, and coming off a season that saw the 6-foot-9 captain log nearly 2,000 minutes between the regular season and playoffs, it makes absolutely no sense to drag Chara on a 14-hour flight for two meaningless preseason tilts. Keeping No. 33 at home is more than in line with the Black and Gold’s plans of keeping Chara as fresh as possible for when it truly matters.
The Bruins also do not need to evaluate Chara’s game as it pertains to his spot on the roster, as Cassidy pointed out.
Acciari (hernia surgery) and Krug (broken ankle) are not making the trip as they’re instead focusing on their rehab in Boston, and Cassidy noted that the team expects both players to play in preseason games at the Garden and be ready for Opening Night.
Krug’s ankle injury, suffered on a gruesome-looking fall in Game 4 of the team’s five-game, round-two loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, did not require surgery, but did require Krug to spend the majority of his summer in a walking boot. Acciari, the bulldozer of the Boston fourth line, played almost the entire 2017-18 season through a sports hernia.
Heinen and Kuraly, meanwhile, have been excused from the trip.
Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, who is a ‘little behind’ on his recovery from an offseason groin procedure, has already said that he’s going to skip out on the trip to China and hopes to play in a few preseason tilts.
The Bruins’ full list of players skipping out on the China trip should come to light in the next few days.