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The Bruins have approximately $67 million committed to 12 forwards, six defensemen, and three goalies. That sum includes the injured Marc Savard ($4,007,143) and goaltender Tim Thomas ($5 million). If necessary, the Bruins can place Savard (concussion-related issues) on long-term injured reserve, then exceed the cap by his average annual value. Even if Thomas changes his mind about sitting out 2012-13, the Bruins would not welcome back the goalie. The Bruins will classify Thomas a suspended player and be responsible for his cap hit unless they can find a taker via trade or waivers.
One concession the players received was a defined benefit pension plan. Details of the plan have yet to be finalized. But Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, one of the players most involved in negotiations, termed the pension plan as the agreement’s centerpiece.
The teams’ first task is to recall players to their respective home bases. At one point during the lockout, there were 12 Bruins playing in Europe. Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Tuukka Rask, and Shawn Thornton most recently have been practicing in Boston. Teams are planning on a seven-day camp with no preseason games before the regular season kicks off.
“As players we can now do what we do best,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who participated in the lockout-ending sessions, posted on Twitter. “Proudly pull on our jerseys and play with complete passion for our cities and fans. I hope that we can replace the intense negativity brought on our sport with a reminder of how great it can be when the action is on the ice. From my grandparents to our B’s fans, I am deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey. All we can do now is play our hearts out for you.”