Providence Bruins: Why Is Binnington Here?

( Above Photo Credit: chicagowolves .com / Photographer Ross Dettman )

By: Mark Allred                          Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

As a person constantly learning about the inner works of how a hockey franchise works no matter what level is always something I love to do as I investigate interesting topics along the way. One particular topic that’s boggled my mind for the past few week’s is the addition of goaltender Jordan Binnington who was brought to the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins on loan from the St. Louis Blues top minor-pro affiliate the Chicago Wolves.

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Although I do understand the “loan” process when it comes to the developmental scheme of things for the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins especially in the crease, I have to wonder with a shake my head moment why that roster spot is being used for a player that’s not even Bruins property? Take for instance Bruins goaltending prospect Dan Vladar who was selected in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was placed in the “AA” East Coast Hockey League with the Atlanta Gladiators to start this season, a minor-pro franchise that Vladar spent a majority of his first year as a professional last year. Why wasn’t this opportunity given to him at the AHL level?

Vladar’s time in the ECHL has admittedly been an up and down learning curve as written in previous articles about him but you can’t deny his efforts in the AHL when called upon. With concussion issues with starting goaltender Tuukka Rask and developing depth shits that have to be made in the lower organizational leagues, Vladar got his first start of the 2017-18 season with the Baby B’s last weekend and even tho he started off slow he recovered to earn the shootout 3-2 shootout victory over the Belleville Senators to remain unbeaten in the AHL.

Last season in eight games with Providence the 6’-5” 185-pound Czech Republic native went 4-0-1 when called to the American League and showed he can progress at a higher level of professional hockey and impressed the Bruins Brass no matter if it’s was the regular season or offseason B’s camps and workouts. This whole power thinking took a serious turn for the worse when the news of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies loaning goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo came out yesterday.

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So, after reading this Tweet above, I had to ask why Binnington who is the St. Louis Blues property wasn’t returned to the Chicago Wolves to fix their goaltending issues? I get that the new NHL Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise shares an American League affiliate with the Blues in Chicago, but it still makes no sense to me why Vladar who is a part of the Bruins future is passed over for a goaltender that’s probably not going to be in Providence after this season?

I know it comes down to playing time and an availability agreement and never claimed to know or be close to whatever goes on behind closed doors when decisions like this have to be made but as a former non-pro netminder myself I have to wonder how a 20-year-old Vladar feels about a situation like this and what it could do to his confidence moving forward. I would definitely understand if Malcolm Subban was still a part of the organization and placement in the ECHL had to happen but this is something that’s intrigued me since the addition of Binnington right before this season started and Vladar was sent down to make room after the Baby B’s training camp.

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The Providence Bruins get back to work on the road this weekend with stops in Binghamton, New York on Friday night to play the Devils, then off to Hershey, Pennsylvania on Saturday night to play the Bears. The Baby B’s return home on Friday, November 3rd when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Dunkin‘ Donuts Center to start a three-game weekend.

3 thoughts on “Providence Bruins: Why Is Binnington Here?

  1. Sweeney has a very strong relationship with Armstrong, probably the strongest relationship he has with any GM in the NHL.

    You are correct that Vladar will be better served in the ECHL in terms of ice time because the majority of AHL ice time should go to McIntyre.

    But things are not always as they appear.

    The Blues will likely have to make a decision on one of it’s 4 goaltenders on ELC, with Binnington the only one of the four that will be a RFA at season’s end (with arbitration rights). Allen will be the starter and Opilka will likely be the backup next season. That leaves Husso, Fitzpatrick and Binnington, all challenging for AHL time.

    It’s 8 months away, but it gives the Bruins a long, free look at a goaltender that just may hit the market in the offseason, if not sooner.

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  2. What Dominic said makes alot of sense but the question still remains: Didn’t Vladar deserve to back up McIntyre at the beginning of the season?? Just like many players work harder and play better at higher levels, many NHL players have better stats there than whey had in the AHL. Vladar’s stats are much better in the AHL than they are in the ECHL. I really think he’s earned the right to move up the ladder rather than have a goaltender that belongs to another team take his place. I get the point that he wont play as many games in Providence but I think his stats pretty much proves where he is wants to play, albeit the back up role..

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