With the Bruins shelling out 70.5 million on contract extensions for Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic prior to this weekends midnight lockout deadline, general manager Peter Chiarelli is officially done with his shopping list. Chiarelli told reporters on Saturday afternoons conference call that the Bruins are done with signing any of their own players for now, and that means 2013 free agents Andrew Ference, Tuukka Rask and Nathan Horton will have to wait until some point after the lockout is lifted.
I can say that were doing signing players with a certainty, said Chiarelli. Were talking about future years with the new deals. Were talking about core players. You have to remember that we didnt bring anyone in here, we didnt bring anyone in here in the summer.
Weve got a sizable chunk of inactive money. So these numbers are big, were trying to keep our players -- specifically our forwards -- in clusters so that theres an element of equity to it. There is a lot of planning, but there is an element of cautionwere talking about future years here and core players.
Chiarelli indicated the key strategy for the Bruins headed into the lockout was locking up the core of a team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and he did just that with the three signings. In each case the team didnt scrimp on giving their prospective free agent player market value, but theres also the potential that a salary rollback in the new CBA would give teams some substantial savings on these new contracts.
Its a two-way street. The player has to want to stay. So weve got a good group of players that want to stay; then, in turn, that we want to re-sign. Its about the players that you know: you know their idiosyncrasies, you know their assets, they know you, theres a level of comfort and theres a level of trust.
These are good people and real good players that have performed for us over time, and that have come up through our system at various points. So theres no real secret to the success. But I can stress that it takes the player and it takes the team to both be in concert here. We try to the extent that we can to be equitable and fair and transparent and still win. So that might be the biggest denominator that we try -and we have been winning - so we will continue to use this approach. A guy like Milan is a perfect example.
So now comes the difficult part for the Bruins: waiting for a new CBA to be approved to let Chiarelli know exactly what roster he can retain, what roster he must shed and exactly what the Bs will look like in a potentially reduced fiscal world.