As the NHL playoffs approach, the Boston Bruins face a unique challenge with the return of forward Taylor Hall. Having been sidelined with an injury since late February, Hall is reportedly ready to hit the ice again. However, the Bruins now find themselves in a salary cap predicament after trading for Tyler Bertuzzi while Hall was on long-term injury reserve.
Taylor Hall has played in 58 games with the Bruins this season, scoring 16 goals and picking up 20 assists for a total of 36 points. He has been out injured since their Bruins game against the Canucks back on Feb 25.
Tyler Bertuzzi on the other hand has 13 appearances with the Bruins this season, scoring 1 goal and assisting 5 for a total of 6 points.
NHL insider Darren Dreger recently discussed the situation on TSN, saying, “We know, according to reports and video, that Hall has been skating with the Bruins for several days now. Sources say that he feels he is ready. The problem is the Bruins don’t have the cap space to activate Hall.”
Dreger went on to draw parallels with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s handling of a similar situation a few years ago, suggesting that the Bruins might consider “stretching it out until the start of the postseason.” As the Lightning demonstrated, this approach could help the team circumvent the cap space issue – at least temporarily. Dreger noted, “it’s something that I’m sure other clubs are paying attention to as well.”
While waiting until the playoffs to activate Hall is one option, the Bruins could also explore other avenues, such as moving a player or restructuring contracts, to create the necessary cap space. Regardless of the chosen approach, the Bruins must act quickly and strategically to ensure that they have the strongest roster possible heading into the playoffs.