Bruins' Marco Sturm closer to return

As Boston Bruins forward Marco Sturm gets closer to game action, a trade to the Kings could still happen, sources from both teams have said recently.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien said Tuesday that Sturm -- out since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring -- increased his participation in practice.

"He started taking a little bit of contact yesterday, so I think he's getting better and he's getting really close," Julien said.

Sturm had major reconstructive knee surgery -- his second in two years -- after tearing his MCL and ACL last May. But while Sturm hasn't played yet this season, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli appeared to have pulled off a trade last Thursday that would've sent the German winger to the Kings in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick. The deal reportedly fell through at the last minute due to the Kings being wary of when Sturm would be ready for game action.

When Sturm is ready for action, the Bruins will have to make some kind of roster move because his salary will push the team over the salary cap.

James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.