WILMINGTON — There were no new defensemen on the ice for the Bruins at Tuesday’s practice. And after general manager Peter Chiarelli stood pat on that front at Monday’s trade deadline, there will be no new defensemen coming.
The Bruins have their six defensemen — with potential reinforcements from Providence — and that’s it.
“We always know we could get the job done in here,” said Dennis Seidenberg. “It hasn’t always been pretty this season, but I think everybody has been trying their best. We all know we have to be better. Now it’s up to us to deliver.”
Chiarelli’s argument against obtaining a depth defenseman was that the team has pieces in the AHL equivalent to those he saw available in Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky. He argued that those players had earned a shot to prove themselves.
The GM also decided not to make a bigger deal for a top-four defenseman, shoring up one of the places where the Bruins seem to have a deficiency. That leaves Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski — barring a reshuffling — as the second pairing for the remainder of the season.
“Obviously there wasn’t anything better out there that we could afford, I guess, that would have been better than what we have in Providence,” said coach Claude Julien. “We feel comfortable with our depth.”
The decisions of the Bruins overall, obtaining a young forward in Brett Connolly and a depth forward in Max Talbot, reflected Chiarelli’s decision to mostly stand pat. There were no huge deals, no major alteration of the team or its core. As Seidenberg said, “It’s not just about this year. It’s about the future, too.”
“Obviously the first thing to me that sticks out is that he believes in this team and what we have, and we have to go out there and prove to him that we have what it takes,” said Patrice Bergeron. “We just need a chance to get ourselves in the playoffs and go from there.”
Adam McQuaid was the only player — other than Talbot — not on the ice at practice. Julien termed it a maintenance day for McQuaid. The Bruins practiced with five defensemen . . . Gregory Campbell returned to the ice after missing the last eight days with an upper-body injury sustained against the Blackhawks Feb. 22. But he did not take contact, leaving it unclear whether he’ll return for Thursday’s game against the Flames. “I really don’t know,” said Campbell. “I feel progressively better, but two days away from the game and I haven’t had contact yet. I’m literally taking it a day at a time.”