In a move that is sure to make the fans of the Ottawa Senators green with envy, the Boston Bruins extended 1 or 1A centre David Krejci‘s contract to the tune of 6 years, $43.5M, or a raise of $2M per season. The Bruins, who were yesterday’s focus in our month of season previews, are already in a cap crunch and although this contract extension doesn’t kick in until next season, they already have $54M committed to just 11 players.
That figure does include Marc Savard‘s LTI-bound contract, so call it $50M to 10 players. The Bruins now have their core players, Patrice Bergeron, Krejci and Brad Marchand along with Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and goalie Tuukka Rask, locked up for at least three seasons, but you have to wonder about the strategy of having 6 players all making over $6M per season, which is the case for the Bruins next season.
With 9 pending free agents (6 UFA, 3RFA) at the end of this season along with the two current RFA’s that remain unsigned (Torey Krug and Reilly Smith), even though the salary cap is expected to go up significantly after this season you have to wonder what magic Peter Chiarelli is going to be able to work to keep Boston competitive. I guess he is going to employ the “get your stars locked up and then fill in the rest” strategy. After all, with the number of players looking for work each summer and signing $1M, 1 yr contracts just to stay in the league, perhaps this is indeed the way to go.
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Meanwhile, while the Bruins are trying to figure out ways to keep all of their star talent happy while staying under the cap, the Senators consistently feel like they are scrambling to make the cap floor. The Senators currently have the lowest payroll in terms of actual salary and the 3rd lowest cap hit, ahead of (or is it behind?) only Calgary and Columbus. But that is a different story for a different day.