The Colorado Avalanche made a trade today, though with an unexpected team. They swapped defenseman Colby Cohen, currently with the AHL Lake Erie Monsters, to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Matt Hunwick.
Cohen, one of the finalists for the last defensive spot out of training camp, was called up for three NHL games at the beginning of November, and was sent down without tallying a point.
Hunwick has been a regular for the Bruins defense for the past three seasons since being drafted in 2004 (7th round), playing in 50+ games for the Bruins in the past two seasons. Though smaller than Cohen, listed at 5’11, Hunwick is a solid defensive player with decent offensive upside.
Boston clearly had to move Hunwick for salary cap purposes, as they have been against the cap ceiling all season and Hunwick was signed for $1.45 million this season.
Less clear is the Avalanche front office’s desire to move Cohen for another NHL-ready defenseman when they already have an excess of d-men on the roster. Furthermore, trading for an undersized defenseman just days after star forward Chris Stewart breaks his hand and while current defenseman Ryan Wilson has been struggling immensely also sends a mixed message. One thing appears certain: expect the front office to make another move before the Avalanche start their next road trip, as it's unlikely they travel to the South short at forward.
Read the reaction at Mile High Hockey here.