Boston, MA - For the Boston Bruins (and for the rest of the National Hockey League, in fact), the time for free agent signings and trades this off-season has come to an end. With training camp being the thing the Bruins organization and fans alike are focusing on, the team can shift its off-season focus from acquiring players in conventional methods to issuing out invitations for professional tryouts. This portion of the off-season focuses on inviting players to participate in training camp. This is undoubtedly the least fruitful aspect of the off-season in terms of finding additional pieces for the upcoming squad, but it has been shown to result in the addition of some productive pieces in past Bruins teams.
For example, during the 2015 off-season, while the Bruins were inviting players for professional tryouts, they wound up discovering who their backup goalie would be that year when they invited Jonas Gustavsson to training camp. Not many pivotal players have been invited to training camp at this point in the season during recent Bruins off-season campaigns, but it is always worth paying attention to.
For example, there are some teams during training camp who actually never issue invitations to any players for professional tryouts and this is not necessarily considered out of the ordinary. As for the Bruins, they have currently extended only one invitation for professional tryouts, per The Providence Journal's Mark Divver. Recently, the Bruins invited Marcel Noebels to training camp. The German forward is as of yet, the only player invited by the franchise to training camp. But the Bruins do have more options that they could be considering and some of them might actually result in the most effectual professional tryout phase in recent memory.
One example is winger Rick Nash who, due to health concerns, is not sure if he will be suiting up during the 2018-19 NHL season. However, if he wants to test the waters, a professional tryout phase would be the perfect way to see if another year in the league would be a good decision for him. It is a low risk, high reward situation that could net the Bruins some much needed depth on their front lines.