June 26, 2013

Bruins Cap Problems & Projected Opening Night Lineup

Well, today was break up day at the Garden. Very sad, as we are starting to see some of the most beloved Bruins from this incredible era depart.

Jenna, Ference, me in March 2013

Today we found out for sure that the team will not be bringing back Ference or Jagr. Both guys knew this was coming and both understand that hockey is a business. It's very sad to see Ference go. He's been an integral part of the Bruins and specifically the Boston community for the past 7 years.

Some other rumors that have started involve the Bruins trading away Peverly and possibly Boychuk. I had a lengthy debate with some friends on Facebook today about the Bruins Cap situation and who they might resign and at what cost. I figured to be clear I would break this down here.

2013-14 Salary Cap- $64,300,000 (64.3)

Players Currently under contract for next season & their current cap hit:

Chara- 6.9
Lucic- 6.0
Seguin- 5.75
Krejci- 5.25
Bergeron- 5.0
Marchand- 4.5
Boychuk- 3.36
Peverly- 3.25
Seidenberg- 3.25
Kelly- 3.0
Krug- 1.7
Campbell- 1.6
McQuaid- 1.57
Hamilton- 1.49
Paille- 1.3
Thornton- 1.1
Soderberg- 1.0
Bartkowski- .65

That's a total of about 56,670,000  (not including Marc Savard's salary which wont count against the cap). So if my math is correct that leave about 7,630,000 in cap space.

Here are the players who were on the Bruins and will be moving on:

Jagr, Daugavins, Ference, Redden, Johnson, Khudobin, Pandolfo.

And here is the very short list of free agent players the Bruins will have to choose to bring back on a new contract, or let go to free agency:

Tuukka Rask  (Ever heard of him???)
Nathan Horton

Now, I went over in detail back in February  about the type of money Rask would command on the open market. I wish the Bruins had extended him back then, before his impressive playoff run. You have to figure Rask is going to get a deal that lands him in the 6-6.5 per year range. Considering this is the Bruins #1 priority this offseason, lets add Rask's 6.5 to the Bruins Cap space:

Approx. Bruins Payroll next year including Rask- 63,170,000
Space left- 1,130,000



(Bartkowski )

(XXX back up goalie)

Now, The backup goalie position will be filled by Nicklas Svedberg for $1,000,000 on the dot. He played very well for the Wanna B's this past seaosn in Providence. That leaves us with $130,000 to replace Horton. The other thing we have to consider is the Bruins are planning on extending Patrice Bergeron this offseason, which will most likely raise his cap hit at least half a million, but more likely he will get a higher raise than that because I dont see the Bruins paying Bergeron less than Seguin. Lets slot the future captain in at 6 per year.

So as you can see, something need to change. If the Bruins can trade Peverly and Boychuk, they will free up 6.6 mill in cap space. I would like/expect to see Ryan Spooner crack the lineup this season, so let's slot him in that 3rd line spot at $870,000. The Bruins will likely add a cheap veteran D man to replace Boychuk, so when its all said and done we will have about 4,000,000 to spend on the 1st line winger spot.

I think Horton is going to command at least $4 mill per year on the open market. He will likely get offers closer to the $5 per range, but this is a guy who was miserable playing for the Panthers. He flourished when he came to Boston and became Mr. Overtime. I think he would be willing to take a "home town discount" to stay in Boston. 3 years at $4 mill each seems more than fair to me for both sides.

So, Drumroll please.....

My projected Bruins 2013 Opening day lineup with cap hits:

Lucic (6.0) -Krejci (5.25) -Horton (4.0)
Marchand (4.5) -Bergeron (6.0) -Seguin (5.75)
Kelly (3.0) -Soderberg (1.0) -Spooner (.875)
Paille (1.3) -Campbell (1.6) -Thornton (1.1)
Forward total- $40,375,000

Chara (6.9) -Hamilton (1.49)
Bartkowski (.65)-Seidenberg (3.25)
Krug (1.7)-McQuaid (1.57)
Defense total- $15,560,000

Rask (6.5)
Svedberg (1)
Goalie total- 7,500,000

Total on this roster: $63,435,000
Salary Cap- $64,300,000

Hopefully Rask, Horton, and Bergy all think big picture and help the Bruins keep this core group of players together by taking slightly less than they probably deserve. I'd be very happy with the lineup above on opening night in 3 months from now.

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