On Saturday morning, Boston Bruins fans woke to the news that the Bruins had shipped Ryan Spooner to Providence for the 2013-2014 season. For some fans, this news came as a great disappointment as Spooner proved to be a fan favorite throughout the preseason.
The difficulty of a situation like the Bruins current roster finalization lies in the fact that they now have 4 players (Smith, Spooner, Johnson, and Caron) that are legitimately vying for the two remaining roster spots at third-line winger and alternate forward. Within this, the Bruins organization already seem to be leaning heavily on Reilly Smith locking up the third-line winger spot.
Chiarelli: third line looks how I envisioned it; it's nice to see there's a little bit of chemistry there with Söderberg, Smith & Kells ^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 28, 2013
The Bruins are then left with trying to determine which of the three remaining interests gets the final spot. How does the team choose between three young players that have all exceed expectation? In addition to showing great chemistry with the squad, all three proved their ability to tally consistent numbers; including 1+ points per game for Nick Johnson and Spooner's clutch overtime setup for Eriksson against Winnipeg on September 26th.
For the Bruins, the Ryan Spooner move was a clear and easy play that was probably more business than hockey. Unlike Caron and Johnson, he is not in a situation that is threatened by waiver complications. Further, sending him to Providence would not be as limiting to his ice time as would an alternate spot in Boston. In the end, he is still an alternate center for Boston and Boston fans should expect to see him before the season's end.