With David Krejci out of the lineup tonight after taking a cannonball off the leg from teammate Johnny Boychuck, the B’s moved quickly to fill the vacancy without disrupting the rest of their lineup.
Providence Bruins stud Ryan Spooner has not only been called up on an emergency basis, but pre-game reports from ESPN indicate that he’ll also be taking Krejci’s spot on the first unit between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. The bold move may come as a surprise to some, but for Bruins fans, it could be a tip of the hat to brass’ thoughts for the upcoming summer.
Boston will be dangerously close to the reduced cap ceiling come June, all while having holes to plug at 1st line wing, 2nd defense, and in between the pipes. Moving a piece they already have will free up a bit of that cap space and give them more wiggle room to retain their core moving forward. Krejci’s name has popped up in trade rumors before and it’s sure to surface again. Though he comes at an affordable $5.25 million dollar hit over the next two years, the Bruins are lush at center and could stand to part with a pivot in exchange for an upgrade at wing or defense. If the B’s have any inkling that Spooner can dish the puck at a similar clip to Krejci (Spooner’s got 33 assists through 50 games in Providence to Krejci’s 14 through 23 games this season in Boston), then don’t expect them to keep him stashed away on the farm for very long.
The freshly 21 year old Spooner’s contract comes out to big savings over the almost 27 year old David’s (comparatively) Goliath deal. Spooner is set earn a cap hit of about $900k each of the next two seasons. That puts over $4million in play for the Bruins this summer. Add that to the $7mil (from expiring contracts) that they’re already in line for, not to mention Marc Savard’s movable money, and the B’s could have some real funds to adequately fill their needs.
Keep an eye on Spooner during this brief tryout. If the B’s see promise, there’s a good bet he could be a permanent fixture down the middle next season.