WILMINGTON, Mass. — After his Bruins teammates practiced on the ice and he worked out behind the scenes, winger Marco Sturm addressed the media about his situation one day after several media reports had him traded to Los Angeles.He professed his love for the Bruins and even expressed a willingness to stay, even though general manager Peter Chiarelli requested he waive his no-trade clause and presented potential destinations to the veteran. Why would someone who loves Boston and the team, and signed a contract with the club that includes an NTC, agree to be traded?
“I’ve got to see the situation. I had a talk with Peter and he explained it to me,” said Sturm. “There’s a lot of things involved. Obviously I can’t tell. But I’ve got to look for my future too, and that’s why.”
You don’t need an English-German dictionary to read between the lines and understand what Sturm’s talking about. While Sturm would be bailing the Bruins out, the threat of being waived and then demoted to the Providence (AHL) farm club is obviously on the table because of salary-cap considerations. The Bruins obviously don’t have him in their plans right now and see moving Sturm as the best way to avoid a cap crunch. Sturm is on Long Term Injured Reserve right now. His salary doesn’t count against their cap. However, Boston would have to move money off the salary cap to make room for his $3.5 million cap hit. If he goes to Providence, the Bruins pay him but do not get the cap hit.
In years past, numerous players with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and famously Dany Heatley in Ottawa, have held their team hostage over their NTC — as is their right after signing a binding contract. Sturm revealed today that after Chiarelli made his request, he slept on it and agreed the next day.
Obviously, Sturm doesn’t want to play in the AHL some 13 years after reaching the NHL without ever playing down on the farm.However, there are certain teams he’s willing to join. One would suspect the Kings are on his approved list, considering his past relationship with LA general manager Dean Lombardi dating back to their time in San Jose. Without acknowledging that there was a deal in place with the Kings, Sturm said he didn’t know why he wasn’t traded Thursday and said he did not take a physical. It was speculated he might’ve failed a physical because of his two surgically repaired knee, including the one he is still rehabilitating from.
For now, Sturm remains property of the Bruins. According to a team representative, Sturm’s day off the ice was already scheduled. Head coach Claude Julien said he expects Sturm to skate with the team Saturday morning in Toronto. And the timeline for Sturm to play in a game is still targeting mid-December.
“The teams he told me, they’re good teams,” said Sturm. “So I think a few of them I think would be a good fit. But it’s [Peter’s] choice now.”