The 48-hour buyout window that resulted from the Boston Bruins avoiding arbitration with forward Pavel Zacha and signing him to a one-year, $3.5 million contract on Monday.
Per our friends at PuckPedia, the Boston Bruins, should they choose, now have 48 hours to buy out any player making $4 million or more that was on their roster prior to the March 21 NHL Trade deadline.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) August 8, 2022
Plenty of Boston Bruins fans have been clamoring for Sweeney and the Bruins to buy out injury-riddled forward Nick Foligno but as pointed out above that can’t even happen in this current buyout window, because Foligno’s two-year contract only carries a $3.8 million cap hit. The same goes for another rumored buyout candidate, forward Craig Smith, who’s three-year contract carries a $3.1 million cap hit. Both Foligno and Smith are in the final years of their contract. However, even if they could buy out either player, it doesn’t appear to be a route the Boston Bruins, who are $2.2 million above the $82.5 million salary cap, are willing to take right now.
The Bruins can create salary cap space using long-term-injury-reserve on defensemen Matt Grzelcyk (out until at November), and Charlie McAvoy (out until late November/early December), who are out with shoulder injuries, and on Brad Marchand, who is also out until at least late November after offseason hip surgery. Based on comments from Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, that appears to be the route the Bruins will use when it comes to any cap space cutting or roster moves before the 2022-23 season begins in October.
“I hope we’ve done significant math to be able to put the pieces together,” Sweeney told the media. “We have some challenges, as do several teams and how we do that through trade or be it through waivers that really all teams are going to have to face. We don’t have an issue certainly through November. We don’t have an issue because of LTI and the likelihood that will be an LTI with the injuries we have, the amount of injuries we have.
But coming out of it is the math challenge. And yeah, we’ll have to unwind a little bit. But we have some mechanisms to be able to do that. We know what the leverage will be and, you know, you just don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then anyways. So, we’re prepared to go in a couple different directions to explore what we have to, but we have mechanisms in place to be able to accomplish the goal.”
Could the Boston Bruins still explore the NHL trade market before they kick off the season against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12 in Washington D.C.
“Yeah, that’s one that I think all the vast majority of teams that are chasing what we are going to face that and have some challenges. Injuries aside and how you manage it as an organization, its asset management to a large degree – as I referenced earlier you got waiver decisions,” Sweeney replied when asked if he may explore the NHL trade market before the season begins So, I think it’s pretty well known around the league now and guys know that there could be a, you know, a tightening at some point in time, and the players are involved in that.”