Mar 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) prior to a face-off during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It was rumored all throughout the off-season and into the preseason. As a team tight against the cap, Boston’s only logical area of the ice to trade off was their defense, an area in which the Bruins not only possessed depth but also high-priced skaters. As the days till the Bruins’ season opener match-up against Philadelphia dwindled, numerous reports suggested Boston would move a defenseman. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli determined Saturday afternoon that veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk was the odd man out.

The Bruins traded Boychuk, 30, to the New York Islanders for three draft picks. Boston will attain New York’s second-round picks in 2015 and 2016 as well as a conditional third-round pick in 2015. The Bruins will acquire the conditional pick if the Islanders trade Boychuk to an Eastern Conference team throughout the 2014-15 season. The Bruins will now enter the regular season with seven defeseman, including Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller.

Boston, by any means, was not impelled to part way with Boychuk and his $3.36 million contract to be complacent with the cap. By entering the season with Boychuk’s salary and factoring in Marc Savard‘s long-term injury exception, the Bruins would be about $500,000 under the ceiling, per CapGeek. Many Bruins fans are puzzled by the timing. It seemed plausible that Boychuk would not return for the 2015-16 season, with north of $6 million coming his way. It’s money the Bruins are not in good position to spend, even for a proven and veteran defender like Boychuk. But for the …read more