Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer has played 29 games for the Black and Gold since being called up from AHL Providence on Dec. 8. His family back in Michigan bought 50 tickets to see him take the NHL ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. For any hockey loving family in Michigan (what family in Michigan isn't a hockey loving family, when you think of it), seeing a relative play in the big show is a dream come true.
Until he's a healthy scratch the day of the game.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien made the call Sunday morning to scratch Kampfer and insert defenseman Mark Stuart, who hasn't seen ice since Jan. 20. John Bishop, the Bruins' online spokesperson, tweeted Julien's reasoning:
"Julien on scratching Kampfer:'Over the last 5 games or so we feel like his game has progressively slipped..."
Comcast SportsNet New England's Joe Haggerty said that Julien recognized the irony of the situation, but claimed it was needed:
"Claude Julien admitted its "difficult timing" in scratching Kampfer for his NHL debut in home state of Michigan but team needs to win games."
That being said, some Bruins fans questioned the move. Justin from the Bruins blog Days of Y'Orr, complained:
"Not surprised by Hamill being scratched but Kampfer? Team needs his skating abilities against a team like Detroit."
What are the Kampfers, who now have to play the waiting game to see their relative play live, going to do? SSBNation Boston'ss Ryan Durling had a suggestion for the family:
"Claude Julien just got removed from the Christmas card list of the entire Kampfer family."