Bruins Cap Situation Leads to Chris Kelly Trade Rumors

The Boston Bruins have signed restricted free agent defenseman Torey Krug, and restricted free agent forward Reilly Smith to one-year contracts for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Both players will be making an annual cap figure of $1.4 million. While he Bruins locked up these two players for another year, it was also a cap friendly deal, much to the delight of the organization.

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his team have been dealing with the issue of being over the National Hockey League’s salary cap for a better part of the summer, and not being able to sign any free agents has been hindering his ability to acquire the pieces to improve his team, but this has also led to many trade rumors.

With these two very important signings, the Bruins will be under the salary cap by $418,000 once forward Marc Savard and his $4 million are taken off the books effective on October 8, 2014, due to his “long term injured reserve” status. Chiarelli and the Bruins might be interested in shedding even more of the current cap with a trade before the season starts.

Bruins Cap Situation Leads to Chris Kelly Trade Rumors

Over the summer, many have speculated that defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his $3.3 million could be sent off for cap relief, with future draft picks or prospects coming back, but now it seems like he is staying and forward Chris Kelly could be dealt very soon. One rumor (from is that the Bruins have been talking to the Carolina Hurricanes for the services of Kelly. With the preseason injury to Hurricanes center Jordan Staal, the Hurricanes desperately need a veteran center that can fill in for the time that Staal will be out of the lineup, which could be for three or four months due to an MCL sprain.

A move like this would work for both teams. The Bruins would get a $3 million relief of Kelly’s contract, and the Hurricanes will get a serviceable center down the middle. The one thing that may be the “brick wall at the end of the tunnel” for this trade is the fact that Kelly has a limited no trade clause with a list consisting of eight teams. Kelly’s current contract with the Bruins has a “no trade clause” for the 2012-13, and 2013-14 seasons, but has a “limited no trade clause” for the 2014-15, and the 2015-16 seasons. If Kelly did in fact submit a list of eight teams, it would certainly be interesting if the Carolina Hurricanes were in fact one of them.

The 33 year old Kelly, who is a ten-year NHL veteran and entering his fifth season with the Bruins, is a solid center that can line up anywhere up front, has an intense work ethic, and can play physical when needed. Kelly is a sound player with superb vision and can play almost any role required, but does not have the skills anymore to be a top-six forward who the Hurricanes need with Staal going down with an injury. Kelly is also a versatile checking forward with great skill in the face-off circle. Kelly has played in 197 games for the Bruins, posting 34 goals, 37 assists, and helped the Bruins to a 2011 Stanley Cup Championship but is has suffered injuries over his tenure in the NHL which eventually could bring his value down if the Bruins and Hurricanes do actually make a deal.

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