The Boston Bruins have officially activated Derek Forbort from long-term injured reserve, sending Anton Stralman down to the Providence Bruins at the same time. Stralman cleared waivers earlier today, meaning his entire $1MM cap hit can be buried in the minor leagues.
Many followers of the Bruins were confused when head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters including Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe that the team would not need any other moves to activate Forbort, since at first blush the CapFriendly page appeared to show a lack of cap space for the move. But that space was based on the $82,091,667 accruable cap space limit that the team set before the season when they first entered LTIR. With Forbort back, the team is now completely out of LTIR, and has a total cap hit of $82,454,167, just under the regular cap ceiling of $82.5MM.
It’s close, but the team doesn’t need to make another move and can continue with a 22-man roster.
Forbort, meanwhile, is coming back after a month on the shelf, last playing November 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The veteran defenseman had three points in his first ten games and was averaging more than 20 minutes a night, holding the fort while the team waited on some other pieces to return. Now that everyone is healthy, he’ll likely assume a lesser – but still important – role on the club, and try to help them continue their torrid start.
Stralman, meanwhile, is headed to the AHL for the first time in more than a decade. The last time he suited up in the minor leagues was during the 2008-09 season with the Toronto Marlies, before he had really established himself as a regular in the league. Nearly 900 games later and he’s headed back, though it will be interesting to see if another club goes after him as a trade target, now that he has cleared waivers.