NHL salary cap looks to increase to 70 million during offseason

572246.jpg

NHL salary cap looks to increase to 70 million during offseason

NEWARK, NJ The Bruins will have some extra room to operate with via player salaries should they choose to gamble with it over the summer.
With 3.3 billion in NHL revenues for the 2011-12 season, the salary cap should raise up to 70.3 million over the summer months until the current collective bargaining agreement expires in September. Thats a raise upward of 6 million from last years salary cap that potentially gives Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli 11 million of cap space to work with as Chris Kelly, Tuukka Rask, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Mike Mottau, Greg Zanon and Benoit Pouliot among others reach differing levels of free agency.
That 11 million in cap space doesnt even count the 4 million plus the Bruins could add to their spending budget should they place concussed center Marc Savard on long term injured reserve a move they managed to avoid last season.
Making things even more complicated Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin would all be free agents both unrestricted and restricted and will require some careful long term planning by the Bruins front office.
But there is a risk if Chiarelli were to work up to the 70 million cap limit. The terms of the new collective bargaining agreement are unknown with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, and the cap ceiling could conceivably change depending on the details worked by the league and players union.
As many Bruins fans will remember, the Bruins were conservative during the last work stoppage and let many of their key free agents go (Michael Nylander, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Knuble, Brian Rolston) thinking there would a veritable all-you-can eat buffet of quality free agents coming out of the lockout.
Instead, the CBA included a 24 percent salary rollback included within the agreement that made the contracts of players like Knuble and Rolston that much more palatable for the hockey clubs, and the Bruins were left scrambling to fill their roster. That CBA miscalculation led to the Bruins bottoming out in the ensuing years before Chiarelli turned the Original Six hockey franchise around.
Chiarelli has moved cautiously thus far in free agency with so much uncertainty around the corner, and it will be interesting to see how the Bruins proceed with some financial forecasts now becoming a two-month certainty.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.