With the regular season opener just a week away, those tough decisions that the Bruins have been talking about all training camp have arrived.

The Bruins placed 24-year-old Oskar Steen on waivers on Tuesday in the hopes of getting him through to Providence. The Bruins had relatively high hopes for Steen, signing him to a two-year, one-way contract with an annual average value of $800,000 last April.

Steen had come up from Providence last year and showed some flashes of being a rugged, nasty right wing who could get under opponents’ skin. He couldn’t stick at the NHL level, but there was a feeling that there was definitely something there.

But Steen did not have the greatest camp. He did score a short-handed goal against the Rangers but he did not have the same physical presence he did when he first came up to Boston last year. In Monday’s 1-0 snoozefest of a loss in New Jersey, he had zero hits and zero shots in 13:48 of ice time.

Steen’s underwhelming play was contrasted with Marc McLaughlin’s solid camp. As of right now, the former Boston College captain has made a very good case for himself as the fourth line right wing. But this doesn’t necessarily mean McLaughlin has made the team. There is still some culling to be done from the fourth-line candidates that include Jack Studnicka, Nick Foligno, A.J. Greer, Tomas Nosek and Joona Koppanen. Teams have to get down to the 23-man roster limit by Monday.

Whether Steen gets claimed will be interesting. The second year of the deal could make teams reticent to claim him. Then again, a team like Chicago, which won’t be competing for several years and will have a lot of money to spend next year, or even Buffalo, with $20 million of cap space, may think Steen is worth a flyer.


The Bruins also placed defensemen Connor Carrick and Nick Wolff on waivers.  Victor Berglund, Mike Callahan and Kai Wissmann have been assigned to Providence.

ISLANDERS: Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games.

BLACKHAWKS: The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forward prospect Lukas Reichel to the minors on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old was selected by Chicago with the No. 17 pick in the 2020 draft. He made his NHL debut last season and recorded an assist in 11 games.

Sending Reichel back to Rockford puts him in position to play major minutes with the AHL team, instead of a smaller role with the rebuilding Blackhawks.

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