According to Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston, the Boston Bruins have indeed placed center David Krejci on long-term injured reserve. Although there haven’t been any changes in his diagnosis, this decision appears to have been made in order to clear cap space. Kevan Miller, who is projected to miss the rest of the season, was also placed on LTIR.
In order for the Bruins to gain cap flexibility, Krejci and Miller have to be placed on long-term IR. Trying to find out specifics now.
— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) February 26, 2015
This decision is sure to cause a great deal of speculation. With these moves, the Bruins have plenty of cap space to add players at the trade deadline. Krejci, who can still return during the regular season if the Bruins leave room for his salary, is making $5.25 this year while Miller has a cap hit of $800k. By trading Johnny Boychuk before the season, the Bruins made some cap room that would allow for a midseason acquisition. Now with these players on LTIR, it appears that this midseason acquisition(s) is all but certain.
There are not many players on the market with high cap hits, though, so it’s possible Peter Chiarelli has flown under the radar with some of his conversations. Keith Yandle of Arizona has the same cap hit as Krejci, but no other players with such a salary has been mentioned in any serious rumors.
Even if this move was made in the hopes of a serious acquisition, it’s no sure thing. Chiarelli has made deadline moves in every year he has been at the helm of the organization except 2008, but several were last-ditch efforts. We watched in 2012 as he acquired Brian Rolston, Greg Zanon, and Mike Motteau at the last minute. Last year, he was rumored to be in talks with Columbus for Marian Gaborik or Jack Johnson. Swing and a miss. Instead, he ended up landing Andrej Meszaros.
In my mind, with the recent talks of Chiarelli (and Claude Julien) in risk of losing his job, I believe he is trying to make a big splash at the deadline. Putting Krejci on LTIR allows him to get creative, but it also doesn’t guarantee he will get a deal done. Krejci’s injury may have been devastating in the eyes of some, but it was an opportunity in the eyes of Chiarelli.
The trades have started to fall and the market doesn’t look exceptional, especially for rentals. Acquiring rental players for this season doesn’t seem like a wise choice if prices will be high, so look for players with more than this season left on their contract coming to Boston.