Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Bruins missed Gregory Campbell during the Stanley Cup Final after he broke his right leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin slap shot in the Eastern Conference Final. His absence made head coach Claude Julien tinker with the bottom two lines against the Chicago Blackhawks. Daniel Paille moved up to the third line, while Kaspars Daugavins and Carl Soderberg both saw time on the fourth line against Chicago.
NHL.com's Matt Kalman a couple of weeks ago reported that Campbell was behind in his rehab and that he had not been cleared to start skating again. If Soupy is unable to make it back in time for the start of the season, the third and fourth lines will once again be affected.
If Campbell is sidelined, the third line will still be centered by Chris Kelly, and his wings will either be Jordan Caron, Matt Fraser, Reilly Smith, Soderberg or top prospect Ryan Spooner. More than likely, Caron will start the year alongside with Kelly. Caron was drafted 25th overall four years ago, and it's time for him to have an everyday spot in the lineup.
With Campbell's absence, either Soderberg or Spooner would could center the fourth line. Shawn Thornton and Paille will remain in place, and the only question marks will be with the third line.
If Campbell is ready to go by October 3, the fourth line will remain intact and the whole scenario is much ado about nothing (at least in terms of the fourth line).