The Boston Bruins have passed the quarter mark of this season, and earned a 14-9-1 record for their efforts thus far. The team currently has the top “wildcard” position in the Eastern Conference with 29 points, trailing the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens by four points. The team has certainly struggled to get going this season, and injuries to key players have not helped a Bruins team that strives to be atop the National Hockey League standings year by year.
Boston Bruins Trade Coming Soon?
With the recent struggles this year, it’s been apparent that Bruins general manger Peter Chiarelli may have some uncertainty with the current team, and their goal of making the playoffs for the seventh straight time in as many years, and may want to make a trade sooner rather than later. The Bruins are ranked 22nd out of 30 teams in league scoring, and 12th in goals against, which may persuade Chiarelli to make a move for a forward with a “scoring touch,” while playing a strong “puck possession” game.
#BruinsTalk Chiarelli knows B’s need to get “heavier” via trade market, writes @HackswithHaggs http://t.co/iIxcYIBw0i pic.twitter.com/LpVlSJO5Sl
— CSNNE.com (@CSNNE) November 28, 2014
With team captain, and veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara back on the ice practicing, and is due back in two weeks, the team placed him on “long-term injured reserve” (effective 11/24/14), with the intentions of relieving some money off the teams salary cap to make transactions possible for call-ups from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League easier. When a healthy Chara returns, the team will have just over $6oo,ooo in available funds to work with.
Peter Chiarelli used phrase “relatively satisfied” when talking about B’s playoff position at Thanksgiving: “We’ve reached an interim goal”
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) November 27, 2014
Another key factor in making a decision like this as a general manager is balancing a budget with an already tight cap space. As of July 1, 2015, the Bruins will have 12 players set to be free-agents (6 RFA, and 6 UFA) that will be looking for new contracts. Young players like defencemen Dougie Hamilton (RFA) and Torey Krug (RFA), along with forwards Reilly Smith (RFA), and Carl Soderberg (UFA), will be the teams priority, and expect a significant bump in pay that the team may not be able to afford, due to the leagues salary cap that may not increase next season, like so many speculated it would.
Last year, the NHL and Canadian media giant, Rogers Sportsnet, came to a $5.2 billion television rights deal that is “hockey-related revenue”, was projected to raise the current $69 million team cap to an estimated $79 million. The Canadian dollar is struggling to to hold value, and the cap is calculated in U.S. currency, which means that the cap may not go up as much as expected, if at all.
Recently it has been rumored that general manager Chiarelli has shown interest in players like Edmonton Oilers froward Jordan Eberle ($6 million), Columbus Bluejackets forward Nick Foligno ($3 million), and Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane ($5.2 million). If, in fact the Bruins do want to pull the trigger on a trade for one of these players, somebody has to go to make room for the incoming player. Forward Loui Eriksson, and defenseman Torey Krug’s names have been mentioned that would shave about $5.6 million off the cap to make room for “potential” incoming players.
The team is off this weekend as they prepare for a tough west coast trip that will have them play four games in six nights, making stops in Anaheim (12/01/14), Los Angeles (12/02/14), San Jose (12/04/14), and ending in Phoenix (12/06/14).
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