(This piece was written by Chowder newbie Joey Copponi.)
The regular season is just about here and that means a few things: it means that the roster is almost solidified, it means the Bruins have gotten rid of another first round pick, and it means my alcohol intake is about to increase by about 800%.
Malcolm Subban, who has proven to be one of the most polarizing Bruins prospects in recent memory, has been claimed off of waivers by the Vegas Golden Knights.
I’m willing to admit my bias here. Since the day the Bruins drafted a Subban, I’ve been visualizing the moment where fans would get to watch him face his brother, PK, and shut him out. That daydream is going to remain just that: a dream.
Subban had a regular season start back in 2014-15 in which he allowed 3 goals on 6 shots. Not great.
However, he was barely 21 years old at the time; he’s had time to improve since then, right?
Eh, not so much. Last season Subban was granted an NHL start once again, as he hoped to improve on that .500 save percentage. His second start didn’t go much better, as he allowed 3 more goals on 16 shots before getting pulled again.
With appearances in 4 of 8 preseason games this year, Subban walks away with a .889 save percentage, facing mainly AHLers.
The fact of the matter is simple - Malcolm Subban is not NHL-ready. That’s not to say that he will never be; he is still only 23 years old. There is plenty of time for him to improve, but the way to do it isn’t for him to play one of every 10 games in the NHL.
Subban’s move to the desert has him behind Marc-Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard. While there’s a chance he earns the back-up spot on a fledgling Vegas team, it’s safe to say he’s going to remain in this 3rd/4th string limbo for the foreseeable future.
Does this solidify him as a career minor league player or does the change in scenery mean that Subban grows into the player whose potential made him a first-round draft pick?
We’ll have to wait to see. What’s clear now, however, is that the Bruins are still the Bruins: they’ve given up another first round pick for nothing and Tuukka Rask is going to need Anton Khudobin (and probably McIntyre too) to step up in the coming season.
Despite how superhuman Rask can seem at times, the man can’t play 65 games again this year. Khudobin served as the primary backup last year, but was only able to give Rask a rest for a grand total of 14 games; McIntyre only started 3 times.
An aging Khudobin has eyes shifting to McIntyre, who, although already 25 years old, now represents the “youth movement” for the Bruins in the goaltending department.
Only time will tell what the future holds for McIntyre and the Bruins goaltending tandems, but with Subban out of the picture, the Bruins have one less option in net.
Regardless of how lackluster that option may have appeared at times, they’ve once again proven that cultivating young talent is not exactly an area in which the team excels.
Here’s to hoping that McIntyre seizes this opportunity to grow into an NHLer; at this point, he’s pretty much all they’ve got.