Despite looming salary cap crunches, the Boston Bruins locked up goaltender Jaroslav Halak for another season. The goalie signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal, according to Bruins GM Don Sweeney.
Sweeney will hold a video press conference late Saturday morning. Halak will speak to reporters via video chat at noon.
With looming salary cap hits due to the coronavirus and NHL season suspension, the team got Halak to accept a half-million-dollar pay cut for the one-year deal. Halak’s current two-year deal pays him $2.75 million. It was to expire after this season, or on July 1, whichever comes last.
Halak, 34, appeared in 31 games this season. He was (or is) 18-6-6 with three shutouts, a 2.39 goals against average (T-12th, NHL), and a .919 save percentage (6th, NHL). The Slovak goalie has been the perfect complement to Boston starter Tuukka Rask and allowed the Bruins starting goalie to avoid taxing workloads. Still, Halak has also pushed for significant playing time, too.
Rask, 33, will make $7 million next season. It is the final year of his eight-year, $56 million contract which he signed in July 2013 after he led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final.
Last season, Jaroslav Halak made 40 appearances, with a 22-11-4 record, five shutouts, a 2.34 goals against average (6th, NHL), and a .921 save percentage (T-7th, NHL). Halak will be 35 next season and in his 15th NHL season.
According to CapFriendly.com, the Bruins have about $20 million in cap space and 18 players under contract. However, defensemen Torey Krug and captain Zdeno Chara will be free agents. Kevan Miller, who is currently on LTIR, will also be a UFA.
The defending Eastern Conference champions are again dominating the Atlantic Division. Should the NHL return to play this summer, the Bruins have an eight-point lead over rival Tampa Bay Lightning in the division and a six-point lead over St. Louis for the President’s Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points.