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Bruins Salary Cap Breakdown: Where Recent Changes Leave The Black And Gold

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The NHL salary cap had long been expected to take a significant jump this offseason. Over the weekend, it took one even higher than many anticipated.

In a joint announcement, the league and the NHL Players Association confirmed that the cap will rise to an even $88 million this summer, increasing by $4.5 million from the previous $83.5 million and $300,000 more than many projected. It is the first time since 2017 that the cap has grown by more than $4 million.

Overall, the rise of the cap is a positive sign for nearly everyone in the world of hockey. But it begs the question: where does this change leave the Boston Bruins as they enter the offseason with a lengthy to-do list?

According to Puckpedia, the Bruins currently have 14 players signed to their active roster, with a total of $64.1 million dedicated toward the cap. This situates them $900,00 below the league’s new salary floor of $65 million.

38.8% of their salaries are being paid to forwards, 26.9% towards defense and 5.7% in goal. David Pastrnak remains the organization’s highest-paid player, with a cap hit of $11.25 million over the next seven years. Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm follow him, both under contract for the next six seasons, earning $9.5 million and $6.5 million, respectively.

This leaves the Bruins with $23.85 million in remaining cap space, providing them with tremendous financial flexibility this summer, both to make trades and to sign players once free agency begins on July 1.

Of course, that number will likely change before then.

A good portion of that available space will be used to re-sign restricted free agent Jeremy Swayman.

From there, the Bruins must decide whether to bring back any of their other pending free agents. Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Pat Maroon, James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Shattenkirk, Derek Forbort, and Matt Grzelyck are all set to hit the open market. Jesper Boqvist is also up for a new deal as a restricted free agent.

It was previously reported that the Bruins already began negotiations with Heinen last week. But it’s rather unlikely all of those players find themselves back in Boston next season. In fact, the Bruins will almost certainly need to cut ties with a few of them in order to improve in areas of need, namely, two centers, especially one for the first line, a top-six wing and a pair of defensemen to round out the blue line.

The Bruins can give themselves some more wiggle room once they trade Linus Ullmark. If general manager Don Sweeney can offload Ullmark’s $5 million cap hit, the Bruins could potentially have as much as $28.85 million in available cap space.

That should be more than enough money for Sweeney to make those aforementioned moves and have money left over to make additional ones during the season, should any be necessary.

Even without the dramatic rise of the salary cap, the Bruins were going to be in a position to spend this summer. But after digging through the couch cushions for spare change and pulling from the bargain bin last offseason, they can now buy name-brand and afford to go out to eat as well.

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Tim

I actually like the 6D we have signed. Mason with Chuck… Carlo and Hamp… Peake and Wotherspoon… Bring Gryz back as the 7th… Put all the cash into your top Two lines… Infuse snarled high end talent… Our bottom 6F are on point… Don’t just get a JAG D for $4 or $5 a year
ReSign Patty as our 13th F… Let Matty have a full year at Providence… Give Fabian a legit chance

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