Whether the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup or not in the next week, they will not have too much time remaining to get some housekeeping done. General manager Peter Chiarelli is going to have some fancy footwork to do in order to get his goaltenders signed, and also to figure out how to go about fitting under the salary cap.
Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin are set to become restricted free agents, and the biggest wrench in the Bruins master plan would be for someone to swoop in with a big offer to Rask that forces the Bruins to match or let him go. If it is a big enough offer it could pose some serious problems for Chiarelli, who is already faced with the prospect of not being able to sign first line winger Nathan Horton due to cap restrictions.
According to capgeek.com, the Bruins have over $59M of the $64.2M salary cap committed to just 18 players, and no goalies. The free agents they risk losing in addition to Horton include Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference, Wade Redden and Kaspars Daugavins. Some they would want back, some they would let walk anyways.
But signing Rask to an offer sheet in excess of $5M per season would force Chiarelli to move some other pieces in order to match.
Offer sheets to restricted free agents are few and far between, but this might be the chance some team takes to get a stellar young goalie and hurt one of the top teams in the league at the same time. If there was ever a time for an offer sheet, this might be it.