I’ve had several requests to rehash the Bruins’ current salary cap situation.
Using the numbers posted at NHLSCap.com and other notes I have, I believe the Bruins are committed to seven forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders for a total of around $50-51 million.
This number includes the Peter Schaefer buyout hit and the credit for Patrick Eaves’ buyout. It does not include any unsigned unrestricted or restricted free agents, nor do I count guys that only got a cup of coffee with Boston last season — like Brad Marchand, Trent Whitfield and Jeff Penner. Nor does it include the No. 2 pick, who will receive an entry-level contract worth $825,000 base plus bonuses.
The cap last season was $56.8 million. Whether that number increases will depend a lot on the NHLPA vote later this month about the inflator. A vote for it would mean more money in escrow, but also more cap room for teams (and thus more money to spend in free agency). The union will also vote on whether to renew the CBA. A yes vote on that would activate the 7.5 percent bonus buffer, which would also make life easier for a team like the Bruins, especially with the No. 2 pick on his way.
No matter how you shake it, those holding out hope the Bruins can retain Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk without making a move to clear space should not hold their breath, and should definitely root, root, root for the NHLPA to vote yes to the escalator.