The Bruins reassigned winger Anthony Richard to AHL Providence on Monday, per CapFriendly. Richard, 27, was summoned from the minors on Thursday and made his Boston debut in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Capitals, recording one shot on goal in 10:38 of ice time.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney will likely make a corresponding recall ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Lightning, whether it’s bringing up Richard again or someone else. After sending Richard down, the Bruins are carrying 13 forwards on the NHL roster, but only 12 of them are healthy. Rookie Matthew Poitras remains on the roster despite requiring season-ending shoulder surgery, meaning he’ll end up on long-term injured reserve at some point, but they remain without an extra forward to insert into the lineup if a game-day injury strikes or if head coach Jim Montgomery wants to tinker with his personnel.
Despite being undersized, Richard has leveraged his speed to be a point-per-game producer in the AHL over the past two seasons. He has 49 goals and 105 points in 101 games since the beginning of 2022-23 and has posted 19 goals and 38 points in 41 games for Providence. After spending last season in the Canadiens organization and playing a career-high 13 NHL games as a result of his strong production with their AHL affiliate in Laval, Richard earned a relatively lucrative one-year, two-way deal from the Bruins in free agency that guarantees him $475K in salary.
Drafted 100th overall in the 2015 draft by the Predators, Richard is in his eighth season of professional hockey after wrapping up his junior career with the QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs, during which he won a league championship in 2014. He will be a UFA this summer upon the expiration of his contract.
Other morning updates from the Eastern Conference:
- The Maple Leafs returned left defenseman Maxime Lajoie to AHL Toronto from his emergency loan on Monday, according to CapFriendly. Lajoie was rostered for Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Senators but was a healthy scratch, as he has been eight other times this season for Toronto. The 26-year-old was brought up in case all three Maple Leafs defensemen who were questionable for Saturday’s loss were unable to play, but only Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins were ruled out of the contest due to a lower-body injury and an illness, respectively. Lajoie has averaged 9:31 per game in his four showings with Toronto this year and has two goals, 15 assists, 17 points, and a +5 rating in 31 AHL games. The 2016 Ottawa draft pick is in his first season with the Maple Leafs after signing a one-year, two-way deal worth $775K in the NHL and $450K in the AHL in free agency.
- Devils defenseman/left wing Brendan Smith participated in their morning skate on Monday but won’t return from a knee sprain tonight against the Kraken, Amanda Stein of the Devils’ official site reports. His return to the lineup seems imminent, however, and New Jersey will have an open roster spot to activate him from injured reserve after left wing Max Willman clears waivers or is claimed later today. He has not been ruled out of Tuesday’s game against the Predators. The 35-year-old has been out for nearly a month, sustaining the injury in the first period of a Jan. 15 game against Boston. He has one goal and five points in 34 games, averaging 14:25 per game with average possession metrics. The 2007 first-round pick will be a UFA this summer upon completion of his two-year, $2.2MM contract signed in free agency in 2022.
- One Devil absent from practice is goaltender Vítek Vaněček, who Stein says is dealing with both an illness and a lower-body injury. The 28-year-old has started New Jersey’s four games and has seen a rare hot streak in an otherwise poor season, recording a 1-2-1 record and .914 SV%. If he’s not healthy enough to back up presumptive starter Nico Daws tonight, the Devils will summon farmhands Akira Schmid or Erik Källgren on an emergency basis.
- Flyers forward Tyson Foerster is doubtful for Monday’s game against the Coyotes with an undisclosed injury, head coach John Tortorella said (via The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz). Foerster, 22, was absent from this morning’s practice. The rookie has played in 52 consecutive games after being scratched for the season opener, recording ten goals and 21 points while averaging nearly 17 minutes per game and cementing himself in the team’s top nine. Their 2020 first-round pick has also controlled possession well with a 53.7% Corsi share at even strength, third on the team behind Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny.