Jarome Iginla is gone. There. I said it. You all should say it too. I mean, this apparently should come as no shock to anyone pledging loyalty to the Black and Gold. The Bruins were in salary cap "jail," salary cap "hell," salary cap "place that the CIA extreme-renditions people to and then tortures them for months on end while no one knows they are there."
Except I still can't believe it. What... in the living, Lord of Christ... was the General Manager of the Boston Bruins doing basically sitting on his ass and letting a 30 goal scorer (ass goals and ENGs included) walk out of here without any serious attempt to keep him. I emphasis serious because I don't believe the Bruins did make a serious effort offer Iginla a contract - or any effort for that matter. There were some extremely simple moves the Bruins could have made to free up more cap space, which I'm sure you are all familiar with by now.
But just in case you weren't, what were they?
- Use a buy-out of the compliance variety (1 of 2) on Gregory Campbell's contract, removing 1.6M from the Salary Cap Payroll. Campbell has very few friends on this site, and anyone who believes he is anything more than replaceable is due a serious dose of reality.
- As has been called for by many circles of fans, media (both msm and otherwise) and the physical embodiment of the Bruins 3rd line spirit (read: exaggeration), use the 2nd Compliance buy-out on Chris Kelly, removing his 3M salary from not only this year's payroll BUT ALSO next year's payroll as well. As I've stated in his report card, my opinion of Chris Kelly is that for what he provides the Bruins, he's actually not THAT overpaid. So while I am not indicting Chris Kelly's abilities as a hockey player, I am saying that given the choice between keeping Iginla versus keeping Kelly (and Campbell), I choose Iginla. And yes, I know Chris Kelly is recovering from back surgery. As I also mentioned in Kelly's report card, I also know that that is not the end of the buy-out discussion. Players can mutually agree to a buy-out with their Club, even when injured (as in the case of Chris Drury and the NY Rangers). Here's how a reasonable discussion about that might have sounded between Kelly's camp and our intrepid GM:
Chris (or respective agent), I'll keep this brief. We really appreciate your efforts as a player for us these last 3 years, but given our current cap situation, we can't afford to keep you. I'd like you to consider agreeing to a buy-out of your contract, which I believe offers you the opportunity to make more money than you would remaining here with the Bruins. If you agreed to a buy-out, you'd be paid $1M per year for the next 4 years, and instantly become a UFA. If you'd like to decline waivers prior to being bought-out, that's well within your rights as well.Given the UFA market landscape, I have no doubt that a Club would be willing to pay well within the range of your current contract for your services, and I'd be happy to speak to any GM on your behalf.
#Habs: "I have never asked for a trade, this is the call of Marc Bergevin. I am in shock" - Josh Gorges to the Journal de Montréal.— J-F Chaumont (@JFChaumontJDM) June 30, 2014
Chiarelli said he was trying to clear cap space to sign Iginla, but at the end they were moves he didn't want to make.— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) July 1, 2014
Jarome Iginla is looking at a 2 year deal. The only team he would accept to go for 1 season is Boston. #tvasports— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 30, 2014
"Even to work a one-year deal this year was very hard for (the Bruins), and I don’t know if that would have fully been an option...Even if it was, we wanted to keep playing — I feel great, I love hockey — I want to play for more than this year. Even if we were able to fit in this year, it would have likely been even harder next year with the guys that are up and the young stars that they have."
- If the Bruins followed my advice about buying-out Chris Kelly, they would have $25M in cap space.
- If the Bruins exercised the Long-Term Injury Exception on Marc Savard's contract, they would have $29M in cap space.
- If you believe in James Mirtle's estimate that the Upper Limit will easily rise to beyond $74M next year (which I do, given the TV money from the Rodgers deal wasn't fully included this year), the Bruins would have upwards of $34M in salary cap space. Let's say the Upper Limit rises to $75M. The Bruins would have $35M in cap space.
- I won't make this post any longer by speculating about contract terms for Torey Krug, Reilly Smith and what the qualifying offers will cost for players like Justin Florek, Matt Bartkowski, and Jordan Caron. Let's say all of that, plus re-signing Iginla to a one year contract and calling up Ryan Spooner, would remove $12M of cap space from 2015-2016, bringing the Bruins back down to $23M in cap space for 2015-2016
Tremendous value at one year, $2-M for Blackhawks in Brad Richards. That's a July 1 deal you don't regret.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2014