It's all over Johnny.
The season is over and Peter Chiarelli is going to have a lot of work to do to keep some key players around. Every year, after the season, I do my best to play Bruins GM and put together a Stanley Cup-worthy roster. I think I did it last year, but honestly – I can't remember. Things are blurry from the lockout. I probably didn't because of the upcoming CBA.
Any who, let's take a look at the 2013-2014 Boston Bruins: (Click the image for high res pictures)
Goaltending and cap information:
After the jump, lets build a Cup team, shall we?...
The Bruins list of Unrestricted Free Agents are:
Restricted Free Agents:
So let's cross the obvious ones off of the UFA list before we start talking contracts, shall we?
It's obvious that Jagr was brought in for the playoffs and he didn't really do much outside of a few nifty passes. He would either play 15 second shifts or 1 minutes shifts. There was never a "normal" shift for a the guy – plus he didn't put the puck in the net. The Bruins want to get younger and quicker – not older and move at the pace of a salted slug.
Also in the obvious category is Andrew Ference not being re-signed. As much as he's done for the city of Boston, this is a business and you have three younger defensemen who are ready to jump into full-time work in Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug. Sorry Ference, you were great here but it's time to get younger on the back end.
The rest of the scratches – see ya later.
Now let's move on to the Restricted Free Agents:
Daugavins is a waste, no need to keep him on.
So we're left with:
If I had to work out my priorities, we're looking at:
The Bruins currently have $5,803,690 is cap space to work with. Now, due to Marc Savard's injury, they can put him on LTIR and his $4,027,143 won't count against the salary cap. If you add that in, you're looking at $9,830,833 in available cap room to sign players with. This doesn't include buy-outs, which Peter Chiarelli has already stated he won't use, but I will.
The Bruins are allowed two buy-outs that they can use without having to pay said player any money. If I'm Peter Chiarelli, I'm using these buy-outs on Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Doing this would not only up two roster spots, but free up $6,25,000 in cap space for this season and absolve the team of Peverley's awful contract ($6,500,000 over the next two season) and Chris Kelly's even worse contract ($9,000,000 over the next 3 seasons).
Adding the new cap money from the buy-outs, our cap space is now: $16,080,833.
Tuukka Rask is the biggest priority in this offseason. There's a rumor that Rask's "starting point" is 6 years, 39 million which equates to a 6,500,000 per year cap hit. I would try to get that number closer to 6,000,000. Under the new CBA agreement, the longest a player can sign for is 7 years, which means that GMs will no longer put themselves in cap hell by signing long ass 10 year contracts.
With that said, I would give Rask a 7 year, $42,000,000 contract – which locks up the goalie into and through his prime (He would be 33 when the contract ended). That's probably the only way you get Tuukka Rask under the $6.5-7M mark.
With Rask locked up, next is Nathan Horton.
Here's what I tell Nathan Horton:
Here's a 5 year, $22,500,000 contract and let's see what he decides. Word is that when Horton was playing in Florida – making assloads of cash and scoring 25-30 goals – he asked for a trade because he wanted to play for a contender. Let's say for shits and giggles, Horton takes it.
That brings the cap down to $4,930,833, with roster spots open at 3rd line center, 3rd line RW, back-up goaltender.
It's time to call some of the kids up and see what they got. I would call up Ryan Spooner to play in the 3rd line center spot and slot Carl Söderberg on the left wing. I'd also pass on Anton Khudobin and call-up Niklas Svedberg. I would also use Jared Knight in the reserved forward role.
Including Matt Bartkowski on the opening day roster, this is the current cap money left to address a third line winger spot and potential depth: $3,295,833
Last but not least, free agency. Boston has to fill that 3rd line, right wing spot. I would offer ex-Red Wing winger Damien Brunner a 2 year, $3,600,000 contract (1,800,000 annually). Here's a look at Brunner's stats:
This leaves the Bruins with $710,833 in cap space for the 2013-2014 season and addresses any issues.
Final roster: (click the image)
JUST FOR FUNSIES
So I mentioned the Horton contract. What if Horton said no thanks? Well, I think that can be handled as well. I would look to move either Johnny Boychuk, as much as I hate to say it, because his value is probably as high as it will ever be after his playoff run.
So who needs defense bad enough that you could potentially do a 1-v-1 swap?
How about Philadelphia? Philly's defense is terrible, it's old and it needs someone who can throw their weight around as well as contribute some goals. So let's say that works out, Philly says okay and the trade is done:
Your cap space changes dramatically. If you trade Boychuk for Simmonds straight up, you're looking at a $4,602,500 cap space. Sign Redden at the veteran minimum at $525K.
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