Ryder/By S. Bradley

The big number around the Bruins right now isn’t the number of wins they accumulate, Tim Thomas’ save count or even the level of discomfort Johnny Boychuk is feeling in his arm as he attempts to return to the lineup tonight in New York.

All anyone wants to know as far as numerals are concerned is: how much salary do the Bruins need to cut from their cap in order to fit Marc Savard and Marco Sturm in when the pair of forwards returns from injury?

Well, thanks to the great Web site CapGeek.com, we at least have a ballpark figure. Through an enormous amount of work, CapGeek.com compiles a profile page for each team, which features how much each club has spent to date, how much a team spends each day and how much room a team has. According to the CapGeek.com, the daily salary cap is $309,894 and the Bruins are spending $336,258 by using their Long Term Injured Reserve exemptions for Sturm and Savard.

According to CapGeek.com, as explained on the site’s Twitter feed, you project that overage over the course of the full season and you come to a total around $4.9 million that the Bruins have to clear for Savard and Sturm.

Of course, this number could change depending on how much longer they take to get back.

But when people like head coach Claude Julien ask why Michael Ryder’s name keeps coming up in terms of making cap cuts, there’s you’re answer. If you have to cut close to $5 million in cap space, it’s a lot easier to slice $4 million off with just one player than to jettison three or four guys. Is Ryder playing well? Sure. But he’s not exactly ripping it up — he’s not even scoring at a Brian Boyle-sized pace — and he could be expendable if the Bruins’ offense is going to receive the benefit of a fully-healthy, totally-productive Sturm and Savard.

If the Bruins trade or re-assign Ryder, that would leave pretty much just one more move — depending on the player — to clear the required cap space. Just for example, assigning Jordan Caron to Providence could get the Bruins pretty close; trading Matt Hunwick would get it done.

Basically, those worrying that the Bruins might find themselves in a Chicago Blackhawks-like situation, where they have to trade a third of the team, seem to have reason to calm down. Sure, this will still be a difficult decision for Chiarelli, but when you look at what the Bruins will gain and what they’ll lose, it’s a situation that should finish with them in a better position production- and performance-wise.