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Jim Montgomery dismisses report of Taylor Hall being ready to return as "false"

BOSTON -- On Tuesday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Bruins winger Taylor Hall feels healthy enough to return to game action but is unable to rejoin the Bruins' roster due to salary cap constraints.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, though, denied that report on Tuesday night.

"The only thing I can say is I know that he is not cleared," Montgomery said after Boston's 2-1 loss to Nashville at TD Garden. "OK, that's what I know, so that report, to me, is false. "

The report suggested that the Bruins might make Hall wait until the postseason to return, as the NHL doesn't hold teams to a salary cap in the playoffs.

"Sources say that he feels that he is ready. The problem is, the Bruins don't have the cap space to activate Taylor Hall," Dreger said on TSN. "Now, the NHL playoffs are less than three weeks away, so it's going to be interesting to see how the Bruins manage this situation -- or, if like the Tampa Bay Lightning a few years ago, they try to stretch it out until the start of the postseason. But it's something that I'm sure other clubs are paying attention to as well."

Montgomery said that's not true, but it also wouldn't be necessary. If Hall were ready to return, the Bruins could place fellow injured winger Nick Foligno on long-term IR to free up the space needed to fit Hall under the cap.

The 31-year-old Hall has played in 58 games this season, scoring 16 goals with 20 assists and a plus-12 rating while mostly skating on the third line with center Charlie Coyle. During his injury absence, the Bruins acquired Tyler Bertuzzi, who's essentially slotted in for Hall on the third line. It's possible that the Bruins use both Hall and Bertuzzi on Coyle's wings when Hall is ready to return.

Hall, who suffered a lower-body injury on the team's road trip in late February, has been skating with the Bruins this week at practice.

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