The Boston Bruins announced that Winter Classic Hero and first line right wing Jake DeBrusk could miss 4 weeks. The Bruins immediately placed DeBrusk on LTIR and recalled Chris Wagner from Providence. It must be noted that the Bruins did not have the cap space to recall Wagner, or anyone else if not for the LTIR of DeBrusk.
Since the announcement, I have been swamped with questions about how this affects the Bruins trade deadline space. The simple answer is: It does not help. You simply can NOT bank Long Term Injured Reserve space to use at trade deadline day or any other time. I have written about it several times here and don’t want to bore anyone with all the math equations. Just know, the Bruins are not banking any space because of this.
Now, to take it a step further.
Last week I wrote about how the Bruins were attempting to move Craig Smith in order to set themselves up for any possible deals leading up to, or on trade deadline day. The “rumor” was that the Bruins would attach a prospect to Smith and the Anaheim Ducks would be willing to take on the remainder of his cap hit “for next to nothing.”
Today, I spoke to an agent (who did not want his client named) who said his client is “not on the market.” That said, he believed that this could have two different effects on the Bruins. First, they could feel rushed into doing something in order to get out of LTIR and bank some cap space for trade deadline. Or two, they could wait it out for DeBrusk to return and then make a deal to bank some cap space.
For the sake of it, I will do that math for you. Assuming DeBrusk is out for 4 weeks with a return date of February 3. That leaves 28 days until the trade deadline on March 3. If they traded Smith upon DeBrusk’s return, that means the Bruins could bank about $1.4 million, meaning they could add a player with an AAV of $1.4 million and remain cap compliant at the end of the season.
I don’t know which way the Bruins may go here. I believe they want to improve that 4 RW spot and use AJ Greer as the 13th forward. Who knows though? Wagner could prove to be that guy.