Bruins 'standing pat' with roster

Bruins 'standing pat' with roster
July 11, 2013, 11:30 pm
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WILMINGTON – The Bruins front office finally seems to have finally put to bed some baseless trade rumors circling around Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly over the last few days.

Stemming from a flight of fancy tweets from the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul DuPont where he tweeted out “I wouldn’t be surprised if…” about possible trade scenarios for both Marchand and Kelly, several other less well-connected bloggers ran with the tweet and had the Bruins “shopping” the two forwards on the NHL trade market. The assumption might have been that the Bruins needed to clear more salary cap space, but that has proven to be incorrect.

So Chiarelli told reporters on Thursday the Bruins will be “standing pat” for the rest of the summer, and that means Marchand and Kelly aren’t likely to be going anywhere.

“I think right now we’re going to stand pat. I like the fact that we’re going to have competition on the third line. We have some good young players already in the organization that we just recently acquired,” said Chiarelli. “You never know what happens after the summer, but [off-season transactions] will slow down. It has slowed down [already].

“As of right now, we’re going to stand pat. Things may change, but that’s just where we are right now.”

Given that Marchand had an affordable $4.5 million cap hit as Boston’s leading scorer from the last two seasons and that Chris Kelly has a full no trade clause, moving either one of those pieces didn’t a whole lot of sense.

But there’s also a somewhat complicated bit of NHL accounting that allows the Bruins to keep all their players, and declare that Boston is “in good shape” when it comes to the cap.  

Marc Savard LTI (long term injured reserve) and 35+ incentive-laden contract for Jarome Iginla give the B’s wiggle room around the $64.3 million lowered cap ceiling for 2013-14. Iginla is virtually assured of earning $5.5 million next season with a $3.7 million bonus coming his way if he plays in at least 10 games for the Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Iginla also has $500,000 in bonus money if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup that would take his salary up to $6 million, but the Bruins will be hit with a cap hit as low as $1.8 million for Iginla. The CBA allows Boston to roll that amount for the 36-year-old right winger onto its 2014-15 cap amount the following season if Boston exceeds the $64.3-million ceiling this year. Essentially the money is considered an overage for the veteran bonus cushion that is termed a penalty on the 2014-15 cap, but the Bruins won’t mind being charged as much as $4.2 million in 2014-15 because the salary cap is expected to go up by $6-9 million.

In essence, the Bruins could pay the balance of Iginla’s cap hit one year following his free agent services in Boston.

Those two items put the Bruins roughly $2 million under the salary cap ceiling after opening night, and a simple roster move like starting Torey Krug at the AHL for the first game of the season gives the Bruins enough space to play Savard on LTI once the season is underway.

But that’s a story for the Black and Gold roster come October when the season is underway. For now outraged Bruins fans can rest easy that it doesn’t appear any more beloved members of their favorite hockey club are headed for other NHL destinations this summer. Instead the trade of Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars might be the final shot heard round the Hub for all members of the Bruins before they get back together for training camp in September.