The Bruins weren’t expecting any of their core group to opt out of the NHL’s Return to Play plan when it begins with Monday’s start to training camp.
But they did lose one player who likely would have been invited as a depth piece when defenseman Steve Kampfer announced he was opting out of playing this summer over family health concerns.
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The Bruins defenseman was one of a handful of players including Sven Baertschi, Roman Polak and Travis Hamonic who decided not to play in this summer’s postseason while the COVID-19 global pandemic is still hitting North America with full force.
Kampfer made the announcement on his Twitter account on Saturday night as the Bruins released their 33-player roster for training camp that includes 29 skaters and four goaltenders. Here’s the entirety of Kampfer’s statement that centers around a congenital heart defect shared by both his wife and his one-year-old son that could create complications were they to contract COVID-19.
“This was one of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever had to make,” said Kampfer. “We have taken [COVID-19] very seriously. Family will always be my priority.”
Kampfer played in 10 games for Boston this season as a spare defenseman for the first half of the regular season, but had been playing in the AHL with the P-Bruins in the months leading up to the regular season going on pause in mid-March. Kampfer had three goals and nine points in 22 games for Providence after registering a pair of assists in Boston amid sporadic playing time this year.
Last season Kampfer played in 35 games for the Bruins as a seventh D-man and scored an unforgettable goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final while suiting up for three games during the playoffs last spring.
The rest of the Bruins roster for training camp had no surprises with a mix of the group that won the Presidents' Trophy for the 2019-20 season along with prospects like Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen, Zach Senyshyn, Trent Frederic and Jakub Zboril who could give the Black and Gold some youthful punch this summer.
Here’s the roster that’s expected to take the ice on Monday when training camp begins for the B’s at Warrior Ice Arena:
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Paul Carey, Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic, Ondrej Kase, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Karson Kuhlman, Par Lindholm, Brad Marchand, Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Chris Wagner
Defensemen: Brandon Carlo, Zdeno Chara, Connor Clifton, Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak, Max Lagace, Tuukka Rask, Dan Vladar