Bruins

With Ondrej Kase now facing a longer quarantine, a major vacancy in Bruins’ lineup remains unsolved

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If there was ever a Bruin player in need of Phase 3 workouts, it’d have to be Ondrej Kase, right?

Sure, there are players with much more mileage on their tires than that of the 24-year-old winger, but rust is far from the only concern when it comes to Kase’s ability to inject some scoring punch into Boston’s middle-six grouping.

Rather, reps might be the top priority for the speedy winger — something that Kase wasn’t granted with his new club after getting dealt by Anaheim back in February.

Following that Feb. 21 trade, Kase was held out of game action for a week due to a lingering injury, with the Czech product ultimately only appearing in six total games with Boston before COVID-19 scuttled the remainder of the NHL regular season.

With 10+ games wiped off the docket, the Bruins suddenly found themselves in a tough spot with regards to their deadline pickup — unable to determine where to best utilize the shot-first forward in their lineup if the Stanley Cup Playoffs were to resume. 

Phase 3 provided such an opportunity — even if the competition would come in the form of intrasquad scrimmages, rather than opposing clubs. At the very least, Boston’s two-week stint at Warrior Ice Arena would at least allow Kase an extended window to get re-acclimated with his teammates, while also giving Bruce Cassidy and his staff additional chances to see which pivot might best compliment Kase’s style of play.

Ultimately, Kase did manage to get on the ice in Brighton — but not for long. 

Saddled with the NHL’s new, wide-ranging “Unfit to Participate” designation, Kase only skated in one of Boston’s 13 total workouts during Phase 3 activity, with his lone appearance on July 15 coming at the tail end of an optional on-ice session. 

It was a complication that wasn’t totally unexpected given the risk involved with Phase 3 workouts and the ability for players to remain out and about away from the rink, but one that hopefully would have been resolved by the time Boston packed its bags and headed up north for Toronto.

But, in what has been a recurring trend, during Kase’s short tenure in Boston, things once again didn’t go according to plan.