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A Closer Look at the Bruins Salary Cap Situation

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The Bruins are right up against the cap and GM Peter Chiarelli has some difficult decisions to make in the next few weeks. Let's take a look at the Bruins current salary cap situation.

Cap Hit (millions)
Marc Savard $5.000
Patrice Bergeron $4.750
Michael Ryder $4.000
David Krejci $3.750
Marco Sturm $3.500
Blake Wheeler $2.825
Chuck Kobasew $2.333
Milan Lucic $0.850
Shawn Thornton $0.517
Vladimir Sobotka $0.750
Zdeno Chara $7.500
Dennis Wideman $3.875
Aaron Ward $2.500
Andrew Ference $1.400
Mark Stuart $1.300
Tim Thomas $5.000
Tuukka Rask* $0.850
17 Players $50.700
Glen Murray's Buyout $1.383
Total on the Books $52.083
Estimated Salary Cap

$55.000

Less Total on the Books -$52.083
Bonus Cushion $2.115
 
Estimated Cap Space $5.032
Unrestricted Free Agents
P.J. Axelsson
Mark Recchi
Stephane Yelle
Shane Hnidy
Steve Montador
Manny Fernandez
Jeremy Reich
Johnny Boychuk (Rule VI)
Martin St. Pierre (Rule VI)
Ryan Stokes (Rule VI)

 

Restricted Free Agents
Phil Kessel
Byron Bitz
Matt Hunwick
Kevin Regan (Arbitration Eligible)
Carl Soderberg
Wacey Rabbit
Ned Lukacevic

 

Assuming that the salary cap next season will be in the neighborhood of $55 million, the Bruins have roughly $5 million to spend on three players to round out their NHL roster. The cap space needs to come from somewhere. But, where? The way it stands right now, I don't think the Bruins can afford to re-sign Phil Kessel. If Phil Kessel is asking for a contract in the neighborhood of $5 million as speculated, that would leave the Bruins with no cap room to sign Matt Hunwick, Byron Bitz, and other free agents. The Bruins either need to trade away roster player(s) to free up cap space to sign Kessel, trade Kessel, or let Kessel sign an offer sheet with another team and take the compensatory picks.

*Tuukka Rask is on the books for $3.2 with bonuses, but is not expected to reach any of his bonus goals for '09-'10.

Information from NHL Numbers and NHLsCap were used to compile this report