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The Boston Bruins are winning hockey games despite an extremely difficult salary cap that continues to force them to make some cap-forced moves.

Another one of those came Sunday afternoon when veteran winger Craig Smith was waived by the Black and Gold, according to a report from Elliot Friedman.

This might have been unthinkable a season ago, as Smith was a prized free agent coming out of Nashville a few years ago, and filled a second- and third-line role while playing as a first-rounder.

But this season has been a rough ride for the 33-year-old Smith, who has a goal and four points in 17 games while playing in and out of the lineup with healthy scratches and injuries keeping him from being a regularly used power forward. . That’s a far cry from last season, when Smith had 16 goals and 36 points in 74 games for the Black and Gold, but it’s gotten to a point this season where the Bruins could use a $3.1 million cap hit. hit for a save or other list. a player who can help them win hockey games.

The Boston Bruins have pursued ways to trade Smith this offseason, but the mild interest, combined with the assets the B’s would have to give up just to trade the cap issue, make waivers the most sensible course of action. It’s doubtful anyone is going to claim Smith, who could go to the AHL to join Mike Reilly after he was cleared on waivers and sent to Providence last month in a similar cost-cutting deal.

It remains to be seen if there is any appropriate move for the player from Providence if/when Smith clears waivers on Monday and is potentially sent down to the AHL.


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