Taking a look at the Bruins salary cap situation

Hunter Bowman
August 2, 2023  (2:56 PM)

Yesterday, the Boston Bruins reached a contract agreement with young goaltender Jeremy Swayman, settling on a one-year, $3.475 million deal for the upcoming 2023-24 NHL season.

With Swayman's contract now settled and much of the offseason business concluded, the Bruins are left with approximately $429,000 in cap space to kickstart the season.
During this offseason, the Bruins have already used one buyout, parting ways with defenseman Mike Reilly, who had one year and $3 million remaining on his contract. While there is a second buyout window opening in three days, it's unlikely that the team will utilize it due to the eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for a buyout, the player must have been on the team's reserve list at last year's trade deadline and have a current contract with a cap hit of $4 million or more.
Among the current roster, only players like David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle, Pavel Zacha, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, and Linus Ullmark meet these criteria.
Given the unlikelihood of cutting ties with one of the players listed above without getting anything in return, the Bruins may need to explore the trade market to free up more salary.
General Manager Cam Neely has already indicated the team's interest in bolstering their center depth following the retirement of legendary center Patrice Bergeron and a similar situation with David Krejci.
A creative solution for the Bruins could be a trade with the Calgary Flames, with Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund potentially available.
After already making moves this summer and with Lindholm and Backlund's uncertain future in Calgary, the Flames might be open to a similar approach with these two players.
If the Bruins manage to acquire an impact center like Lindholm, they might need to consider trading Coyle or Carlo. This decision won't be easy, given Coyle's leadership in the postseason and Carlo's outstanding defensive play in recent years, but it could be a prudent move for the team's future.
A potential trade involving Coyle and Carlo going to the Flames in exchange for Lindholm and possibly Nikita Zadorov could benefit both teams. The Bruins would gain a stronger top-six presence with Lindholm, while Zadorov would provide defensive depth.
As Lindholm and Zadorov will be unrestricted free agents at season's end, the Bruins would have financial flexibility to sign them to extensions with the expected salary cap increase.
Though the loss of Carlo might be offset by the defensive depth acquired this offseason, the Bruins must focus on upgrading their center position to compete in the competitive Atlantic Division.
The division includes tough opponents like the defending Eastern Conference Champion Florida Panthers, the talented Tampa Bay Lightning, and the skilled Toronto Maple Leafs.
While Pastrnak, Marchand, and McAvoy lead a strong team, it's becoming evident that Boston needs to make moves to cut salary and secure a quality center to fill the void left by the departure of Bergeron and Krejci.

NHL players in this story
Brad Marchand
Mikael Backlund
Charlie Coyle
Mike Reilly
Jake Debrusk
Brandon Carlo
Hampus Lindholm
Linus Ullmark
Nikita Zadorov
Elias Lindholm
Charlie McAvoy
Pavel Zacha
David Pastrnak
Jeremy Swayman
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Taking a look at the Bruins salary cap situation

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