With winger Brad Marchand already back earlier than expected from offseason hip surgery and defenseman Charlie McAvoy seemingly not too far behind, the Boston Bruins are apparently stepping up their efforts to free up salary cap space. in the commercial NHL market.
“I’ve been hearing their name a lot more since Marchand came back last week,” an NHL executive told Boston Hockey Now Monday night. “They knew it was coming, but I’m not even sure they knew it would be this quick with both guys coming back much sooner than expected.”
Well, according to the aforementioned NHL source, Mike Reilly ($3 million AAV) and Craig Smith ($3.1 million AAV), both of whom it was reported here were in the trade market for the NHL before the season, are common names in NHL trade discussions over the past week.
“I would be quite surprised if both are still Bruins past the trade deadline,” the source said. “I see it happening a lot sooner for at least one of these guys. Solid players with reasonable cap hits.
Marchand and his $6.1 million AAV returned to the books last Thursday when the Bruins activated him just hours before he scored two goals and added an assist in his opener and a 5 win. -1 Bruins over the Detroit Red Wings. In that same game, center David Krejci suffered an upper-body injury and missed the Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Friday. While Krejci traveled with the Bruins to Pittsburgh, where they will continue a four-game road trip Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN+), he was placed on injured reserve Monday before the start of the game. team as Sweeney, like every NHL general manager. these days, continued salary cap gymnastics. The Bruins also recalled forward Jakub Lauko and defenseman Mike Reilly from Providence (AHL).
Speaking of Mike Reilly, it was reported here just before training camp and a few weeks before the Boston Bruins waived him, with forwards Nick Foligno and Chris Wagner on Oct. 9, that Reilly was a hot name on the commercial NHL market. Following the elimination of Reilly, Foligno and Wagner, Don Sweeney was asked directly by yours truly about Reilly and the surplus left-handed defenders he would have once the 29-year-old fullback returned to the NHL training. Could one of them be used as a trade chip to free up space for Marchand and McAvoy’s comebacks or does he consider he has the blue line depth that many teams can use more late in the season and during the Stanley Cup playoffs?
“It could be all of the above, to be honest with you. Where we start right now without having these guys feel like you need them. You go through defenders throughout the season. You just have guys who can step in and play minutes in all the different situations, which we have right now, and we’re better off when we do,” Sweeney replied on Media Day Oct. 10. “Of all Obviously, the decisions we made yesterday potentially give us more flexibility in every way. Whether it’s moving guys around the roster or using ceiling space. They’re both very important, and again, that’s not an easy conversation to have with players. But that’s just the nature of some of the things we have to deal with.
Gathering the roster when you’re hesitating on guys who are ready to come back as opposed to guys that’s an unknown, these guys are all ready to come back in a shorter time frame. They are not absent for the whole season, where some teams can plan accordingly in this regard. We are lucky in that regard because they are good players.
According to our friends at PuckPedia, Tuesday morning the Bruins had $6.2 million in salary cap space, but with Charlie McAvoy and his $9.5 AAV closing in on a comeback, they’ll go over 2, $8 million the ceiling. Hence the increase in NHL trade around the Boston Bruins.
. With McAvoy ahead on schedule talks trade Bruins resume