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Well Isle be darned, Boston is out. Cap space will force some changes

June 10, 2021, 7:34 AM ET [34 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Carolina has cap space and a young core. Boston is pretty much the opposite. 19 players need new deals (RFA and UFA) with about 27 million in cap space. The goalies make up 9.5 million of what’s coming off the books (7 for Rask, 2.5 for Halak). Krejci’s (35) 7.25 million is off the books and that, somehow, is the highest cap hit for the entire team.

If you like sub plots/ sub context, this series is loaded with it. The team that Torontonians love to watch lose (and has been the bane of their post season at times) is out. However, the team that pundits shook their heads at when Tavares left (the team that would drown in obscurity losing their franchise center) is rolling. In fact, since JTs departure, the team just keeps getting better under a baby faced Trotz. The turnaround has been astounding. I can’t guarantee that Tavares is feeling a bit burned, but there’s that part where the now booed (and showered with rubber reptiles) former captain would certainly want some more success than what Toronto has seen in terms of playoffs. It’s almost as if paying 40 million for four forwards and largely ignoring defense is the opposite of what we’re seeing out of Long Island. Even the Bruins’s insane ability to get players to take sub 7 million is a bit of a rub, and gets mentioned by even the most “homering” talking heads at “the network”. (Really, who isn’t over there…)

Boston’s run started with an interesting sub plot. Chara leaves and joins the Capitals. Run out without being offered a league minimum deal. Well, the younger Bs squad made fairly quick work in that series. Now, here’s the Kevin Bacon bits (see what I did there?) Taylor Hall was very vocal about Tavares going to Free Agency and getting paid very well, leaving his home team. Hall let anyone who would listen know that he was going to do the same. Well, the market dropped. The deal he thought would be there wasn’t. But, he found out that playing for a team that’s constructed, well, as a team is a lot more fun than getting paid well to lose. Again, ironically, the “losing team” in the Tavares fortune shows up to stifle one more critic. You can keep going for a while here. I’m not sure if any equipment managers lost their high school sweetheart to the opposing coaches, but queue the 80s ending of long requited love.

Here is a link to Boston’s Cap Friendly page Hall is among the issues of interest for the Bs. He loved playing there. Will he take “less” to get a few years with Boston? Krejci and Bergeron are both 35, Marchand is 32. Only Pastrnak (and his 6.667 million dollar deal) are sub 30 on the “perfection line”. Bergeron has a deal that expires after next season. The way he plays, he could do 1 or 2 year deals until he hits 40. Krejci has slowed down a bit, but may take a “home town discount”. Carlo (24) needs a new deal. McAvoy (23) will need a new deal after next year. At some point, players will be pushing the ceiling of the internal cap.

I don’t know what Boston wants to do about goaltending. Rask at 34 probably won’t get 7 million offered again. Halak is 36. Swayman will be sub 1 million for a couple seasons more and had some good looks this past year. The defense got younger with Chara and Krug heading out. I doubt the Bs would get into the bidding war for Hamilton (Jack would have to leave the play by play if he ever came back. That guy got nasty when Dougie left). They could look to Seth Jones (Philly and Boston bidding for the same defenseman could bring out the boo birds for the loser). This is a team that still believes they can contend. Someone has to get exposed for the draft, and money may need to be moved out depending on who gets added in free agency. John More (30 on IR) has 2 more years at 2.75 million. Can he be moved? Younger/cheaper players are valuable. Kase and Ritchie are both RFAs. Ritchie was a player I enjoyed a bit through the year. I just wish he’d get a slightly bigger helmet. His face looks like what my grandmother did when she got ahold of our cheeks.

I’m certain Yzerman will scour the roster to see who Boston may let go. I don’t know if the Bs would come calling for a Bertuzzi (needs a new deal) or Fabbri. They are a team I could see looking at Glendening as a depth free agent option. The team doesn’t have a 2nd round pick this year or a 3rd next year. With a draft as “up in the air” as this one is, the 2nd round could be very attractive. Yzerman has some wealth there, for sure. It remains to be seen if Boston has an asset that the GM would covet. For certain, as with every team as they exit, the phone call will be made. Yzerman has canvassed the league thoroughly, and by all accounts will continue to do just that.

Well, where are you at? Would you take a shot at a young RFA like Ritchie if the Bs made his rights available? Kase? Would Carlo be available as management tries to project McAvoy’s next deal? There are players that fit the age range, for sure. Would you eat Moore’s salary for a prospect? Take your best shot, and we’ll see if anyone strikes Yzer-gold in their predictions.

Check out some of my previous posts


Carolina has cap space and a young core

I asked how your brackets are doing after Montreal swept Winnipeg

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Moritz Seider reminds me of Jiri Fischer

Mo Seider is getting good ice time at the IIHF Worlds Championship.

There may be some blockbuster deals coming.

Yzerman signs Wyatt Newpower

Carly has coffee with Joe Veleno
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