We’re all anxious, but we gotta realize that the Bruins not having made moves by July 7th is actually one of the best realistic scenarios.
I was holding out hope for the resigning of Jarome Iginla, but it wasn’t as realistic as we all wanted to believe, because of the dumb rule that the Bruins can’t get Marc Savard’s LTIR off the cap until opening night. (It’s not like there’s any doubt as to whether or not Savard will play, so just allow the money to be moved off the cap, right, NHL? Guess not.)
The Bruins have to make a move with their defensemen, because they have 9 by Peter Chiarelli’s own admission. I’m rooting for a defensive corp of Chara, Seidenberg, Boychuk, Hamilton, Krug, Warsofsky, and Bartkowski. That would mean that Adam McQuaid and his $1.56 million cap hit would be sent somewhere else, and it would also dictate that Chiarelli gets Bartkowski for less than Kevan Miller’s $800k because of Bart’s terrible playoffs, and then Miller would be traded.
The Bruins have to make a move defensively because their forward situation is the exact opposite — they have too few. The B’s are set at left wing and center, but, just like last year, they only have 1 right wing signed to a contract. Loui Eriksson will likely play 2RW, Smiddy at 2RW once he signs, and then Matt Fraser will hopefully take 3RW or 4RW. If Jordan Caron has to play… no. Please.
Fraser, Warsofsky, Florek, Caron, and obviously Krug and Smith are RFAs. That’s a lot for a team with about $1.6 million in cap space. Not all of these guys will be on the team, so whether or not they make the opening roster might come down to their salaries. And you know what the good news there is? Ryan Spooner is only signed for $760,000 next year. That’s cheap, and it’s the excuse Chiarelli needs to finally get this kid in the lineup more often. Spooner at 4C, Campbell at 4RW (If you remember, Claude put Campbell at RW for a few games in the 2013 season), Fraser at 3RW to start the season, and Smith back with Bergeron and Smith.
There is some relief about the Bruins cap structure once the season starts, but I’m going to break that down for a post of its own. For now, just be a little appreciative that Peter Chiarelli didn’t panic and make the Bruins’ cap situation even worse. Now let’s just try to go back in time and talk him out of the Kelly, Seidenberg, and McQuaid extensions.