For weeks there's been speculation over which players the Boston Bruins might trade or demote to free up salary cap space for the eventual return of forwards Marc Savard and Marco Sturm from long-term injury reserve.
With Savard apparently ready to return by early December and Sturm expected back about two-three weeks later Bruins management made their first cost-cutting move today, shipping defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for prospect defenseman Colby Cohen.
Hunwick, 25, had three points in 22 games with the Bruins this season with a plus-minus of +4. His best season to date was 2008-09 when he had 27 points and a plus-minus of +15 in 53 games.
He's also currently earning $1.45 million this season. Cohen, 21, played three games with the Avalanche this season and is in the first season of a three-year, two-way entry level deal paying him $875K per season. He is expected to be sent to the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence
To sum up, the Avalanche add more experienced depth to their defense while the Bruins free up some cap space in anticipation of the return of Marc Savard, though they will probably have to make another move to become cap compliant when Savard comes off LTIR.
**Update: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said this move frees up sufficient cap space for Savard's return. Undoubtedly however another move will need to be made when Sturm is ready to return.