Why the Bruins keep recalling and sending down Jakub Lauko


On Saturday, the Bruins recalled Jakub Lauko from AHL Providence on an emergency basis. On Sunday, during their game against the Red Wings, they assigned him back to Providence.

On Monday, the Bruins again recalled Lauko from Providence on an emergency basis. On Tuesday, during their game against the Blackhawks, they again assigned him back to Providence.

On Wednesday, for the third time in five days, the Bruins recalled Lauko on an emergency basis.

Is it time to get concerned about the Bruins?

It has led to some funny memes on social media, including from Lauko himself, who tweeted out the gif of Abe Simpson walking into a room, hanging up his hat, walking in a circle, grabbing his hat, and walking right back out.

Yes, yes -- it’s all very funny. But why is this actually happening? Well, it’s not just some sort of prank Don Sweeney is playing on everyone. There is actually a good explanation for it.

Basically, the Bruins wanted to have an extra forward with them on this five-game road trip. However, teams are only allowed four regular call-ups from the AHL between the trade deadline and the end of the regular season. A team like the Bruins would want to use those call-ups strategically, possibly later in the season if and when they want to rest some of their regulars.

Teams are allowed an unlimited number of emergency recalls, though, so that’s what they’re doing. What’s the difference between the two? At their core, not much.

One difference is that an emergency recall can only be made if a team is in a position where it either is or could theoretically be below 12 forwards, six defensemen, or two goalies. The Bruins have 12 forwards on their active roster right now, so they can emergency recall Lauko because, in theory, they’re one bump or bruise away from being a forward short. They could not emergency recall a defenseman right now since they already have eight on their roster.

The other difference is the reason why Lauko has been sent down in the middle of the Bruins’ last two games. Unlike a regular call-up, an emergency recall must be sent back down after either, A) he plays in a game in place of an injured player, or B) the team ices a healthy roster for a game and the emergency recall is not needed.

So, Lauko gets called up on off days because the Bruins want him with the team on this trip. Then he gets sent down around puck drop every game day because that’s what the Bruins are required to do for as long as they’re making him an emergency recall and not cutting into their four regular recalls. They’re paper transactions, and Lauko does not actually have to fly from Detroit to Providence to Chicago to Providence, etc. every day.

So, that’s the gist of it. If Lauko isn’t in the lineup Thursday night in Winnipeg, he’ll be assigned to Providence mid-game once again. Get ready for more memes.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports