BOSTON – The Bruins will not be using the amnesty buyout exception offered by the new CBA on any players this summer, a Bruins team source has told CSNNE.com.
With NHL clubs dropping to a $64.3 million salary cap for the 2013-14 NHL season, the new CBA includes two amnesty buyouts of contracts for NHL teams that would like to get out from under deals in order to help them through the transition period.
Bruins players expressed an interest in keeping the team together for another run at the Cup next season, but that doesn’t seem possible based on simple math.
“We say the same things every season,” said Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton. “Some things are probably going to change in the offseason, but we’re a tight group in there. We get along and we’ve loved each other for the last few years. [The Stanley Cup Final loss] is a tough pill to swallow right now, that’s for sure.”
The Bruins already have over $59 million in player salary committed to the 2013-14 team, so it was assumed by some that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli would perhaps explore buyout possibilities on weighty contracts that are taking up valuable cap space for the Black and Gold.
Chris Kelly would have seemed like a logical candidate for a buyout given that as a third-line center coming off of a difficult, injury-plagued season he has a $3 million salary cap hit over the next three years.
Players on injured reserve, like Marc Savard, are not candidates for the amnesty buyout, and the Bruins will be able to clear his $4 million when he’s placed on long-term injured reserve for the season because of his issues with post-concussion symptoms.
The Bruins won’t be using their buyout option this summer, and will instead explore other avenues (trades, not re-signing free agents, going with younger, cheaper players) to open up cap space so they can explore re-signing free agents Nathan Horton, Tuukka Rask and Andrew Ference among others.
Any players bought out across the NHL will still receive two-thirds of what’s left on their contract, but those costs will not count towards the salary cap. The NHL buyout period will begin Wednesday; 48 hours after the Blackhawks were crowned Stanley Cup champions.