Ever since the Bruins traded Matt Hunwick to Colorado they’ve been rolling with six defensemen and hoping to avoid any injuries while playing things tight against the salary cap. Last night, the inevitable happened as Mark Stuart broke his hand in the first period against Buffalo.
For the Bruins, losing Stuart means losing a physical presence in front of the net to deal with pesky, goal-hanging forwards. As for how long he’ll be out, Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe says he’ll miss anywhere from 4-8 weeks. In the meantime, the Bruins called up young defenseman Steve Kampfer up from Providence on an emergency basis. Dupont also tweets that the Bruins may get involved in the trade market with Stuart set to miss up to two months and mentions Dallas and Phoenix in particular.
The Bruins were already being tested by going with six defensemen they felt they could count on. Moving a youngster like Kampfer (or anyone else they might bring up from the AHL) makes things a bit more intriguing and dicey on the Boston blue line. With the NHL holiday trading freeze coming up on December 19th, if the Bruins are going to make a move, they should be looking to do it sooner rather than later.
Update: Bruins make an official statement on the injury and GM Peter Chiarelli says Stuart is out 4-6 weeks with a broken 4th metacarpal on his right hand and a dislocated ring finger. Ouch.