( Above Photo Credit: Twitter .com )
By: Marks Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
Let’s start by saying I’m a big fan of researching everything Boston Bruins hockey but never considered myself an expert or insider but a person that takes this hobby seriously while learning on a daily basis. Sometimes when things happen behind closed doors, and fans have nothing to do with certain moves, we have our shake our heads moments and sometimes question the acts and inner works of operating a National Hockey League franchise. One move that happened on October 10, 2017, was one where I tilted my head like a curious dog when the B’s had their American Hockey League affiliate move a goaltending prospect to the East Coast Hockey League.
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) October 10, 2017
Now here’s where you’re thinking, prospect in the minor-pro developmental leagues go up and down all the time, and I completely understand that but when a prospect is demoted to make room for another goaltender that has nothing what-so-ever to do with this Bruins organization, that raises a red flag for me and start to ponder the realm of why?
20-year-old goaltender Dan Vladar was selected in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and was the second highest ranked European netminder according to the NHL’s Central Scouting Final Rankings for his draft year. The 6’-5” 185-pound Czech Republic native admittedly needs some more work in the Bruins system there’s no denying that, but he does have great athleticism and potential that can be seen at every level he’s been called to action thus far.
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 9, 2017
Here’s why I have a serious problem with the youth prodigy and his placement at the “AA” level. On that same October 10th day that Vladar was moved to the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators, the Providence Bruins filled the vacant crease duties with goaltender Jordan Binnington who came to Providence on loan from the St. Louis Blues organization where he was with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, but there was no room for him to get playing time. Read that one more time if needed to allow that to soak in and hope at least a few understand where I’m coming from.
So, this brings me to some final question about this move? The Bruins Brass think very highly of Vladar and his progression but how can you pass up a roster spot for one of your own prospects but go ahead and accept a player that has never been in the plan in the first place? That my friends is something that I don’t understand. After watching him play in the ECHL during his 2016-17 professional rookie season mostly grinding it out with Atlanta who was a mediocre team at best, Vladar stepped up his game when called up to the Baby B’s and adjusted very well to a better-structured defense. Although only called to the AHL due to injuries at the NHL level, the quick netminder went unbeaten in eight appearances even tho he posted a below average 5-9-1 record in 18 games for Atlanta.
Why wasn’t Gladiators goaltender Matt Ginn offered that spot over Binnington? Matt’s not a Bruins prospect but has had serviceable time in the lower ranks of the organization’s developmental leagues and would think he’d get a look at least for a short time? This whole thing was just mind-boggling and interesting at the same time.
Again, like I mentioned above, I’m no expert but a passionate fan that loves to get the wheels turning on certain topics but passing over one of your own prospects to create ice time for a player on loan was a questionable one. In the developmental scheme, I had Zane McIntyre and the young Vladar splitting the 2017-18 AHL campaign with a spot made available from the departed Malcolm Subban who was claimed on waivers by the new NHL Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise.