Horton, Ference, and backup goalie Anton Khudobin will become unrestricted free agents. The Bruins must re-sign Rask (restricted after this season). They must even look beyond 2014, the last year under contract for Bergeron and Seidenberg.
Chiarelli noted the two compliance buyouts over the next two years that he will have as tools. The current collective bargaining agreement also allows teams to retain cash in trades.
“Tons of combinations have been going through my head as to how to continue to ice this competitive a team to challenge for the Cup. I’m still in that stage,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve got some key signings, whether they’re expiring contracts or going into their final years, like Bergy, Horton, and Ference, guys like that, the goalies. We’ve got some decisions to make.”
The roster has been stable even dating to the Bruins’ Stanley Cup-winning season. Of the 20 players expected to be in uniform against the Rangers, 18 were at Rogers Arena to lift the Cup on June 15, 2011. On Saturday, the Bruins will take their first step toward using that stability to their advantage.