Could the Bruins face some difficulty re-signing their key players? Read on for the latest.

BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reported Sunday the Bruins could find themselves squeezed for cap space if the salary cap drops under the next CBA. Their priority is re-signing goaltender Tuukka Rask, but if he doubles his $1.25 million annual cap hit, it won’t leave much room to re-sign other key free agents, like pending UFA Chris Kelly.  Dupont suggested two options to free up space are trading goalie Tim Thomas and placing Marc Savard (post concussion symptoms) on long-term injury reserve at the start of next season. Pending UFA defenseman Greg Zanon’s agent believes the Bruins management would like to bring him back, but they’ve got a crowded  blueline and a move may have to be made. Zanon’s shot-blocking, “in your face” style could attract suitors on the UFA market.

Will Kelly return with the Bruins?

ESPN.COM: James Murphy recently Kelly’s agent claimed contract negotiations with the Bruins have stalled, as he and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli haven’t spoken since the club was eliminated from the playoffs back on April 27.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the salary cap goes up to $69-$72 million over the summer, but then declines under the next CBA, it could return to around the current rate of $64.3 million, which also means existing salaries could be rolled back to achieve that decline. The Bruins currently have just over $59 million invested in 18 players for next season, giving them roughly $5.272 million in available cap space. They could free up another $4 million if, as expected, Savard is placed on LTIR to being the season, though that would only allow them to spend over the cap ceiling by the equivalent amount of his salary. Thomas could be dealt, but Chiarelli isn’t in any hurry to make that move, and in his “end-of-season” remarks, sounded reluctant to make any significant moves which shakes up his roster. If Kelly cannot be re-signed, the expectation is he could return to the Ottawa Senators, as he still maintains a home in the Ottawa area, and Senators management dealt him to Boston last year reluctantly, due to a need to clear cap space.

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18 Responses to Update on the Bruins – May 21, 2012.

  1. Vinnie says:

    I believe they should trade Thomas and look into a veteran back-up for Rask. Maybe Biron someone in that mold anyway. I have said this before on this site they should trade Lucic. Get what you can for him after that pay-day he has not been the same player or same person off the ice in the Boston area. The Bruins will not trade him because of the amount of money he has brought in on merchandise sales and his style of play is loved in Boston. In fact if they received a sweetheart deal I could do without Lucic and Marchand. Marchand is just a punk that takes too many bad penalties. Julien has his hands full reining that one in.

    • steve says:

      Sorry but both Lucic and Marchand are very valuable players. Especially if Horton is out. No Lucic where is there cycling game going to come from. Marchand is a pest but will be a 60pt guy in the NHL and there will be 29 other teams that would take him. He is not dirty. Remember, both these guys are very young and still need to mature on the ice. They are great assets to the team. Who are you going to replace Lucic with???? No one cause there is no power forwards that are better than him and none available.

      • Vinnie says:

        Steve- If the rumor is correct and LA wanted to do a Brown/Lucic swap I would have done it if I was Chiarelli. Brown has great leadership qualities, is constantly atop the league in hits, has more upside offensively than Lucic, and as you see in these playoffs he actually shows up when the games get bigger. Also is a much better skater than Looch. I am sorry but if the Bruins expect Lucic to keep up on a line with Seguin next year they are sadly mistaken. Oh and Marchand IS absolutely dirty AT TIMES. I am not saying he is in Torres or Cooke territory but he’s getting there.

        • steve says:

          Vinnie,
          I like Dustin Browns game. He fits the Bruins profile. However, like i said Lucic is younger than Brown and as far as offensive upswing….i don’t think so. Brown has hit 60 pts 1 time in his 8 yr career, and a 30 goal scorer once. So more upside then Lucic i think not. This is the first time Brown has shown up for the playoffs. The trade may not have just been Lucic for Brown, maybe LA wanted a prospect or pick as well. I would not give all that up for an older and less physically impactful player. Who as we see is becoming a borger line player.

          • steve says:

            If i was Chirelli i would look at getting Suter. Yes that would put them over the cap. However, if Able to trade Boychucks 3+ mill and promote Hamilton as a 6th D. Keep Caron on the 3rd line and make another minor tweek, as well as put Savard on LTIR they should be able to aquire him. Yes they would have to trade Thomas for picks as well. With Z, Suter, and Siendenberg along with McQuaid and Ference. WOW!!

  2. bogguy says:

    The B’s NEED a scoring threat which they don’t have. Seguin is stepping up his game to be one but they are loaded with 2nd and 3rd liners.

    I’d almost trade anything to get the #1 pick in Nail Yakupov. He’s got the potential to be a star if he stays in the NHL. Thomas, who I love, needs to be traded while his value is high. I think Lucic, Krej, Horton, and the mascot should all be available to make this happen.

    Move big name cap money, get the #1 pick, and sign a Parise like player!

  3. DaBroons says:

    Looch did have a poor playoff, but he’s not going anywhere. They could have traded him at the deadline for Dustin Brown but passed.

    Regarding Kelly, I somewhat suspect that, if his demands were reasonable, he’d be already signed by Boston. Unlike Harry Sinden, Chiarelli makes more than fair offers to his players, and some think he even overpays a few by a small margin. He made $2.125 million on his expiring contract, and $2.5 would get it done, but 3-4 years at $3.0 might be too pricey for Boston, but you don’t know for certain. Maybe he wants Peverly money ($3.25 million per year for 3 years). One thing is certain, if he wants $3.5, he won’t get it from Boston; he’s not worth that much and they will have cap issues.

