BOSTON - Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said deliberations regarding the club's Opening Night roster were continuing Monday afternoon among the club's brass as the Black & Gold gear up for Game No. 1 on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars at TD Garden.
Final rosters were due to the NHL by 5 p.m. on Monday.
"We do have to make some decisions," said Cassidy. "I don't think [GM Don Sweeney] has yet. We talk about it every day in camp, but we do have a couple of tough ones."
Ride the Waive
Veterans John Moore and Chris Wagner cleared waivers on Sunday afternoon and practiced with their Bruins teammates for the second straight day on Monday morning. Whether they remain with the club heading into the regular season remains to be seen, but by waiving both, Cassidy said, the Bruins acknowledged that there are players ahead of them on the roster.
"One of the things is this time of year there's a lot of players that go on waivers so if we see someone that maybe can help our team, you have to have space to put the player on there," said Cassidy. "The easiest answer is we have other players ahead of them. Some would require waivers. You have to make a tough decision on who you're gonna expose. I think that's what it came down to and it happened to be Wagner and Moore."
Both Moore and Wagner signed with the Bruins during the summer of 2018 and were important contributors to the Black & Gold's trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Moore played in 10 games during that postseason run, while Wagner suited up for 12 playoff contests after posting a career-high 12 goals and 19 points in 76 games during the regular season.
"Great Bruins, great team guys, both well-liked by their teammates," said Cassidy. "This decision is never fun…[whether they end up in Providence or with Boston will be a decision that [GM Don Sweeney] will make…but it's not automatic, they don't have to go. They can stay and skate here, stay on the roster."
Video: Cassidy talks to the media on Monday morning at WIA
Playing It Kuhl
With Wagner placed on waivers and Curtis Lazar still considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury, Cassidy had Karson Kuhlman riding on the right side of the fourth line with Trent Frederic and Tomas Nosek for Monday's practice. The energetic winger is entering his fourth season with the Bruins.
"He's tried to attack the net and create some stuff offensively for this team," said Cassidy. "His exits are good out of D-zone. He's got good speed, he can track down people on the forecheck with good speed and pace. With Kuhly in that type of role, we want a little more greasiness. We don't expect him to go out and be our hits leader by any means, but he does have to be a little more assertive in that area. Maybe that translates into a few more hits.
"He's got a good hockey IQ, he's willing to go to the net, a decent shot. What I've always said about him is he can sit for stretches and still give you good energy and that's important in that role.
"He's played well, not dominant, not poor. He's done as advertised. Right now, he's a guy we're looking at there."
Kuhlman echoed his coach's sentiments, agreeing that he can add a bit of surliness to his game that will benefit the club.
"That's something that I can for sure add. We've had talks about it as well," said Kuhlman. "I know in the role that I'm in now it's something that I can really bring and would help out the team a lot…going in [with the mentality of bringing it] every night and telling yourself you can play that way, the greasy or gritty, whatever you want to call it."
Video: Kuhlman talks at WIA on Monday morning
Confident in Coyle
While Taylor Hall found instant chemistry with David Krejci upon his arrival to Boston last spring, he is confident that his rapport with Charlie Coyle will be just as strong as they team up with Craig Smith to form Boston's second line. Coyle scored in his lone exhibition contest last Wednesday night against the Capitals, which was also his first game back from offseason knee surgery.
"He looked great," said Hall. "I really think a lot of him as a player and always have. When we heard that Krech wasn't coming back, I didn't really think too much about it. Krech wanted to do what he wanted to do; and he was a great teammate, a great Bruin.
"But there's guys that can step up in that hole and I feel like Charlie is that guy."
Video: Hall talks with the media on Monday morning at WIA
Plenty of Down Time
The Bruins are trudging through a 10-day break between the preseason and Saturday's opener, and they'll have another three days off following their first game against the Stars. With so much downtime early in the year, the coaching staff is trying to balance practicing too much after a long and grueling training camp.
"You'll be better off for it eventually when you've had this rest," said Cassidy. "But now practices, like today was a little tougher to get going. Guys are getting tired of practicing. They know the season is starting this week and they want to get going. We've got to keep them focused in that regard.