NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli's push to acquire a defenseman prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday may hinge on the pending decision the team has to make about the availability of Adam McQuaid.
McQuaid missed his 11th straight game Sunday against the New York Rangers with an injury that is located in his groin/hip area. Bruins coach Claude Julien said McQuaid had some tests done on the injury Friday and the team will decide within the next day or so if he needs more time to heal or if he is ready to return to the lineup.
The Bruins play their next game Tuesday against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. They already know that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and MCL.
"There's no doubt you want to know where you're player stands, but right now nothing has been discussed in his situation," Julien said. "I'm not saying he's out. The other day we pushed him back for some rest and now they're looking closely at the situation, whether we hold off or move forward with him. It's a 50-50 thing right now."
McQuaid hasn't played since Jan. 19 against the Chicago Blackhawks. Julien described his injury as "unique," which is likely the reason why the team has struggled to determine if McQuaid can return to the lineup or if he needs more time to heal.
"I think the doctor at one point might be able to explain it more if we get to that stage, but right now it's in that groin/hip area where it's not something you see very often," Julien said. "It heals, it gets hurt again, heals -- so that's why we've given him a little bit more time to heal this time, but we're not sure he needs more time or whether he's good to go. We're looking at that."
Julien said surgery is not an option, at least for now.
"That hasn't been discussed with me anyway, and I don't think it," he said. "It's a matter of looking at it closer. He went through some tests Friday and we'll wait for the final results."
For now the Bruins are going with a defense that features Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller along with Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk. Between Hamilton, Bartkowski, Krug and Miller, there is a combined 241 games of NHL experience. Hamilton, at 20 years old, has the most games with 86.
Julien, though, has been impressed with the young defense, particularly Hamilton, whose minutes have climbed in the wake of McQuaid's absence.
"He's been good. He's been steady," Julien said. "He's got good vision, good size and good reach. This is a player that with time will get stronger. He's a big body, so he'll get stronger and he'll probably be even more impactful than he is now. But his game has been really good. He's handled it well."
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