The Bruins have recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from their AHL affiliate Providence Bruins. This has created a minor stir in the Bruins fan base. The reason is that this is the first time Bodnarchuk has been recalled this season. Normally, the defenseman being called up to Boston is Steven Kampfer.
There are several possibilties for Bodnarchuk to get the recall.
- Steven Kampfer needs game time. The Bruins defense is healthy and recalling him to the Bruins will relegate him to wearing a suit and watching from the player box again. In Providence, he will get to play in games.
- Bodnarchuk has been recalled to serve as trade bait. If there is a trade in the works, serving a little time with the big boys might make Bodnarchuk a more valuable asset to deal away.
- Contract restrictions might keep Kampfer in Providence. Due to players bargaining restrictions, players with contracts like Kampfer’s can only be recalled and sent down so many times before they have to start clearing waivers. I’m not particularly sure of what is stated in his contract, but it could be an issue, as Kampfer has been strung along like a yo-yo this season. And he might not clear waivers. I’m sure there are a lot of teams looking for a decent young puck moving defenseman on the cheap that would be willing to grab him. Last week, the same situation played out with forward Zach Hamill. No other team claimed him. Being recalled on an emergency basis due to injury does not apply.
- Bruins management might just be giving Bodnarchuk a chance. Kampfer has had his shot and has done well, but he is a little mistake prone. They know what they will get from Kampfer. But maybe Bodnarchuk, who has spent several seasons in Providence, is ready. His Providence numbers are decent after all and he has played in Boston before in the 2009-10 season.
The timing of the call up is a little peculiar as well, as the Bruins are gearing up to go on an extended 6 game road trip. Will Bodnarchuk travel with the team, or will he get sent back to Providence beforehand?
We will have to see how this pans out, whether he is trade bait or not. With the trade deadline looming on February 27th, that leaves only two weeks for the Bruins to make a move, if they make a move.
- Coach Claude Julien has stated that Bodnarchuk will be traveling with the team on the upcoming road trip