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.