BOSTON - Peter Cehlarik was getting anxious. For the last two weeks, while the rest of the organization was taking part in training camp, the 22-year-old was skating on his own as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
For the Slovakia native, it was a continuation of summer - one that lasted for far too long.
But on Friday, Cehlarik finally returned to make his training camp debut, skating with David Krejci and David Pastrnak during a morning practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
"Obviously more fun to be back out there with the guys after a long summer," said Cehlarik. "Trying to get back on the ice healthy, felt good to be out there. Camp started today for me. I was out there with the skating coach [Kim Brandvold] and a couple injured guys. Just working hard to get back, had to be patient with it. But I'm healthy now."
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Cehlarik will not play in Saturday's preseason finale in Chicago, indicating that he will most likely start the season in Providence. Nonetheless, Cassidy can tell there has been marked progress in the former third-round pick's game since last season.
"He looks like he has improved his skating, he looks stronger, like a lot of kids his age. Looks like a good summer for him," said Cassidy. "This injury, unfortunately we didn't get a good look at him. I think he would have learned a lot from his time up last year. And whenever he does get back into our lineup, I think that will be a good, positive for him, having gone through it.
"We've always liked Peter. We won a lot of games with him in the lineup. We just made a decision late in the year, when we made a deal at the trade deadline to go with a more veteran guy."
Video: Peter Cehlarik speaks to media after practice
Cehlarik played 11 games for Boston last season during a stretch of February and March in which the Bruins went 8-3-0. Most of the time, he was skating with Krejci and Pastrnak and appeared to be a solid fit on the left side, tallying two assists.
"We played him there last year, and liked a lot of his game," said Cassidy. "Essentially, we needed a spot today for him and try to keep some continuity with the lines for tomorrow, so we threw him in there."
Kenny Agostino notched a goal and two assists over three preseason games, with the three points tying him for the team lead. But with stiff competition for open spots up front, coupled with Agostino missing some time with an injury, the 25-year-old forward was unable to jump ahead of some of his competitors.
As a result, Agostino was waived on Friday. Should he clear, Cassidy said the team would determine whether or not last year's AHL MVP is sent to Providence or remains in Boston.
"Once he clears, then we can make a decision," said Cassidy. "I think the rule is you can decide to send him there, or he can still stay here. I guess we'll find out [Saturday] at noon how that is going to play out."
Overall, Cassidy was not unhappy with Agostino's play during the preseason, but felt that the B's roster could use more speed.
"I didn't know him that well as a player, but from what I did see he's a smart player," said Cassidy. "He makes smart plays. We are looking to upgrade speed in our lineup and I think that's an area where we have a few people in front of him.
"I think he was as advertised in terms of he made some plays. He had a little injury there in the middle of camp where we were going to try to move him around with different people in the lineup. Didn't work out."
Chara Out Saturday
Cassidy confirmed that Zdeno Chara would not travel to Chicago for Saturday's preseason finale. The Bruins captain missed some time earlier this week with an illness.
"I don't think we're going to take Zee with us. It's a tough day. That's one that, unless he came kicking and screaming that he needed to play that game to get ready - which I don't think Z needs it, to be honest with you," said Cassidy. "He's been around a long time. He'll get his work in practice. He's not going to go."
Khudobin Will Start
On the other hand, Anton Khudobin will make the trip to Chicago and get the start between the pipes for the Bruins on Saturday night.
"We'll see how the game goes," said Cassidy. "Last night we went with Malcolm [Subban]. We just weren't sharp in front of Tuukka [Rask], and you don't want him to get any bad habits. So that was a discussion we made, that we feel Tuukka is ready to go Thursday whether he had that last period or not."
The lone player absent from Friday's skate was forward Austin Czarnik, who Cassidy said was under the weather.
"He has been [sick] for a few days, which is unfortunate," said Cassidy. "He was a guy that I thought had a really good camp and was showing a lot of energy. Better pop in his stride. He had scored obviously. We know that he has some offense.
"But that's too bad that you don't get another look at a guy that had a big taste of it last year. It is what it is, I guess."
Friday's Practice Lines
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Anders Bjork
Peter Cehlarik - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano - Sean Kuraly - David Backes
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Danton Heinen
Tim Schaller - Riley Nash - Noel Acciari
Jake DeBrusk - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - Teddy Purcell
Zdeno Chara - Brandon Carlo
Charlie McAvoy - Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid
Rob O'Gara - Paul Postma
Video: Jake DeBrusk on playing with Krejci, Pastrnak