The NHL's Board of Governor's ratified the new CBA today which means we are one step closer to playing hockey. The NHLPA is expected to vote on the CBA Friday and Saturday. But in the mean time, the Bruins and Bruins players are getting ready for training camp, starting with players coming back from overseas.
The Bruins had 12 players overseas during the lockout, the most in the NHL. While it kept those players i game shape, it also mean they have to return to Boston quickly to get ready for training camp, which is reported to be starting on Sunday. Even though it will be a short training camp Zdeno Chara is expecting everyone to come in ready to play.
"I think we are still one of the better teams that had most of our players involved and playing [during the lockout]," Chara told WEEI.com's DJ Bean. "Some guys couldn't, but they're still in shape and they look good. I think it's a responsibility you have to have going into camp, to be in good shape and ready to go."
Bruins that haven't been playing have been holding informal skates at Boston University Agganis Arena. The group has included Shawn Thornton, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, and Gregory Campbell. They've been joined recently by players returning, including Chara, Tyler Seguin Dennis Seidenberg,and Patrice Bergeron.
When the Bruins do enter camp, there will be many familiar faces, with only two expected roster spots up for grabs.
That's one of the luxuries that we have, is that everyone's back," Chris Kelly told Bean. 'The coaching staff hasn't changed, and I think it's one f those things that in camp you're not going through the style of play, the systems and things like that, but maybe it will be."
In addition, the Bruins will also have a healthy Nathan Horton back. Horton has missed parts of the last two seasons with concussions. According to his agent, Paul Krepelka, Horton has been skating in Florida and is ready for the season.
"He is healthy and ready to start the season," Krepelka told WEEI.com.
The only changes will be a new defenseman and a new forward. Top prospect Dougie Hamilton is expected to fill that defensive hole and be brought along similar to Seguin. The forward, expected to play on a line with Kelly and Peverely, is a real mystery. The Bruins have invited four forwards from the Providence Bruins to compete for the job. Chris Bourque, Ryan Spooner, Lane MacDermid, and Jamie Tardif were informed by Peter Chiarelli that they were invited to training camp. Jordan Caron, who was expected to fill the void, is out with an injury and won't be healthy in time for the start of the regular season.
Bourque has a family history with the black and gold. His father is Ray Bourque.
"We hope he gets an opportunity. I think he has a good chance at getting an opportunity and it's for him to make the best of it if he does," Ray told ESPNBoston.coms Joe MacDonald. "He's done pretty well down here of late and we'd love to see it. We're all excited about the NHL being back and the possibilities Chris may have."
The idea of seeing Bourque on the back of a Bruins sweater has to excite Bruins fans.
Training camp is expected to start on Sunday with the regular season reported to start on Jan. 19.
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