    They have to sign Rask. They have Khudobin signed to a one-way contract for next year and he’d have to pass waivers to go to Providence. He’s a capable backup if they trade Timmah.

    On defense, Dougie Hamilton will replace Corvo, and possibly one of Mottau or Zanon will be resigned as the 7th dman.

    At forward, Pouliot, Paille, Campbell, and Rolston are unsigned. Perhaps 2 or more could be gone, with room for Spooner or Knight.

    Savard’s salary DOES need to go on LTIR. They need the space, although they didn’t go it last year.

    Lots of reasons to trade Thomas or to keep him. No right answer.

  4. Steve says:

    GM’s have to operate with the way it is now, but keep the future in mind, but if they sign based solely on what might happen in the new cba they will have major issues

  5. Ralph says:

    Would Boston be interested in trading Krejci and Hamilton for Whitney(Boston area guy) and Oilers first overall. Saves some money they are strong up middle and get a shot a high flying Russsian?

  6. The Man__Oss says:

    As much as this pains me to say, as I hate the Bruins, there is no way they should trade Lucic. He may have had an off year, but he brings so much more to the table. His physical presence is such a great value that it can’t be underestimated. Here is my example, After he ran Miller, every team in the league focused on him to be sure he doesn’t run their goalie. Every time he got on the ice teams were watching him and not watching guys like Seguin. It worked beautifully for them all season.
    If it hadn’t been for a hot goalie in Holtby, they would still be in the playoffs.

    Trading Thomas may be the only real big value option they have. He may not bring in as much as we would expect because of his age.

    Zanon is a must sign to me. If they don’t he will have several suitors chomping at the bit. A gritty shot blocker is hard to find. Especially with the canons being unleashed these days.

    Ouch, that really hurt to write, the Bruins, sheeesh.

  7. Vinnie says:

    The Man- Lucic didn’t just have an off year he wasn’t that great the year before either. Sure he was a 30 goal guy but 10 of those goals were empty netters. I agree with the physical edge he brings for the team. Also last years playoffs he wasn’t that good so now we are talking two playoff years in a row he hasn’t done much. If Lucic had stayed a third line winger making 2M-2.5M/yr hitting everything that moved and kicked in 15-20 goals/yr I would have been happy. But as a Bruins fan it is frustrating to watch this guy crammed down our throats as a 1st line winger and the 2nd coming of Cam Neely IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. First of all for someone his size he should be parking his ass in front of the net on the PP NOT on the half-boards or behind the net. Just a frustrating player to watch sometimes.

  8. jrd18 says:

    Another player that might give the bruins more cap room. Is Nathan Horton, I haven’t heard any. News on him since they said he wouldn’t return for the playoffs?? If they do trade Lucic (which I would not) it would be awesome to watch him battle against Chara.

  9. Old Soldier says:

    The Flyers were in the same position at the end of last season yet Holmgren was able to do wonders. A creative GM will always find a way.

    As an Oiler fan, I would give you anything short of the 3 kids including 1st overall for Lucic and Marchand. Imagine those two filling out the holes in the top two lines.

    Or as stated above, a package with Dougie Hamilton and perhaps Marchand for the Oilers 1st and any combo of Hemsky/Gagner or Omark, in a heartbeat.

  10. ACR says:

    I’ve always thought Kelly would be a nice fit with the Pens. There’s never been any link to the Pens talking about acquiring him in the press, but his style of play makes sense with the Pitt system.

    The big issue is the cap. If it rises only slightly the Pens can’t acquire anyone in Kelly’s price range. But if it goes up to 70Mil, he could be an option.

  11. jack adams says:

    I would trade krecji and our # 1 to pitsburg for jordan stall then give up on thomas and sign a top free agent

  12. jack adams says:

    trade krecji and our #1 to pitsburg for jordan stall, trade tukka rask keep thomas for another 3 years.i dont see rask being able to play every day like t.t. sign parentue, trade chara for draft choices in two years he wont be able to move at all.sign shea webber

  13. NikK says:

    Lucic and Marchand are rare breeds, and I’d love to have them on my team. The fact remains that boston doesn’t have enough quickstrike ofense behind Seguin. Krejci, Bergeron, Horton, Lucic and Marchard are good scorers, but need offensive pressure to cycle through for scoring chances. I think they should go after Rick Nash. htey can trade Thomas (to Chicago, ?) for a package, and then use those assets to create another package that Colubus will accept. they can create the salaray cap soace to fit him in. I think that Columbus should be happy to accept Krejci and a 1st rd pick for Rick Nash. That’s much more than what LA gave up for either Richards or Carter. The key is to move Thomas and create the cap space.

  14. DaBroons says:

    Columbus wants Hamilton and or Rask plus Krejci plus #1 plus probably another prospect for Nash. Will NEVER happen.

    Dougie Hamilton is a potential franchise dman and will NOT, repeat, NOT be traded.

    Seguin and probably Rask are untouchable as well, as is Bergeron.

    Would take a King’s ransom to fetch Looch or Marchand.

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