HERE IS THE REAL SALARY CAP SITUATION
posted at 7/1/2011 11:20 AM EDT
Forget about the Bruins signing any true impact forward or defenseman for next year. Why, because the Bruins might look like they have cap room to play with this year but if they go out and spend this money they are going to have to do exactly what the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning the cup two years ago, blow the team up. I assure you the Bruins will not put themselves in a position to have to go down the team explosion route. Too much time and money has been put into fixing all the problems that plagued them following the lockout.
Cap related issues regarding the 6 UFAs and 3 RFAs in 2012-2013.
Peverly, Kelly, Campbell, Paille Thorton and Boychuck will all be UFAs.
Krejci, McQuaid and Rask will all be RFAs.
Assuming the Salary Cap remains at $64M for the 2012-2013 season the Bruins will have $38M tied up in salary to under contract players. This $38M includes a $3M a year salary (which is what he'll probably get) for Marchand as well as Savard's $4M a year cap hit as it can't be written off just yet.
This $38M only includes 6 forwards under contract (Horton, Lucic, Savard, Bergeron, Seguin and Marchand), 3 defensemen (Chara, Seindenberg and Ferrence) and one Goalie (Thomas).
This will only leave $26M to sign 6 additional forwards, 3 additional defenseman and one back up goalie which is only a total of 20 players. If the Bruins carry a 23 man roster three more players will have to be signed as well.
Of the UFAs and RFAs it's assumed that the Bruins will more than likely resign Krejci, Rask, Mcquaid and Boychuck. Krejci is going up to at least $4.5M-$5M a year, Boychuck will probably get close to Andrew Ferrence money $2M a year or so, Mcquaid will probably move up to $1.5M a year bracket and Rask will definitely get a pay raise to at least $2M a year as well.
Thus that's another $10.5M taken away from the $26M in Cap Space available leaving the Bruins $15.5M to sign an additional 5 forwards, 1 additional defenseman and 2 or 3 "healthy scratch players".
If Kelly, Peverly, Campbell, Thorton and Paille all came back at their current salaries that would amount to $5.3M. Some of these guys won't be back and of those that do come back, all will get pay raises. My guess of these five players only Kelly, Peverly and Campbell have a chance at coming back for the 2012-2013 seasons. Thorton and Paille I'm not to sure about. Peverly, Kelly and Campbell will all get close to $2M a year so call that $6M.
A sixth defenseman in the bottom pairing will cost at least $1M a year.
So there is another $7M taken away from the $15.5M available leaving the Bruins with $8M to sign an additional 2 starting forwards and 2-3 "healthy scratch players".
If you remove Savard's $4M a year cap hit if he retires you still have to replace Savard so say you replace Savard's money with Kaberle next year (say $4M). That's a wash. Thus the Bruins are still only left with $9M to now sign 3 additional forwards and 2-3 "healthy scratch players" (because Savard is removed from the equation and the $1M sixth defenseman is replaced with Kaberle's $4M a year).
$9M to sign three forwards and 2-3 "healthy scratch players" is not a lot. By 2012-2013 the likes of Caron, Spooner, Knight, Hamilton and Koko will all be in the mix as well for Big Club roster spots.
What does this all mean? It means that even if the Bruins just retain most of their own players with modest pay raises to their upcoming UFAs and RFAs in 2012-2013 they will still more than likely have to make trades or make tough decisions to field a complete as team as the did last year and will next year.
So if you have a wish list of Free Agents you should change the wish list to the Bruins retaining most of their current core group of players and that some of the youngsters make the same kind of strides Marchand was able to make this year as a first year pro.
Not that this is bad news. A great young core of players signed to long term deals combined with a prospect system that has future NHLers in the waiting combined with a recent Stanley Cup win. Most of the NHL teams would be more than happy to be in the situation the Bruins will be in the next 3-5 years.
Just temper the free agent expectations. If there are going to be impact players joining the Bruins in the next several years they more than likely will be coming from our own system and let's face it that's not exactly a negative. There's a team out there in the West called Detroit that went on quite a Stanley Cup run primarily developing and relying on their home grown talent.