WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Marco Sturm  has made significant progress of late in his quest back to an NHL  lineup from a torn ACL and MCL. He was cleared for contact a while back, but actually began taking it this week. On Wednesday rotated in and out of a line with Blake Wheeler , Patrice Bergeron , and Mark Recchi .
The 32-year-old winger expects to be ready to play in games within the next 10-14 days, but which team he’s a member of at that point is anybody’s guess. The B’s nearly traded him to the Kings last week, with Sturm agreeing to waive his no-trade clause. Sturm said last week that he told Peter Chiarelli that he’d approve of a trade to three teams, something that the Bruins had to have been delighted by. This is presumably because it’s tough to find room for Sturm — salary-cap-wise, of course — on this team. Now Sturm continues to go through the motions and make progress, but uncertainty has been the name of the game.
“Nothing,” Sturm said Tuesday when asked what his talks with Chiarelli have been since that conversation. “I didn’t talk to him once since last week, and that’s it.”
Sturm has been professional throughout what at the very least has been an awkward process. Even so, for a free-agent-to-be to not know his fate in a contract year is concerning.
“I’m happy I’m still here, but I’m not happy with the situation,” Sturm said. “It’s been hard on me and my family. It’s not fun, but I’ve got to try to make the best of it, and we’ll see what happens.”
Because the Kings trade would have solved the team’s cap situation (Sturm has a $3.5 million cap hit) once and for all, it still appears that the team will need to move him prior to activating him. Sturm said he has not heard from the team about a possible assignment to Providence, which would not count against the team’s salary cap.
Sending Sturm, the team’s leader in goals last season, to Providence could get messy. Sturm has another contract to play for, and he’d be far better off building his case on another team than in the AHL. Asked if he still feels that he’ll be traded, Sturm seemed more unsure than confident.
“Honestly, I don’t know anymore,” Sturm said. “I expected it, but it’s been a while. I just don’t know.
“My focus right now is to try to get healthy and get back [in games],” he added. “Hopefully things get squared soon, so I know what’s going on.”