Bruins cap picture clearer after Kelly, Campbell signings

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Bruins cap picture clearer after Kelly, Campbell signings

The financial picture is clearing up for the Bruins with two big pieces now in place with price tags of 3 million (Chris Kelly) and (Gregory Campbell) 1.6 million for the next three years.

Its difficult to envision Kelly getting much more than 3 million per season and a term of four years from a group of NHL teams that view him as a third line center on a good playoff team, so the 31-year-old received a good, fair deal from the Bruins. Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli both have an extremely high level of trust in the two-way center, but its also fair to assume he could hit 20 goals and finish high in the plusminus rankings playing with a talented group around him in Boston.

Even if 2011-12 ends up serving as a career year for Kelly, hes invaluable to Boston for his leadership, professionalism and the Bergeron-like skill set that he brings to the table nightly.

Campbell might have earned something a little richer than one might have expected as a fourth line center. But he centered the best fourth line in hockey when the Bruins won the Cup, and Chiarelli is spending 4 million combined for Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton over the next two years.

The salary cap for the 2012-13 season isnt yet known and wont be finalized until the CBA is ratified by the NHL and the NHLPA. But it would have been 70.3 million if the new CBA is modeled after the current agreement that expires in September, and the Bruins are currently at 64.9 million, according to capgeek.com.

The 64.9 million includes the 5 million cap hit for Tim Thomas and the 4.007 million cap hit for Marc Savard, and both could be off the Bs books by the time next season rolls around.

That leaves roughly 5 million in cap space -- or 14 million if they can clear Thomas off the ledger and place Savard on long term injured reserve with his debilitating post-concussion syndrome -- with the Bruins still looking to address restricted free agents Tuukka Rask and Benoit Pouliot as well secure at least one more top-nine forward to the mix. The Bruins also need one more defenseman to fill into the vacant spot left by Joe Corvo, and a 1.494 cap hit for Dougie Hamilton should the 18-year-old prove hes ready to play in Boston next season.

So the Bruins dont appear to be in dire straits from a salary cap perspective in terms of fielding the team that Chiarelli and Julien feel comfortable with. But it also doesnt appear that theres room for an 8 million per year player like Zach Parise or Rick Nash unless some wheeling and dealing goes down this summer.

That goes doubly so for a team that will have Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference all up for new contracts after the 2012-13 hockey season is over.

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks


Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.