Last season, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was penalized for having bonus overages to the tune of $1.759 million. As a result, Boston had that amount taken off their salary cap for the 2010-11 NHL season.
Despite having close to a $2 million salary cap hit, Chiarelli was still able to build a Stanley Cup Championship contending team, as we witnessed this past June.
As if that wasn't enough of a challenge, Chiarelli will have to use the same savvy maneuvering he used last year, for the 2011-12 NHL season.
The NHL salary cap for the 2011-12 season is $64.3 million. The Bruins cap, however, will only be $63.17 million as they exceeded the $59.4 million cap last season.
The reason being Mark Recchi. Recchi, now retired, received bonuses for his contributions to the Bruins Stanley Cup Championship run.
So, as a result, the Bruins will be operating under a $1.3 million cap penalty in 2011-12.
Bonus overages were the culprit for last season's cap penalty as well, with Tuukka Rask receiving all of his bonuses for his netminding efforts.
Using last season as a reminder, the cap penalty shouldn't be anything that the Bruins and Chiarelli can't deal with. If there is a way to make it work, they will find it.
The only trouble Boston may run into with the penalty is if a Bruins player suffers another crippling blow like Marc Savard and is shut down for the rest of the season.
That $1.3 million would then come in handy to bring in a replacement, but if there is anything we have learned about the Bruins, it's that they will find a way to win, no matter what.