David Krejci will make $5.25 million against the salary cap this season for the Boston Bruins, but in 2015-16, he’ll be the highest-paid player on the roster.
According to reports, the Bruins signed the Czech to a six-year, $43.5 million extension Wednesday night. The $7.25 million cap hit that comes with it makes him a bigger financial burden than Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron after this season.
It’s a deal that comes at a perfect time for Krejci. The 69 points he posted was his highest amount since 2008-09 and he got some Selke consideration. And his eligibility comes in the autumn of his peak years – he’s got a few good ones left in him, but about halfway through this contract he’ll likely start into a natural decline. With a contract signed a year before the current one expires, Krejci doesn’t risk having to negotiate against a down year.
Although the chanes of Krejci having a down year seem remote. What the Bruins keep here is a remarkably consistent player. Krejci’s point totals in his past five full seasons read as: 73, 52, 62, 62, 69. A natural playmaker, Krejci has a strong two-way game and is a great complement to Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins made a significant commitment to Krejci and to the status quo of the top end of the roster. Read more
With the start of NHL training camps a little more than two weeks away, the Blackhawks have yet to reach a decision on how to address their salary-cap issues. Chicago remains above the $69 million cap by more than $2.2 million and must shed salary before the season opens in October.
The situation provided fodder for the rumor mill this summer. It’s assumed GM Stan Bowman would move a defenseman, with Johnny Oduya ($3.38-million cap hit) or Nick Leddy ($2.7 million) as potential trade candidates.
The Boston Bruins must also become cap compliant by the start of the season. They’re currently above the ceiling by more than $800,000. The Bruins will get cap relief by placing concussed center Marc Savard ($4.03 million) on long-term injured reserve, but it won’t leave much to re-sign restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith and leave room for possible moves later in the season.
It’s rumored the Bruins, like the Blackhawks, could trade a defenseman to open up more cap space. Trade options could include Johnny Boychuk ($3.3 million cap hit) or Adam McQuaid ($1.5 million).
The Boston Bruins need to shed salary and address their logjam on defense remains a hot topic in this summer’s NHL rumor mill.
Much of the speculation centers on Johnny Boychuk, who will be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. The 30-year-old blueliner will earn $3.6 million this season, while his cap hit is more than $3.3 million. Brooks Orpik signed a five-year deal this summer with the Washington Capitals worth $5.5-million annually and Boychuk could seek a comparable salary.
If Boychuk becomes a UFA, the Edmonton Oilers could be very interested in his services. He’s an Edmonton native with a strong all-around skill set that would benefit the Oilers’ rebuilding defense corps.
Boychuk, however, told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson his preference is to remain with the Bruins, calling them “my hockey family.” Considering the Bruins remain a legitimate Stanley Cup contender three years after their last championship, his reluctance to leave Boston is understandable. His future with the Bruins, however, will depend upon their cap space beyond this season. Read more
At the NHL Awards, Patrice Bergeron was announced as the winner of the EA cover vote and now he’s reciting poetry for the game he’s representing.
With the release of NHL 15 around the corner, the marketing for it is in full gear. Today, EA released two video promotions for the game. In one, Bergeron snaps romantic poetry and in another, teammate Brad Marchand sings about his love for the game.
Both are pretty funny. Bravo. Read more
Zane Gothberg is no more. Say hello to Zane McIntyre.
For a guy who doesn’t say much, Phil Kessel is the source of significant noise.
Ever since he begged out of Boston and was dealt to Toronto for a trio of high draft picks, fans and media on both sides of the equation have been debating the merits of the blockbuster.
The derisive “Thank you, Kessel” chants in Beantown remain alive and boisterous, while the Maple Leafs showed faith in their sniper by rewarding him with an eight-year, $64-million contract extension that kicks in this season.
The trade officially turns five on Sept. 18 and the question is: who has had the happier returns? As part of a recurring feature in which we re-open a cold file (ok, this one still has some burning embers) from a deal that transpired five or more years ago, we re-assess the swap.
Entering the final full week of August, a number of restricted free agents remain unsigned. With NHL training camps opening on Sept. 18 sufficient time remains to get those players under contract, but so far there’s little indication they’re any closer to new deals.
The most notable is Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen. The 22-year-old enjoyed a breakout performance last season, leading the Jackets in goals (33) and points (63). But his contract talks have become contentious. Read more
The state of the Philadelphia Flyers defense core remains a troubling issue. They’ve lacked a true top-two defenseman since Chris Pronger’s career was ended by injury nearly three years ago. They attempted to address that issue in July of 2012 by signing Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber to an expensive offer sheet, but the Predators swiftly matched it.
Former GM Paul Holmgren attempted to bolster the overall blueline depth, acquiring Luke Schenn, Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald via trade and free agency. None of them, however, can fill Pronger’s skates.
The Flyers underwent a front-office shakeup this spring when Ron Hextall took over as GM. Despite Hextall’s stated preference for building from within, rumor-mongers believe the Flyers still seek a stud defenseman, linking them to Winnipeg Jets blueliner Zach Bogosian. Read more