Where do the Bruins go from here?

Hey Chowderites,

It's been ages since I've posted on Chowder, but I've been seeing a lot of talk as to what the Bruins could/should be doing this offseason in order to better the team in the wake of Iginla's departure to Colorrado, and I've decided voice an opinion and give my .02 on things (Because this is 'murica and we have freedoms).

Currently, our roster consists of:
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
Milan Lucic ($6.000m) / David Krejci ($5.250m) /
Brad Marchand ($4.500m) / Patrice Bergeron ($6.500m) /
Loui Eriksson ($4.250m) / Carl Soderberg ($1.008m) / Chris Kelly ($3.000m)
Daniel Paille ($1.300m) / Gregory Campbell ($1.600m) /
Zdeno Chara ($6.917m) / Dennis Seidenberg ($4.000m)
Johnny Boychuk ($3.367m) / Adam McQuaid ($1.567m)
Dougie Hamilton ($0.894m) / Kevan Miller ($0.800m)
Tuukka Rask ($7.000m)
Niklas Svedberg ($0.600m)
Marc Savard ($4.027m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,332,000; BONUSES: $600,000
CAP SPACE (17-man roster): $5,668,000

As you can see, the Bruins have got some moves to make this offseason. Now, everyone knows that Chia isn't one for making huge deals that radically change the Bruins structure, and I doubt that'll change in the forseeable future. Chia's insistence on keeping guys that are supposedly part of the core leaves us in somewhat of a tight position cap wise, but there still can be some maneuvring to be done. Assuming that we're able to resign Reilly Smith, and slot him back into his slot on the Bergeron line, that still gives us two empty positions we must fill, a 1st line winger and a 4th line winger. The popular belief going aroud is that Eriksson is going to be slotted into that right wing slot formerly occupied by Iginla. I'm not crazy about this, as Eriksson's durability is questionable, and it's not certain how well any of the players will perform together. Typically, the Krecji line has been a crash and smash type of line, like how it was when Iginla was a Bruin, and further back with Nathan Horton. Eriksson is a much different player then either of these, and fit pretty well with everyone's favorite shrugging Swede Soderberg on the 3rd line. It's understandable to want some better production out of a guy who's making 4.25 million, but I don't think Eriksson is going to be the 1st line guy, nor do I think he'll stay in Boston for anything more then a few seasons. The current free agent market is sparse to say the least, so making a move to fill this spot isn't going to be easy. For as much as people criticize Chia for falling in love with his players (Something that I do think happens), he has been pretty good with making moves to bring in players for the past couple of seasons, like in 2011 with the Peverley and Kelly moves. With the 5.5 mil or so that the Bruins have in cap space, the Bruins definately could make a few deals with the pieces that they've got in their system, like the embarassment of riches the Bruins have in their system, but Chia is going to stay pat this offseason and not make any serious moves. What I'm assuming (And hoping) will happen is this:
The Bruins re-sign Smith, putting him back on his 2nd line slot with Bergeron and Marchand

Krug is re-signed. I don't see any way of this not happening, he's arguably the best weapon that the Bruins have on the power play right now.

Either Campbell or Kelly goes. For as good as Soupy is for the PK, he's just not worth the money he's being paid. I like him as a player, but at the end of the day it's the same sort of situation as the one with Shawn Thornton; the business end of hockey must win out. Kelly is a good player, but I think he's somewhat expendable, as the 3rd line can easily have a guy like Fraser or Florek slotted in for cheaper. He can't be bought out until he comes back from injury, but I think #23 is going to be leaving this offseason.

Florek and Fraser get ice time. Florek is a solid power forward, with a good shot and defensive game, and would be a good fit for the 3rd line with the Swedes. Fraser played last year, and performed pretty well on the 3rd line with the Swedes, scoring the Game 4 OT winner against the Habs. I know how everyone is clamouring to have Spooner play, but currently Soderberg is performing fine as a center on the 3rd line. If Spooner was to fit in anywhere, it'd be the 4th line if/when Campbell ends up going. A fourth line of Paille-Spooner-Florek would be lethal; speed, physicality, playmaking ability, you name it.

Miller becomes McQuaid 2.0. Coming from a guy who likes Darth Quaider a whole hell of a lot, he doesn't do anything that Miller can't for half the price. Keeping him around as a 7th d-man would be an ideal circumstance, in case we end up losing Seids or another defenseman to injury.

With all of this done, 5.5 million is left in cap space to sign a 1st line right wing, and for any theoretical moves that need to be made. Seeing that Vrbata went to the Canucks, the free agency market is pretty slim for top-six wingers. Getting a 1st line winger isn't going to be cheap, but seeing as the Bruins have guys like Bartkowski, Caron, Knight, and quite a few other solid prospects, a trade could definately be made, and the Bruins would have the cap space to accommodate the incoming players as long as the contract is within reason. (But really, I don't see the Bruins picking up anyone who's more then 5.5mil). So what do you guys think, will the Bruins make a deal here or just stay within the organiziation?

(All cap info comes from

Happy 'murica day y'all, . Go Bruins.

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