Boston Bruins fans have been nervous for weeks at the lack of news regarding Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Pavel Zacha. Some you could say were even angry, calling for owner Jeremy Jacobs to sell the team or fire President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney.
On podcasts and social media, I stressed patience because there were many things that needed to fall into place before any pens could be put to paper. But we live in a fast-food world and not only do people want their hamburgers and French fries served hot and fast, but also their hockey news.
And it appeared the Bruins social media had some fun with it as well, tweeting out pictures and GIFS of our beloved Captain and Krejci before even announcing the news. Kudos to them for doing so. Maybe next time fans will learn to step back and not hold their breath for so long.
Bergeron’s deal is a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the potential to earn another $2.5 million in performance bonuses. Krejci’s deal is also a one-year deal that will earn him $1 million plus an additional $2 million in performance bonuses.
What that means is the Bruins have their number one and number two centers locked up for a combined cap hit of just $3.5 million. They combined $4.5 million could count towards this year’s cap if Sweeney is able to clear space, but if not, it could carry over into next season.
The Bruins also avoided salary arbitration with Zacha after agreeing to a one-year deal at $3.5 million. The Bruins and Zacha were trying to work out a multi-year deal but couldn’t come to an agreement.
So, what does that mean for the Bruins cap situation?
In the chart you see below, we’ll assume that the Bruins will once again send Chris Wagner to Providence. Wagner will require waivers and, in the event, he is claimed, his entire $1,350,000 will come off the cap. Below, I have assumed no one is claiming him and the Bruins save $1,075,000 towards the cap.
I’m also assuming that with the injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk on the blueline, that the Bruins will want a seventh defenceman and whether that is Jack Ahcan or Connor Carrick it does not matter for the math as the cap hits are the same.
I’m also assuming they do not want to risk putting Jack Studnicka on waivers, although they did structure the contract to be less appealing for others to take.
Including them on the roster puts the Bruins over the 23-man roster limit but that is easily fixable by placing two of McAvoy, Grzelcyk or Brad Marchand on injured reserve.
We’re left with the Bruins being $2,629,167 over the cap with performance bonuses moved to the 2023-2024 season. The overage is easily fixed by putting McAvoy on LTIR until he is ready to return and then Sweeney can work his magic to move out cap space and work on absorbing the bonus overage and banking cap space for trade deadline day.
As for David Pastrnak, I’ve said many times these three deals needed to be done first so that everyone was clear of the cap situation for 2023-2024. They have the “tagging space” to get a deal done and I expect one will get done.
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