PROVIDENCE — David Broll isn’t ready just yet to wear a black-and-white striped shirt and carry a whistle for a living, but chances are he’ll look at the work of the referees a bit more sympathetically this season.
Broll, who is in training camp on a tryout with the Providence Bruins, got a taste of the referee’s life when he attended the NHL Exposure Combine for prospective officials in Buffalo in August.
“I thought I’d give it a shot and it was awesome,” he said. “They asked me what my situation was, trying to recruit me for this year coming up, but obviously I want to play as long as I can and kind of suck the life out of hockey. They agreed with that.”
Broll, who has spent the last two seasons with Montreal’s St. John and Laval farm clubs, learned a lot.
“It’s a different prospective. You’re always on the refs during the game. Guys that go (to the Combine) have a different feel for the refs once they come out of the camp and kind of know how much you can push them and chirp them throughout the game.
“It was good for me to see that side of things. If I choose to go that down the road, I know what it looks like. If there is an option there, I think I’d definitely try to pursue it if I enjoy it at that time,” he said.
First, though, there is more hockey to be played. Without a contract, Broll is in the same position he was in with Montreal two years ago.
“I was fortunate enough to have a good camp and make the team out of there, ended up staying with the organization for two more years. I don’t think it matters if you have a contract or not. If they want you here, they’ll make it happen. The stability isn’t there, obviously, until you sign, but it makes you push that much harder and show them what you can do,” said Broll, who gets around the ice well for a big man.
“I’m getting to know everyone. Had a bunch of guys come down (from Boston) today so the skates are a little bit better paced now that we have more bodies. So far, so good,” he said.
Colby Cave returns
Getting sent down by Boston wasn’t what Colby Cave was hoping for, but he’s ready to start the season with the P-Bruins.
“I had an unbelievable experience getting to go to China with the guys and seeing that part of the world, and I’m blessed that I got to compete in an NHL preseason game. You can’t complain about the opportunity. I’m thankful for that. I’m looking forward to putting in some work down here and hopefully ending up back up top,” he said.
“We’ve got a good thing going in Providence, a lot of potential, a lot of good guys coming in. When you can build a winning organization down here, it helps up top. I’m looking forward to the start of the season.”
The more the merrier
Camp went from 16 skaters and 2 goalies in one session on Monday to twice as many in two sessions on Wednesday.
Cave, Anton Blidh and Mark McNeill cleared waivers at noon and hit the ice for the second session. It was an off-ice day for Cody Goloubef, who also cleared waivers.
“It’s a weird number. Right around 30. So if you do 30 in one session, I don’t think the guys get enough. If you split it like we did, it’s tricky. You’ve got to make sure you’re not going too long. Hopefully we found the right mix,” said coach Jay Leach.
“The intensity’s really good. As the ice got a little sloppy, so did the execution. I appreciate their efforts. It’s definitely a competitive group.”