Bruins

NHL salary cap looks to increase to 70 million during offseason

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NHL salary cap looks to increase to 70 million during offseason

NEWARK, NJ The Bruins will have some extra room to operate with via player salaries should they choose to gamble with it over the summer.
With 3.3 billion in NHL revenues for the 2011-12 season, the salary cap should raise up to 70.3 million over the summer months until the current collective bargaining agreement expires in September. Thats a raise upward of 6 million from last years salary cap that potentially gives Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli 11 million of cap space to work with as Chris Kelly, Tuukka Rask, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Mike Mottau, Greg Zanon and Benoit Pouliot among others reach differing levels of free agency.
That 11 million in cap space doesnt even count the 4 million plus the Bruins could add to their spending budget should they place concussed center Marc Savard on long term injured reserve a move they managed to avoid last season.
Making things even more complicated Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin would all be free agents both unrestricted and restricted and will require some careful long term planning by the Bruins front office.
But there is a risk if Chiarelli were to work up to the 70 million cap limit. The terms of the new collective bargaining agreement are unknown with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, and the cap ceiling could conceivably change depending on the details worked by the league and players union.
As many Bruins fans will remember, the Bruins were conservative during the last work stoppage and let many of their key free agents go (Michael Nylander, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Knuble, Brian Rolston) thinking there would a veritable all-you-can eat buffet of quality free agents coming out of the lockout.
Instead, the CBA included a 24 percent salary rollback included within the agreement that made the contracts of players like Knuble and Rolston that much more palatable for the hockey clubs, and the Bruins were left scrambling to fill their roster. That CBA miscalculation led to the Bruins bottoming out in the ensuing years before Chiarelli turned the Original Six hockey franchise around.
Chiarelli has moved cautiously thus far in free agency with so much uncertainty around the corner, and it will be interesting to see how the Bruins proceed with some financial forecasts now becoming a two-month certainty.

Rask out tonight as he recovers from practice collision

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Rask out tonight as he recovers from practice collision

BRIGHTON, Mass – The string of injuries for the Bruins continues as Tuukka Rask (upper body) is out for tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden after getting trucked by Anders Bjork in practice Wednesday.

Rask was wobbly-legged while being helped off the ice after the violent collision and the 21-year-old Bjork looked like he’d also needed a couple of stitches on his chin after bloodying his practice jersey.

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The big concern is Rask still being evaluated by Bruins medical personnel for a possible concussion. It will be Anton Khudobin stepping in place for him against the Canucks with Providence Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre serving as his backup.

“Tuukka is out tonight. He’s going to get reevaluated today and we’ll have a better idea tomorrow,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Anton will start [against the Canucks].”

Clearly, Khudobin didn’t like seeing his goaltending partner get drilled in a spirited practice, but the 32-year-old is clearly feeling confident after a strong camp and a winning season debut last week against the Arizona Coyotes.

“You don’t want to see that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and hopefully he’s going to get better soon,” said Khudobin, who stopped 29-of-31 shots in the win over Arizona last weekend. “I feel good. Camp was good and everything is fine, and I’ve started better than last year. My role is just day-to-day. Today is a game day and hopefully, you get a good result, and then tomorrow is another new day.”

Otherwise, it looks like the Bruins will at least be getting some of their healthy bodies back with David Backes in the lineup and Patrice Bergeron a game-time decision against the Canucks. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Wednesday’s practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Schaller-Kuraly-Backes
Beleskey-Nash-Agostino
 
Chara-McAvoy
Miller-Carlo
Krug-McQuaid

Khudobin 

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