By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins took the first step toward finalizing their Opening Night roster on Sunday, placing goaltender Max Lagace on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
Signed to a one-year, $700,000 deal over the summer, the 26-year-old Lagace undoubtedly made a strong first impression during his preseason run with the Bruins, stopping 31-of-33 shots thrown his way in two appearances, good for a .939 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average. Lagace was especially strong at even-strength play, with stops on all but one of the 23 shots thrown his way over that 60-minute sample.
But with the Bruins believing that they have the best one-two punch in the entire league with Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask, and with that tandem both healthy and refreshed ahead of Thursday’s opener, there was simply no room or need for the B’s to carry a third goaltender on their NHL roster out of the gate this season.
If Lagace clears waivers, he will report to the P-Bruins, where he will serve as the team’s starting goaltender, and the No. 3 goaltender in the Boston pipeline. This was a role long-occupied by Zane McIntyre (now with the Canucks organization), and there’s definite comfort with Lagace in that role thanks to his preseason sample in the B’s system, as well as his pro career-best .914 save percentage in 33 games for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves a year ago.
(Lagace’s Boston mask is also a clear tribute to Andy Moog, if you’re into that sort of stuff.)
The 6-foot-2 Lagace has appeared in 17 NHL games in his pro career, all with the Vegas Golden Knights, with a 6-8-1 record and .868 save percentage over that sample.
The Bruins will have to have their roster set by the end of business on Monday.