salary_capWILMINGTON — The Bruins on Friday assigned forward Alexander Khokhlachev back to Providence of the American Hockey League after making him fly to Montreal to be a press-box spectator Thursday as an emergency call-up.

Khokhlachev might’ve been a welcome addition to a lineup that was smoked by Toronto 6-1 the night before, but instead the Bruins went with the same 12 forwards that lost to the Maple Leafs and Julien was left juggling his lineup to the point that Gregory Campbell centered Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith by the end of the night.

With no one injured enough to sit out, Kok couldn’t play.

Between Koko, David Pastrnak and Craig Cunningham, the Providence Bruins have several players producing that might help a Bruins lineup that has become too reliant on the likes of Campbell, barely unretired Simon Gagne, inconsistent (and probably concussed) Matt Fraser and the ghost of Loui Eriksson. But Julien said he’s not looking for outside help before the Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday with a chance to snap their two-game losing streak.

“Well as you know we’ve got a lot of injuries, we don’t have a ton of spare players,” Julien said after practice Friday. “When guys are called up it’s on emergency basis, so the only way they can get in is if somebody’s injured. So that’s where we’re at.”

Obviously there are salary-cap limitations at play here. Koko is on his entry-level deal with more than $100,000 in bonuses available to earn if he plays regularly, according to With cap space at a premium and the Bruins also dealing with their LTIR for center Marc Savard, there’s not a lot of flexibility for general manager Peter Chiarelli. (Especially since the Bruins decided NHL regular-season games would be a good place for Gagne to shake off the rust and see if he could even become half the player he was before his year off). Pastrnak’s entry-level contract rolls ahead if he doesn’t play 10 NHL games this season.

The popular thing to do these days is blame Julien’s devotion to players that can play two ways for the absence of some of the Bruins’ best prospects from the NHL roster. But clearly there are GM-related issues also involved in why the Bruins haven’t really revamped their fourth line, and some other spots in their lineup, the way they said they wanted to and the way they will have to in order to become championship caliber again.