The Boston Bruins may be in one of the toughest salary cap situation of all teams as the team still has to sign one of their top defensemen to a contract in Charlie McAvoy. The team might have some serious issues in signing him, however, who doesn’t have the offer sheet capability that most of the other RFA’s remaining have and has even less negotiating power than most of the others. Unfortunately, that could be an issue for the Bruins.
In fact, NHL Tonight’s Brian Lawton suggests that the Bruins have a number of issues working against them when it comes to signing McAvoy. Perhaps most challenging is the fact that they have just $7.29MM in projected cap space remaining (although with certain roster moves, that could improve to about $9MM) and McAvoy could be asking for quite a bit after another impressive season. Despite injuries being an issue for a second straight season, he still put up seven goals and 28 points in 54 games and looks to be developing into a potential No. 1 defenseman. While it does sound like there is money to work out a deal, the Bruins also have RFA defenseman Brandon Carlo waiting on a new deal as well, who won’t be cheap either. With so little cap space, Boston is going to be forced to make a roster move to fit both into their salary cap and it’s likely that the team might have to settle for a bridge deal with McAvoy due to their salary cap issues.
Lawton also point out that Boston has a number of moving parts as the team may be forced to place some of their veterans on LTIR when the season starts as it’s already been reported that Kevan Miller doesn’t expect to be ready for the start of the season, while there is also talk that David Backes might start the season on LTIR as well, which could free up some money.
- NBC Sports’ Joe Haggerty debunks the rumor that the Bruins have been shopping defensman Torey Krug this summer. In speaking to President Cam Neely, Haggerty reports the team isn’t ready to unload the 28-year-old defenseman who will hit unrestricted free agency next season and could conceivably walk away after this year. It makes sense, however, that rumors persist about a potential trade when the team hasn’t locked him up and with the team’s salary cap issues. However, Neely made it quite clear that Krug is staying. “It’s the delicate balance you have,” Neely said. “You’ll have players on expiring contracts and we talk internally about what we’re going to do and how it’s all going to pan out. With Torey he’s one of the top PP defensemen in the league and our power play has been pretty damn good, and has won a lot of games for us. [Matt] Grzelcyk is coming along, but I don’t know if he sees the ice the way that Torey does. And Charlie just hasn’t shown that he’s a No. 1 power-play defenseman just yet.”
- The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) writes that Boston should also pick up a significant advantage next season due to one of the new rule changes this offseason. The board of governors, general managers and competition agreed to allow teams to choose what side teams want to face off on in the shorthanded zone during power plays. That should give Boston a significant advantage as center Patrice Bergeron is a dominant faceoff specialist on the right-side of the ice, which should give Boston even more scoring opportunities next year. Bergeron took 62 percent of the team’s power play faceoffs.