Bruins assign three skaters to Providence

Oct 20, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (58) warms up against the the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. (Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

In what may very well be another paper transaction, the Bruins returned three skaters to the Providence on Sunday, assigning forwards Paul Carey and Trent Frederic, along with defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, down to the AHL.

Carey's move back to the AHL comes a day after he made his 2019-20 season debut, logging just 6:22 in Boston's 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals. Frederic's demotion, meanwhile, comes after two games with the Big B's, and after logging a team-low 4:16 in Saturday's defeat. Frederic, a first-round pick in 2016, has now skated in 17 NHL games, but has yet to record a point.

Vaakanainen on the other hand, finds himself back in Providence after suiting up for three straight NHL games, with a plus-1 rating to go with six hits and two blocked shots and 17:26 of time on ice per game over that span.

"I thought he was competitive in Toronto. Doesn’t win every battle, doesn’t always make the right play, but we need to see a compete level out of him; that’s first and foremost," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of the Finnish defender. "That’s what we ask these young guys. You’ve got to compete in the National Hockey League. You just have to. It’s a second-effort league. You’ve got to win pucks; you’ve got to win races, hopefully both. We’re seeing that out of Vaak.

"Now it’s up to us to get him into good spots to excel and coach him up on position and some of the players in the league. I’m seeing him skate a little more. I think he’s got some of that in him. He’s not a guy that we’re going to assume will be a Torey Krug type, but we do believe he’s a guy that can contribute – a secondary offense guy, and we’re starting to see some of that."

The team also moved forward Karson Kuhlman, who has not played since Oct. 19 due a fracture in his foot, to the long-term injured reserve. Kuhlman, the B's original second-line right wing to begin the 2019-20 season, was scheduled to be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks following the team-provided update on Oct. 22.

If these moves stick, it's because the Bruins are confident that wingers Jake DeBrusk (lower-body), Brett Ritchie (upper-body), or defenseman Torey Krug (upper-body) are ready to return to action after dealing with their ailments.

But whether or not these moves stick will have to wait until Monday morning, when the B's will skate on Warrior Ice Arena ice for an 11 a.m. practice before traveling to New Jersey for a Tuesday night head-to-head with the Devils.

The Bruins have losses in five of their last six games.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.