Tyler Randell’s good news was Max Talbot’s bad news this week. Now both players await more clarity on their respective situations.
Having gone unclaimed on waivers on waivers, the 31-year-old Talbot is still with the Bruins, having practiced on Tuesday with the team before learning that another team hadn’t picked him up. With Talbot still on Boston’s roster, the B’s have the maximum of 23 players ahead of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, though he could be removed from the roster once Zdeno Chara is ready to play. That means that Randell, an enforcer who scored 11 goals for Providence last season, appears to have made Boston’s roster for the time being.
It isn’t clear when Chara will be ready and it’s not clear whether Talbot will be sent to Providence. Talbot said that he’ll do whatever the Bruins ask him to ‘ including play in the AHL ‘ but for now he is staying positive as he waits for answers.
“As people know me, I’ve always got the glass half-full type of mentality and I’m not going to change,” Talbot said after practicing with the Bruins Tuesday. “I’ve still got a beautiful wife, a healthy kid at home and expecting a second one. I’m playing hockey here for a living, so I’ve got that going for me. That’s pretty important in life.
“As for the situation, I’m here. It’s about having a good attitude, coming here and being a good teammate. That’s what I’m planning on doing.”
Talbot entered camp as one of many players pushing for a fourth-line job. The emergence of Joonas Kemppainen, who could very well be the team’s fourth-line center, hurt his chances. It appears the Bruins are set to play Zac Rinaldo or Randell on Kemppainen’s right, with Chris Kelly serving as the fourth-line left wing.
“You don’t come into camp thinking about [losing a job], but as the camp got going and you saw guys playing well — Kemppainen and Randell and Zac coming in here — you’re no fool,” Talbot said. ‘You look around and you know the situation and what’s going on. Like I said, it’s not something I was planning on, obviously, but it’s in the situation I’m in right now.”
As for Randell, the 2009 sixth-round pick will have risen from a late-round pick to NHL player. In addition to Talbot, Randell had to beat out Brian Ferlin and others for a roster spot in Boston. He practiced as the extra forward on Ryan Spooner’s line Tuesday.
“I just tried to not look at the numbers and control what I can control,” Randell said. “Just play the way that I had been playing and keep going that way. I’ve just got to keep improving every day.”
How long Randell sticks on the NHL roster remains to be seen. Bobby Robins was the feel-good story out of camp last season, but the fighter played just two games before being sent to Providence and seeing the rest of his season ruined by a concussion.
Randell has played zero games to Talbot’s 666. Julien doesn’t take the idea of potentially not having Talbot on his roster lightly, but he noted that nothing is set in stone.
“He’s definitely a real good energy guy that we like, but there’s a lot of people in this camp that have been battling for spots that have brought different things that have made those decisions hard,” Julien said of Talbot. “Even though they made it hard, doesn’t mean that we’ve made a final decision yet, so what we’ve done is bought ourselves some time here to make some decisions down the road.”