According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, there is interest around the league in Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart. Stuart has been a healthy scratch in favor of Adam McQuaid for the last three games. Stuart signed a one year $1.675 million dollar contract in the offseason and will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season.
Haggerty states that if the Bruins deal Stuart it would simply be for salary cap purposes, allowing them to add another player at the deadline. If the Bruins were to trade Stuart, without getting another defenseman back in some sort of deal it may end up being a mistake. If any of the current top 6 defensemen (Andrew Ference) were to get injured, it would force them to put a rookie (Matt Bartkowski) in the lineup. However, if the Bruins trade Stuart and upgrade on the blueline, possibly a puck moving defenseman, that would allow them to push McQuaid to the 7th defenseman spot. The Bruins will most likely lose Stuart at the end of the season, so making a trade would be worth a shot if it nets them an upgrade on the blueline.
Tonight’s matchup against Florida is the last game before the all-star break. Mark Stuart is a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game. Stuart, a former first round pick who is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has been replaced in the lineup by Adam McQuaid. Both defensemen play similar games, so it’s a good bet one of them will not be back next season.
According to TSN, Marc Savard is out indefinitely with another concussion. With Savard out from the lineup, look for Tyler Seguin to be moved back to the middle. If Savard’s injury is long term and Seguin struggles at center, the Bruins may look to add a veteran center before the trading deadline. Here are the projected lines for tonight’s game against the Kings.
UPDATE: Here is what Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe added to the Savard situation:
Marc Savard has been diagnosed with a moderate concussion, as the Bruins feared. Savard suffered his latest head injury on Saturday when he was hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick. Savard flew home from Denver yesterday and met with doctors today. TSN first reported Savard’s concussion.
There is no timetable on how much time Savard will miss. On Dec. 20, 2008, Patrice Bergeron suffered a second concussion when he ran into Dennis Seidenberg. Bergeron didn’t play again until Jan. 27, 2009. However, all players react differently to concussions, and there is no way to project Savard’s recovery until his symptoms wane. Yesterday morning, according to Claude Julien, Savard was complaining of headaches.
Mark Stuart is a healthy scratch for this afternoon’s game. Stuart will be replaced in the lineup by Adam McQuaid. McQuaid has played very well this season and is sporting an impressive +14 rating.
Matt Hunwick will be facing his former team for the first time since the Bruins dumped him to Colorado for Colby Cohen earlier this season. Hunwick has struggled with the Avs this season posting a 0-3-3 line and being -9 in 23 games. Hunwick was a healthy scratch for the Av’s last game.
The Bruins also got an opportunity to see Peter Forsberg skate today, as he is practicing with the Avalanche to determine if he will make a return to the NHL this season. Forsberg was one of the most dominant players in the league in the late 90’s, but injures restricted his career there after. Growing up the Redwing-Avalanche, Sakic/Forsberg – Fedorov/Yzerman rivalry was great to watch.
In somewhat of a surprising move, the NY Islanders claimed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov off waivers after the Red Wings signed him to a contract.
According to John Buccigross of ESPN, the Bruins and Islanders are discussing a trade for Matt Moulson. The Islanders would receive draft picks in return. However, Bob Mckenzie of TSN, rules out the Bruins as a potential suitor for Moulson. Here is what McKenzie tweeted:
“if the NYI are trading Matt Moulson, as has been reported/rumored elsewhere, I am told it’s not to Boston.”
Moulson commands a 2.45 million dollar cap hit this season, meaning the Bruins would have to shed salary to get him in under the cap. Also if Moulson were to come here, where would he be slotted? The Bruins have too many forwards, with Blake Wheeler already being bumped to the fourth line in this afternoon’s game. Therefore, Moulson to Boston seems unlikely.
With recent injuries to both Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic it has given Brad Marchand the opportunity to skate with the top nine. Since his promotion, Marchand has been skating on the left side with Patrice Bergeron as his center. Marchand’s speed and grit seem to complement Bergeron very well, but the question remains does Marchand stay where he is when all the forwards are at full health? If that is the case, there has to be a veteran winger sent to the fourth line, which seems unlikely since Claude Julien is the coach. There is also the option of putting Tyler Seguin as the fourth line center and moving Gregory Campbell to the wing. Now the question is, what SHOULD the Bruins do going forward. Not what will the Bruins do going forward, because I think we all know the answer to that.
Andrew Ference suffered an undisclosed injury last night during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers. Ference did not skate a shift in the third period. The oft-injured defenseman has played in every single game this season and has been one of the most consistent blueliners for the Bruins. Matt Bartkowski has been recalled on an emergency basis and is expected in the lineup Saturday.