The B's have really started to come together along the point. Like the rest of the team, they struggled at the beginning of the season, but they are looking good now. However, of our starting 6, three of them at UFA's after this season.
After the 09-10 campaign, Derek Morris, Andrew Ference and Mark Stuart will be free to walk. I have a feeling Morris will be gone. He puts up great point totals from the D position, which could lead the Bruins to resign him, but his cap hit will be upwards of 4 Mil a year, which the B's won't be willing to swallow. Which leaves the debate between Ference and Stuart.
Ference is a good Defenceman. He has put up decent points during parts of his career, but he hasn't shown the same totals in Boston. 'Fragile' Ference has had a tough time staying healthy too. In a way, we can thank him for this, because it has given some of the younger D men some experience, but 1.4 Million is an expensive price to pay for his production.
Stuart will be the one to get a new contract. His point production has been gradually increasing throughout his career. He had a career high 17 points last year. He is off to a slower pace this year, but still has more point production than that of Ference. He is also only 25 compared to Ference's 30. He still has time to grow as a defencemen, but should still have a small cap hit, around where he is now (1.3 Mil). Thus, Stuart will remain in black and gold.
Looking at the crop of upcoming UFA's, there are a lot of Defenceman on the market for around 2-2.5 Mil. Joe Corvo will come at a little higher than 2.5, and its entirely possible he has already resigned, but if not, he could make a great fit for the B's. If not, look out for Carlo Colaiacovo. Braydon Coburn is a RFA, but we have the picks to compensate.
Anyone of those signings would leave us with a great starting 6 for the immediate future. Along the point, we would look something like this :
Chara (32 y/o) - Wideman (26 y/o)
Hunwick (24 y/o) - (Corvo Colaiacovo or Coburn, 33 25 and 27 y/o respectively)
Stuart (25 y/o) - Boychuk (25 y/o)
Thats a good, young 6 along the blue line, and it is very affordable. It will leave the B's with some wiggle room along the cap, as they will have about 13 mil a year to play with after this season. Thus, as usual, the B's blue line looks good for the immediate future.