The Bruins’ latest update on injured defenseman Hampus Lindholm is a bit of a good news, bad news situation.

First, the good news: Bruins coach Jim Montgomery told reporters in Edmonton that the veteran defenseman won’t need surgery for his undisclosed injury. The bad news? Lindholm didn’t accompany the team on its trip to western Canada, and he’s considered week-to-week, which is all to say a return is far from imminent.

It’s not a shocker. Lindholm left Monday’s win over the Dallas Stars early and didn’t return after logging just 18:09 minutes of ice time in an eventual shootout victory. The Bruins in a series of roster moves Tuesday also recalled Mason Lohrei from Providence, a transaction that foreshadowed the relatively discouraging update Wednesday.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s an opportunity for Lohrei to make the best of an unfortunate situation. He hasn’t played with the big club since Jan. 18, and he wasn’t exactly producing when he was returned to Providence. Lohrei rejoins the club amid a nine-game pointless streak at the NHL level during which he was a minus-3 while averaging 14:25 of ice time per game. The Bruins know he’s capable of producing, though. In his first 18 games in Boston, the 23-year-old blueliner scored three goals and added three assists, earning more than 17 minutes per night. If that’s the sort of player who is drawing in to replace Lindholm, Boston will tell its veteran D-man to take his time returning.

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Lindholm, by most metrics, has struggled this season. It’s unclear if he’s 100% healthy after a foot injury clearly hobbled him in the spring. He has just a goal and 18 assists in 56 games, a far cry from the 1.7 points per 60 minutes he averaged a season ago. Yet while the merit of a stat like plus-minus is a worthwhile debate, he is a plus-19 this season while averaging nearly 24 minutes per night, so even in a down year, his absence will be felt if Lohrei struggles.

One other option, if Lindholm’s injury lingers, is the trade market. The March 8 trade deadline is rapidly approaching and a potentially sidelined Lindholm is now part of general manager Don Sweeney’s calculus. All of a sudden, Thursday’s game with Calgary takes on even greater significance, as it offers the Bruins another up-close look at someone like Noah Hanifin. The 27-year-old Boston native is in the final year of his contract. Coincidentally, his situation is very similar to Lindholm’s when Boston acquired him from Anaheim, and he could be acquired for a similar trade package — especially if the Bruins wanted to make a move with a mind on extending the hometown kid.

Story continues below advertisement

The problem with that idea is the same conundrum Sweeney finds himself in when it comes to trading for anyone: Boston has virtually zero salary-cap room. According to, the B’s currently have $57,500 in cap space which is hardly going to get you a first-year accountant, let alone a puck-moving defenseman who can log big minutes in the most important games.

One potential way to get around that would be to put Lindholm on long-term injured reserve, similar to what the Bruins did with Taylor Hall last season. But without knowing a ton about Lindholm’s short- and long-term status, it’s hard to know whether that’s even an option.

One thing is clear, though: The next few weeks, at least, just got a little more complicated for the Black and Gold.

Featured image via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images