The season has yet to start and already the Boston Bruins will have to figure out their lineup and deal with visa issues... The Bruins will be without their top two centres when they open their preseason in China later this week since one of the players cannot enter the country.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced that David Krejci will not fly out with the team on Tuesday due to a visa issue. Krejci, a native of Czech Republic, will participate in Boston’s domestic preseason games only.
The team had already announced No. 1 centre Patrice Bergeron would not make the trip due to injury, as he wishes to take the time to get better and be ready for the start of the season.
The preseason opens Saturday morning in Shenzen, China as the Bruins will face the Calgary Flames. They will meet the Flames again on Sept. 19 in Beijing in the second of their two overseas contests.
However, several of the Bruins' top players will be missing from the trip. In addition to Krejci and Bergeron, captain Zdeno Chara, defenceman Torey Krug and forwards Noel Acciari and Anders Bjork were all ruled out last week.
All of the aforementioned players are dealing injuries and looking to feel better in time for the season's kickoff. The 41-year-old captain is however looking to avoid some unnecessary wear and tear before the first game of the regular calendar.
The trip to China will make for a good audition process for several centres who are looking to make the leap to the NHL this season. Jack Studnicka, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Trent Frederic, and Colby Cave will look to fight for a spot and will get some ice times and the opportunity to show off what they've got in front of the coaches. Cave, 23, spent the last three seasons with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence, but he did appear in three NHL contests with Boston last year.
“Bruce (Cassidy) and the rest of the coaching staff, we are all excited to see how they integrate into the main group and see who has a chance to carry the ball,” Sweeney said.