With Marc Savard and Marco Sturm on the cusp of returning to the Bruins’ lineup, it has been well-known that there needs to be some changes in order to clear up salary-cap space.
The first move in what should be a long line of chess moves happened late Monday night for the Boston Bruins.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli shipped defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defensive prospect Colby Cohen.
Hunwick, 25, was in his fourth season with the Bruins. The shifty defenseman came into the league during the 2007-08 season where he split time between the Bruins and their AHL affiliate Providence.
In his first full season with the Bruins, Hunwick scored 6 goals and added 21 assists for 27 points. The Bruins management became very high on Hunwick as a defensive prospect.
After a slow season last year, Hunwick’s name appeared a lot in trade rumors as a salary that might need to be moved in order to clear up cap space for Savard and Sturm to return.
Cohen, meanwhile was drafted in the second round of the draft by Colorado in 2007. Cohen skated with the Boston University Terriers for three years from 2007-2010. He also helped the Terriers to the National Championship in 2009.
Cohen started this season off in Colorado’s AHL affiliate Lake Erie. He was recently brought up to Colorado mainly because of defensive injuries.
After playing just 3 games with the Avalanche, Cohen didn’t manage to get any points before being shipped to Boston.
In Cohen, the Bruins are acquiring a big-defenseman with a lot of physical power. Along with great board-play, Cohen has a cannon from the point and was oft-used on the BU power-play.
This move makes a ton of sense for Boston, who is in dire need of shedding salary. Getting rid of Hunwick’s 1.55 million dollar cap-hit is a starting point, although they will miss his offensive-ability. Most of this responsibility will probably continue to be turned over to Dennis Seidenberg.
The trade seems a little precarious for Colorado though, since they are one of the youngest teams in the league and have been rebuilding. One would think Colby Cohen would be someone that would fit this mold, but Hunwick isn’t exactly senile either. Hunwick seems similar to some defenseman that the Avalanche already have.
Colorado can certainly afford to take on some salary, as they own one of the lowest salary-cap hits in the league.
Hunwick will probably be in the lineup when the Avalanche face the Thrashers Tuesday night, while Cohen has been assigned to the Providence Bruins of the AHL.
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