So, here’s how I have the Bruins salary cap situation for 2010-11 breaking down. I’m not factoring in re-signing of unrestricted or restricted free agents.
With Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder, David Krejci, Marco Sturm, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Wideman, Matt Hunwick, Andrew Ference, Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas signed for next season, the Bruins’ total cap hit would be around $46 million. That also includes the Peter Schaefer buyout and the Patrick Eaves cap credit.
If the cap stays at the same spot, $56.8 million, and indications are that if it moves it’ll drop a tad, the Bruins would need to add eight players and have just around $10 million to do so. That’s just to have the minimum amount of players on their roster.
Also, there has not been a vote yet on whether to allow teams to count rookie bonuses toward the following season, the provision that made it possible to keep Rask this season without making major cuts. Last season, you’ll remember, that clause cost Jeremy Reich a spot when Blake Wheeler emerged as an NHL player. If that provision isn’t approved again, it could make life difficult if the Bruins land one of the top three prospects in this June’s draft, and/or Zach Hamill or another rookie comes along and makes a splash.
Remember that Wheeler, Mark Stuart, Johnny Boychuk and Vladimir Sobotka are all RFAs, while Mark Recchi, Dennis Seidenberg, Shawn Thornton and Miro Satan are UFA. Seidenberg is making exactly what Ference will now be getting. So you figure in a raise for the Bruins’ No. 2 defenseman, plus a healthy raise for the almost fully developed Stuart (making just $1.3 million now) and the team that’s eighth in the East doesn’t really have a lot of room for changes barring a major trade.
General manager Peter Chiarelli is scheduled to address the media about the Ference deal and more at 2 p.m. Check back at TheBruinsBlog.net for complete coverage.