WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins head coach Claude Julien has a long history with Michael Ryder, having coached him in the AHL and then twice in the NHL in Montreal and now here in Boston. While Julien is never one to play favorites, he wasn't shy Friday when asked about the rumors surrounding his longtime player.
With the Bruins having to facilitate $7.5 million back onto their salary cap hit when Marc Savard and Marco Sturm return sometime in the next month or so, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli will need to ship some players out via trade or demotion to Providence in the AHL. Chiarelli is on record as saying he won't be afraid to do the latter and bury some salary in the minors. And despite a great start for Ryder this season, his name continues to swirl as a possible candidate for such a move due to his $4 million cap hit.
Julien was asked about the possibility of that happening and he went to bat for Ryder, who has four goals and 10 points.
“I guess as a coach, I would answer, 'Why bring Michael’s name up?' ” Julien said. “Why is he the one that is being pointed at right now? You’re gonna say salary and everything else but there’s no reason right now in the world to even look at anybody, and for me right now, I think Michael’s had a really good start to the season and all it’s going to do is make the people above me’s decisions even harder."
As Julien pointed out, the returns of Savard and Sturm aren't exactly imminent, as many in the media are speculating.
"But right now I don’t think there’s any need for me to talk about who and what," Julien said. "It’s a matter of them making some tough decisions along the way, but we’re not even there yet. I just talked about Marc Savard having to go through a lot of things and I don’t think ‘Sturmie’s’ any closer than Marc. Maybe Marc is closer than ‘Sturmie,’ to be honest with you, but there’s no reason to even speculate that from my end of it. You guys can do whatever you want, but right now I see Michael Ryder off to a good start and it’s unfortunate that his name is coming up right now.”