By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
It looks like the Bruins have quietly opened negotiations with center David Krejci on a contract extension as the young center enters the final year of his second contractfollowing up ona great Stanley Cup playoff performance.
Krejci, 25, had a 62-point regular season, but he exploded in the playoffs with a team-high 12 goals while helping lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup. With Marc Savard out of the picture Krejci, took over last season as the No. 1 offensive center for the Bs, and will clearly be looking to be compensated as a No. 1 center in the NHL. No Savard also means the B's will have more than 11 million in salary cap space this season, and have the kind of flexibility that can allow for a deal to materialize quickly for the playmaking Krejci.
That means Krejci has to be looking at a contract comparable to the 5 million a season that Patrice Bergeron is currently making, but theres also some things Krejci needs to prove during the regular season. There have been some times when Krejci would be the first to admit that he coasts a bit during the regular season, and then turns his game up several notches during the playoffs.
Players getting paid 5 million a season with the accompanying cap hit need to be a presence for the majority of the 82 games on the regular-season schedule as well as the playoffs and that is something Krejci will need to concentrate on this year.
Theres no guarantee the deal will get done before the season begins -- as the Bergeron and Zdeno Chara contracts were last season while the team was in Europe -- and the Bruins will be paying close attention with the CBA ending at the conclusion of the 2011-12 campaign.
Given the economic indicators that Im privy to and other things that are trending, I just think that the cap is going to go down. Thats not to say what the new system will be, said Chiarelli. Ill just have to be cautious when we plan about term deals and larger cap numbers. We saw the larger-term deals in the summer on the free agent market and youve got to get those right.
Weve got guys that are coming up to be signed whether its next year or the following year. Weve seen them grow and seen them improve and we know theyre going to be components of the team for years to come. So the cap and the players that we have to sign that we have to be careful.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.
*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.
*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.
*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.
*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.
*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.
*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.
*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.
*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?
*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.