NHL Salary Cap Set at Only $69 Million

Before the draft yesterday, the NHL announced that the salary cap for the 2014-2015 season would only be $69 million, down from the estimate of $71.1 that we were all expecting.

The Bruins can get over this, but it sucks.  It really does.  Before putting Marc Savard’s contract on LTIR, which they will once the season starts, the Bruins are now just $1.6 million below the cap.  And that’s with Reilly Smith and Torey Krug, among others, as RFAs, and the obvious Jarome Iginla as a UFA.

Now it’s clear that Iginla is not coming back unless 1 of 2 things happens:

1) The B’s could trade a roster player with a sizable salary.  Marchand is the guy that pops into everyone’s head.  Boychuk is also a possibility, as are Eriksson, Campbell, and McQuaid, the latter 2 which have much lower salaries, so they’re not the only ones that would be gone to get Iggy back.  In fact, any one of these contracts alone might not be enough.  The more you look at it, the more it seems like Chiarelli might decide to make serious changes this summer.

2) He takes a contact that is almost all in bonuses… and probably a paycut, too.  Hopefully, Iggy would agree to a contract of $1.8 million in salary and $4.2 million in bonuses again, and it would really help if he took even less than that in salary.

There are a few other aspects of this news that are interesting for the Bruins, and not in a good way.  Anyone remember Dennis Seidenberg’s extension last year?  At the time, I was happy with it, but now I hate it, meaning that I was dead wrong a year ago.  Seids costs $4 million, and he looked really bad in his limited time this year, and that was before an ACL injury.  Seidenberg is about to turn 33, and he’ll be coming off of that injury with over 9 months out of action.  He isn’t the 2nd defenseman that he was in 2011, but the B’s are still paying him like it because of the extension (and they’ll be doing it for another 3 years after, which could be painful).  I would feel really comfortable letting Seidenberg go this summer and just rolling with the defensive crew that they had for the last 5 months of this past season, allowing another $4 million to be used on Iginla or whoever else.

On the same note, the Chris Kelly extension was terrible.  Chiarelli extended a 32 year old, 3rd line center on a team with a ton of centers — remember, the team already had Rich Peverley and maybe even Tyler Seguin to use as a center — and Chiarelli also gave him 4 years and a full no trade clause.  The B’s were able to dump Peverley’s contract in the Seguin deal because he only had a 15 team NTC, but Kelly’s is all 29.  He’s a father who enjoys Boston, so I doubt he’s gonna waive that clause.

One more thing to complain about, this one having nothing to do with Peter Chiarelli (who I think is overall a very good GM): It would really help the B’s if Marc Savard’s LTIR money wasn’t still on the cap now.  But it is.  Fuck Matt Cooke.

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