Bruins News & Rumors: McAvoy, Swayman, Smith & More

In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Charlie McAvoy is progressing in his recovery from shoulder surgery and could soon be ready to make his season debut. Meanwhile, goaltender Jeremy Swayman is being listed as week-to-week after being injured in a game on Tuesday night. Last, but certainly not least, trade speculation continues to surround both Craig Smith and Mike Reilly.

McAvoy Inching Closer to Return

Last week, the Bruins were able to get Brad Marchand back, and McAvoy may not be much further away. The 24-year-old returned to practice last week, and though he doesn’t have a set date to return just yet, he is further along than what was originally expected.

“This is his first week getting back into rhythm with us,” said head coach Jim Montgomery. “We’re just hopeful with him. No updated timeline. We have an internal process with him. He’s ahead of that Dec. 1 date, but we don’t know exactly. There are boxes to be checked.”

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The Bruins, who have started the season off red hot at 9-1-0, will only get more dangerous with McAvoy back in the lineup. Regarded as one of the games premier blueliners, he is coming off of a season in which he put up career highs with 10 goals and 56 points.

Swayman to Miss Some Time

As first reported by Fluto Shinzawa ofThe Athletic, Swayman is being considered week-to-week after suffering a leg injury on Tuesday, Nov. 1 in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 23-year-old had entered the game in relief of Linus Ullmark, who had been pulled after allowing five goals by the half way point of the second period.

Related: Bruins’ 2022-23 Preseason Storylines Revisited 1 Month In

With Swayman out, Ullmark will need to carry the load for the time being. That doesn’t seem as though it will be a problem, as he owns a 2.17 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .929 save percentage (SV%) and a perfect 8-0-0 record. In a subsequent move to Swayman’s injury, journeyman goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been recalled from the Providence Bruins.  

Smith & Reilly Likely to Be Moved

Over the last year, both Smith and Reilly have been subject to plenty of trade rumors, and despite the Bruins start to the season, those rumors remain. The latter has been assigned to the American Hockey League numerous times already in 2022-23, and carries a cap hit of $3 million through the 2023-24 season. He has suited up for seven games at the NHL level this season, recording a lone assist during that time.

“I would be pretty surprised if both of them are still Bruins after the trade deadline,” an unnamed source said to Boston Hockey Now. “I see it happening a lot sooner for at least one of those guys. Solid players with reasonable cap hits.”

Craig Smith Boston Bruins
Craig Smith, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Smith, 33, is in the final season of a three-year, $9.3 million deal that sees him carry a cap hit of $3.1 million. His production was rather pedestrian last season with 16 goals and 36 points through 74 games. That subpar offense has been the same early in 2022-23, as he has managed just a single goal and three points through seven outings. While Reilly’s value is very low at the moment, Smith should be able to fetch the Bruins a decent return if they do indeed choose to move on.

Looking Ahead for the Bruins

With their win over the New York Rangers on Nov. 3, the Bruins have now won seven straight. They will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday, where they will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in what will be their final game of the week. Next week will see them play a total of four games, which will come against the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks. They will look to further distance the Atlantic Division lead between themselves and the Sabres, which is currently six points.

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