Daniel Paille's contract extension signals that the Boston Bruins have opened the door for negotiations with their other incumbent free agents, but the going remains slow for the Black and Gold.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the desire was to return a bulk of their own large group of free agents, and Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Benoit Pouliot and Tuukka Rask remain among them.
I havent dismissed the notion of any of those players coming back, said Chiarelli in a conference call with reporters at the end of last week. Wed like to bring as many guys back as we can.
A source close to the negotiations told CSNNE.com that theres been no progress in talks with fourth line center Gregory Campbell, and Pailles fourth-line partner may be headed for free agency.
Campbell made 1.1 million in the 2011-12 season where he finished with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) and a minus-3 in 78 games for the Bruins alongside Paille and Shawn Thornton.
It was a far cry from the 13 goals and 29 points that Campbell managed to put up in 80 games with the Bruins during their Stanley Cup-winning season, and Bostons fourth line was badly outplayed in the first round playoff loss to the Washington Capitals this year.
Campbell would also likely be looking for a raise for his 1.1 million figure from last season, and the Bruins will be looking for areas to scrimp and save with Tim Thomas 5 million cap hit potentially hanging around for the year.
So theres every possibility that the Bruins are looking to make some fourth line changes, and uncover a younger Campbell replacement at half the salary cap price. But despite the lack of progress in talks with Campbell, no decision has been made by either side with NHL free agency set to hit on July 1.