Sobotka

Sobotka

We knew that keeping a 20-goal scorer who makes $2.33 million around to skate on the third line was going to be a luxury the Boston Bruins could ill afford if the club needed to gain some cap flexibility.

Today, that luxury became trade bait, as veteran winger Chuck Kobasew was shipped to Minnesota for a second-round pick in 2011, unsigned draft pick Alexander Fallstrom and AHLer Craig Weller, who will report to Providence.

The Bruins then recalled Guillaume Lefebvre (who’d been up on an emergency basis), Brad Marchand and Vladimir Sobotka, and placed Milan Lucic on Long Term Injured Reserve because of the finger injury he suffered Friday night.

Through seven games this season, Kobasew posted just one assist and a minus-2 rating. And he often seemed disinterested in scoring and wasn’t his same gritty self on the forecheck and around the net. The Bruins are hoping Marchand and Sobotka, who both had excellent training camps, can provide the combination of skill and grit Kobasew wasn’t providing at too high a price cap-wise. They’ll especially need more physicality from other sources with Lucic out.

Fallstrom, 19, was drafted in the fourth round by the Wild in 2009. He just started his freshman season at Harvard. Weller has 95 games of NHL experience and could be another source of grit down the line for the Bruins.

For more of my take on today’s moves, check out my blog at ESPNBoston.com.