Even as he worked to get himself back into game shape following a serious knee injury, forward Marco Sturm realized he might be rehabbing his way onto another team, given the Boston Bruins' salary-cap woes.
It was reported earlier Thursday that Sturm was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings, but sources on both teams told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Thursday evening that there is "no deal."
After Boston's 8-1 victory over the Lightning on Thursday night, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli released a statement addressing the trade speculation.
"I am aware of the various media reports today regarding Marco Sturm," Chiarelli said in the statement. "I can confirm that I spoke to Marco about waiving his no-trade clause and have had discussions regarding Marco with other teams. I can also confirm that there is no trade in place with Marco. At this time, Marco is a member of the Boston Bruins and will continue to train with our team."
Bruins coach Claude Julien echoed Chiarelli's sentiments after the game Thursday.
"All I can say, is I can speak on behalf of the whole team, is that he's part of our team right now," Julien said. "He's nowhere else but with us and that's how we're going to embrace it. We're going to embrace him as one of our teammates and just because there's a possibility doesn't mean he's gone. I think Peter's got all kinds of options -- I would imagine or would hope he gets options, and just because that's been brought out doesn't mean it's going to happen."
The proposed Bruins-Kings deal had been contingent on Sturm passing a physical, a Kings source told ESPNLosAngeles.com, but it was not clear whether his injury was a factor.
The Bruins would have received a conditional draft pick in return, a source told ESPNBoston.com -- compensation that wouldn't have added to the team's current payroll. They would have gotten a fifth-round pick that could have moved up to the second round based on Sturm's points and games played with the Kings.
"I've said it before but it's not in our control," Sturm told ESPN.com in an interview earlier this week.
Sturm had heard the rumors that among the options when he was healthy enough to play -- or getting close to being game-ready -- being considered by Chiarelli was to move Sturm, as opposed to taking someone else from the roster to make room for Sturm.
Chiarelli already had traded defenseman Matt Hunwick to Colorado for young defenseman Colby Cohen in order to clear salary-cap room for center Marc Savard, who returned to the lineup Thursday after missing the first 23 games of the season following recovery from post-concussion symptoms.
"It's totally up to Peter and for sure he's got a plan in place and we'll just have to accept it," Sturm said.
The trade would have reunited Sturm with Kings GM Dean Lombardi, both of whom were with the Sharks organization prior to Sturm's trade to Boston and Lombardi's moving on to Los Angeles.
"Marco has been here the longest with me and he's a great guy and a great teammate," center Patrice Bergeron said when asked about the teammate he almost lost Thursday. "I'm happy he's still with us and we'll see what happens."
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said of Sturm's situation: "I feel for him. But I really don't know what's going on. It's not above my pay grade because we get paid more than the coaches, but it's still not my area."
Sturm is likely to be ready for action later this month.
"I'm getting there," Sturm told ESPN.com. "I still need more time."
Sturm, who has seven 20-goal seasons under his belt, recently had started practicing with the Bruins after working out with Savard.
"That's a big step," he said.
Next up is becoming more physically engaged during those practices.
"And then we'll see," he said.
Sturm, 33, makes $3.5 million this season and could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, ESPNBoston.com's James Murphy and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dan Arritt was used in this report.