Boston Bruins forward Anton Blidh expressed frustration over his role and ice-time with the team through the last few weeks of the regular season and in the playoffs. In talking to Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic, Blidh mentioned that he did not appreciate being scratched in all seven of the Bruins’ playoff games, as well as 11 of the final 12 regular season games, and even said that at times, he would have preferred to be in the AHL, where he could have played regularly. Shinzawa suggested that while Blidh did have his positives and perhaps could have challenged forward Nick Foligno for ice-time, he did have his drawbacks and Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy ultimately preferred to go with Foligno’s experience in these situations.
A pending UFA, Blidh does not have to endure his frustrations with the Bruins any longer if he chooses not to. Originally a sixth-round draft pick of Boston in 2013, Blidh has played parts of six seasons with the team, tallying four goals and eight assists in 70 career games in that time. Some of Blidh’s frustration can be understood, as a look back at the last three seasons shows that Blidh has played in 49 NHL games in that period, but just 15 AHL games. This season, Blidh played in 32 contests for Boston, but played zero AHL games. Even with COVID-shortened seasons, playing in just 64 games over three seasons could foreseeably be frustrating for any player.
- The St. Louis Blues announced that they have recalled defenseman Steven Santini from the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL. After spending the entire year with Springfield, putting up 18 points in 66 games, Santini has shuffled back and forth between Springfield and St. Louis in the month of May, even getting his first NHL action of the 2021-22 season against the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs. It’s unclear if there is a specific motive behind the Blues’ decision to recall Santini, however it does raise eyebrows given the team’s rash of injuries to their defensemen late this season and into the first round, which necessitated Santini’s playoff appearance in the first place.
- It appears that Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Kristians Rubins will head to the World Championships to join Team Latvia (link). Listed at 6’5″ and 227 pounds, Rubins has made a name for himself as an imposing, physical defender who can shut down the opposition. In 58 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this season, Rubins had one goal an 10 assists, and was even able to make his NHL debut for the Maple Leafs, playing in three games in December. The 24-year-old may have joined Latvia sooner, however he was on the Maple Leafs roster in the playoffs as a reserve.