Bruins cap picture clearer after Kelly, Campbell signings

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Bruins cap picture clearer after Kelly, Campbell signings

The financial picture is clearing up for the Bruins with two big pieces now in place with price tags of 3 million (Chris Kelly) and (Gregory Campbell) 1.6 million for the next three years.

Its difficult to envision Kelly getting much more than 3 million per season and a term of four years from a group of NHL teams that view him as a third line center on a good playoff team, so the 31-year-old received a good, fair deal from the Bruins. Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli both have an extremely high level of trust in the two-way center, but its also fair to assume he could hit 20 goals and finish high in the plusminus rankings playing with a talented group around him in Boston.

Even if 2011-12 ends up serving as a career year for Kelly, hes invaluable to Boston for his leadership, professionalism and the Bergeron-like skill set that he brings to the table nightly.

Campbell might have earned something a little richer than one might have expected as a fourth line center. But he centered the best fourth line in hockey when the Bruins won the Cup, and Chiarelli is spending 4 million combined for Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton over the next two years.

The salary cap for the 2012-13 season isnt yet known and wont be finalized until the CBA is ratified by the NHL and the NHLPA. But it would have been 70.3 million if the new CBA is modeled after the current agreement that expires in September, and the Bruins are currently at 64.9 million, according to capgeek.com.

The 64.9 million includes the 5 million cap hit for Tim Thomas and the 4.007 million cap hit for Marc Savard, and both could be off the Bs books by the time next season rolls around.

That leaves roughly 5 million in cap space -- or 14 million if they can clear Thomas off the ledger and place Savard on long term injured reserve with his debilitating post-concussion syndrome -- with the Bruins still looking to address restricted free agents Tuukka Rask and Benoit Pouliot as well secure at least one more top-nine forward to the mix. The Bruins also need one more defenseman to fill into the vacant spot left by Joe Corvo, and a 1.494 cap hit for Dougie Hamilton should the 18-year-old prove hes ready to play in Boston next season.

So the Bruins dont appear to be in dire straits from a salary cap perspective in terms of fielding the team that Chiarelli and Julien feel comfortable with. But it also doesnt appear that theres room for an 8 million per year player like Zach Parise or Rick Nash unless some wheeling and dealing goes down this summer.

That goes doubly so for a team that will have Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference all up for new contracts after the 2012-13 hockey season is over.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre