Clark sent on his way
As an invitee, Chris Clark arrived at Bruins camp without a contract. Yesterday, he departed TD Garden without the deal he was seeking.
After practice, management informed Clark that his services would not be required. Clark remains an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team. However, with 29 other clubs finalizing their rosters, he faces a significant challenge to find prompt NHL employment.
The former Washington captain projected to be bottom-six depth if he made the Boston roster.
In Saturday’s preseason finale against the Islanders, Clark was the right wing on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Lane MacDermid. In the second period, Clark broke his nose during a fight with Micheal Haley.
The last two days, Clark was the fourth forward on the fourth line.
Had the Bruins signed Clark, they could have done so at around the league minimum of $525,000. As an over-35 player, he also could have asked for performance bonuses.
Yesterday’s decision affirms the team’s faith in Jordan Caron. For the second straight season, Caron broke camp with the big club. Tonight, he will be either the third-line left wing or the healthy scratch, with the latter being the likely scenario.
It also indicates the Bruins are comfortable with their AHL depth if injuries strike. MacDermid and Jamie Arniel could be bottom-six fill-ins with the big club.
No extension yet Last year, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron signed extensions before the season. The same didn’t happen this year for David Krejci, who is entering the final season of his three-year deal. Krejci is open to negotiating during the season, so an extension could be finalized this fall. Krejci could see an annual raise in the $5 million range - not No. 1 center money, but somewhere between a first- and second-line pivot’s demands.
Who is on ‘A’ team? As of yesterday, the Bruins had not decided on their second alternate captain. Bergeron will wear the first “A’’ for the sixth straight season. Candidates include Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg, and Chris Kelly. The alternate captaincy could be permanent. Or the letter could rotate during the season, as it did in 2008-09. That season, Ference, Marc Savard, and Marco Sturm shared the captaincy. “The meaning of it, or what it’s going to do, whoever has it or whoever doesn’t have it, is not as big of an issue as most people think,’’ said coach Claude Julien.
Under the weather Adam McQuaid didn’t practice because of a virus. McQuaid left Tuesday’s practice early. Julien said McQuaid is possible for tonight. If he can’t play, Matt Bartkowski would dress. Yesterday, Bartkowski skated on the right side, with Ference as his partner . . . The defense pairs will be fluid throughout the season, Julien said. Yesterday, Chara was paired with Johnny Boychuk. Seidenberg skated with former Carolina teammate Joe Corvo. “We really feel comfortable about the mixing and matching,’’ Julien said. “We’re going to be capable of utilizing more of that back end to hopefully spread some ice time out a little bit more. It was a long year last year. A short summer. If we plan on hopefully being able to do that again this year, it’s pretty obvious that we’re going to have to share more of that ice time on the back end.’’ . . . Savard (postconcussion syndrome) and Steven Kampfer (knee) will start the season on injured reserve. Savard will be moved to long-term injured reserve if the Bruins wish to exceed the cap by his $4.007 million annual hit.
Sticking with it Milan Lucic is coming off a career-best 30-goal season. Naturally, he isn’t changing any of his equipment, including his stick. Lucic has a 114 flex, which is on the stiffer side. If he chose a whippier stick, Lucic said, his shot wouldn’t be as good . . . The Bruins plan to tweak their road schedule. In previous years, they flew back to Boston immediately after a road game. This year, for long and intermediate trips (Florida being an example of the latter), the Bruins will not fly out until the following morning. Sleep schedules undergo fewer disruptions that way . . . There is a new sign in the dressing room: “Demolish the bridges behind you. Then there is no choice but to build again.’’ Rumor is the Bruins were inspired by the Big Dig.