So while the cup hangover may not be over (especially with a 156k bar tab), it is about time to start looking at next year.
Looking at this seasons team, there will presumably only be one retirement, that being Mark Recchi. The Bruins also have most of our existing roster under contract for next season. Only Michael Ryder, Thomas Kaberle and Shane Hnidy are going to be unrestricted free agents, while Brad Marchand is going to be a restricted free agent.
It is fair to assume that Marchand will be resigned. Kaberle and Ryder will be interesting to see, and who honestly cares about the "sheriff" (really like the guy, but how much can we expect him to contribute?). For the sake of this, let's assume that Marchand is signed to a 2.5 million dollar deal. Lines would probably look like this.
Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Peverley - Kelly - ________
Thornton - Campbell - Paille
Chara - Seidenberg
Mcquaid - ________
Boychuk - Ference
Total salary - 50.39 million
Reports today are that the cap next year is going to be set at 64 million, leaving the team with just under 14 million in cap room. In my humble opinion, Kaberle is going to get around 3.5-4 million, and Ryder will get 2.5 or so. The Bruins will have the cap room to sign both of these players, but whether or not they will be willing to pony up that kid of money for them is a totally different story.
I don't think they will resign Kaberle. Yeah, they gave up a lot to get the guy. If and when they let Kaberle walk, it will basically mean they gave up Joe Colborne and a first round pick to have a guy on the roster that, honestly, didn't make them that much better. For some reason, Kaberle's game just didn't catch on in Boston. Not everone will be able to get into the flow with every team. However, the winning of the Stanley Cup makes Kaberle's walking a little easier to stomach. Anytime someone brings up the fact that Kaberle was a rental player, "meh, who cares, we won the cup."
Ryder, however, is a different story. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ryder sign a 1 or 2 year deal for 2.5ish. That would bring the team down to about 11 million in room.
For the other defense spot, we can pretty much pencil in Steven Kampfer. Put him on the second line with Adam Mcquaid, and you have 2 dynamic young players who play very different games, that will compliment each other nicely. Boychuk and Ference showed a lot of chemistry through the postseason, so lets agree that they will probably be the third line.
Kampfer on the second d pair only takes another 900k or so off the cap. Meaning that without making any major moves (apart from letting Kaberle walk), this team would go into the season with the entire roster having a good amount of chemistry, and 10 million dollars in cap room.
That cap room will be the key to the long term future, as after next season, the team will have to re-sign a bunch of players. David Krejci, Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, Greg Campbell, Dan Paille, Shawn Thornton, Johnny Boychuk, Adam Mcquaid and Tuukka Rask all need to be re-signed after next season.
What should we do with Thomas Kaberle
Resign him (he is too good and we paid too much to let him walk) (47 votes)
Let him walk (hes a hell of a player, but he just didn't catch on here) (56 votes)
103 total votes