Hunwick

Well, the cap clearing in order to get Marc Savard and Marco Sturm back into the Bruins’ mix has begun.

General manager Peter Chiarelli this evening swung a deal with Colorado that lands Matt Hunwick and his $1.45 million cap hit in Denver and prospect Colby Cohen with the Boston organization.

The first-year pro Cohen will report straight to the Bruins’ farm club in Providence (AHL). A former standout at Boston University, he skated in three NHL games earlier this season but has spent most of his rookie year with Lake Erie (AHL).

As of last week, CapGeek.com reported that the Bruins needed to just clear about $1.1 million in cap space to make room for Savard. While Savard said he wouldn’t be able to play Wednesday night in Philadelphia, this move shows that he is very close to being back. Chiarelli said that timetable remains and that he has now cleared enough space for Savard’s return.

Sturm today said that he still needs to be cleared for contact, but estimations put him about two or three weeks away from getting back.

The former 2004 seventh-round pick Hunwick became expendable this season because of his inability to take the next step in his development. Projected as an offensive defenseman, Hunwick posted 27 points (6 goals) in the magical 2008-09 season. He regressed last season and tallied just 14 points. With just one goal this year, Hunwick seemed to struggle with his confidence even when given top-four minutes and power-play time. He just hadn’t seemed like a fit for the Bruins’ style since last season, despite a brief resurgence in last spring’s playoffs (6 assists in 13 games).

The Bruins now have six defensemen on their NHL roster, including recent healthy scratch Adam McQuaid.