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NHL salary cap for 2015-16 set at $71.4 million

06.23.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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The NHL and NHLPA announced Tuesday that the salary cap upper limit for the 2015-16 season has been set at $71.4 million. The lower limit is $52.8 million.

The upper limit for the recently concluded season was $69 million, meaning teams will have $2.4 million more in cap space than was previously allotted.

Not counting Marc Savard, the Bruins currently have $59,841,667* against the cap committed to 15 players (nine forwards, five defensemen and one goalie) for next season, with Dougie Hamilton, Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner all restricted free agents.

* The B’€™s have internal candidates (ex. Brian Ferlin, Joonas Kemppainen, Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Joe Morrow) to fill some of their roster vacancies, but only players with one-way contracts (or obvious NHLers such as David Pastrnak) were included in the aforementioned calculation.

Dougie Hamilton contract talks could pick up this week

06.22.15 at 4:04 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Talks between the Bruins and restricted free agent Dougie Hamilton could soon pick up steam.

J.P. Barry, the agent for Hamilton, will be in Sunrise, Fla. later this week for the NHL draft. It’€™s expected that he and the B’€™s will talk shop as the sides look to find common ground on Hamilton’€™s next contract.

Hamilton, 22, is coming off his entry-level contract. Given his experience and his comparables, a long-term deal would likely command a steep cap hit, perhaps similar to that of Drew Doughty’€™s eight-year, $56 million deal signed back in 2011.

The Bruins could sign Hamilton to a shorter-term deal with a lower cap hit, but that would get Hamilton closer to unrestricted free agency, at which point he could command much more money.

If the Bruins and Hamilton do not strike a deal by July 1, Hamilton will be able to seek offer sheets from other teams. Should he sign with one of those teams, the Bruins would have seven days to either match that contract or take draft pick compensation instead.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Don Sweeney says ‘highly unlikely’ Bruins bring back Carl Soderberg, offers ‘no comment’ on Dougie Hamilton

06.19.15 at 11:34 am ET
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Carl Soderberg (34) appears to be the latest salary cap casualty for the Bruins. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Carl Soderberg appears to be the latest salary cap casualty for the Bruins. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Carl Soderberg appears to be the latest casualty of the Bruins’ salary cap crunch.

The 29-year-old center had 13 goals and 31 assists this year while playing in all 82 games, playing out the final year of a three-year, $3 million contract. Soderberg will be looking for a big pay day as an unrestricted free agent.

The Bruins have just 16 players signed on their current roster and project to have $6.531 million in cap space remaining. Don Sweeney, preparing for his first NHL draft as general manager, knows he’s up against it.

“We’re trying to plan for every circumstance that may exist,” Sweeney said on a conference call Friday with reporters. “Carl was a very important part of our team this year. In a perfect world, we would be able to retain Carl. It’s highly unlikely at this point in time that that will be happening relative to our overall situation.”

With that eventuality in mind, the Bruins signed forward Joonas Kemppainen on May 21 to a one-year, two-way contract which would be worth a cap figure of $700,000 at the NHL level.

The 27-year-old played 59 games for Oulun Karpat in the Finnish Elite League during the 2014-15 season and recorded 11 goals, 21 assists and a plus-15 rating. In 19 playoff games for Karpat this year, the forward potted 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points with a plus-14 rating. Kemppainen also competed in this year’€™s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where he ranked third on the Finnish team in goals (three), second in assists (six) and second in points (nine) in eight games played.

“I think Joonas represents a player of similar nature, similar skill set. He’s a big strong player,” Sweeney said. “He’s responsible. He’s 27 years old so he’s been through the pro ranks and he’s ready for it. He’s got some heaviness to his game. Look at his offensive production, it was pretty darned good this year in particular but really the last couple of year, he’s been very, very consistent and he rolled that right over to world championship, where again he was both very reliable, accountable as a two-player but also produced offensively, which is huge, huge for us.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Carl Soderberg, Don Sweeney, Dougie Hamilton

Bruins announce 7-game preseason schedule

06.19.15 at 9:51 am ET
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Claude Julien will coach a ninth season with the Bruins. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Claude Julien will coach a ninth season with the Bruins. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Bruins will have a distinctive New England feel to their seven-game preseason slate.

Four of the seven games the Bruins will play to get ready for the upcoming season will be in either Boston or Providence. The team announced its full preseason schedule Friday. Three of the games will be played at TD Garden.

The preseason will begin on Sunday, Sept. 20 in Providence, against the New Jersey Devils at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The Bruins also announced that they will release more information and dates in regards to the annual rookie camp and training camp, including rosters, later in the summer.

Here is the complete preseason schedule (subject to change):

Sunday, September 20 (Providence, RI)
New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins (Dunkin’€™ Donuts Center, Providence, RI, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Tuesday, September 22 (Boston, MA)
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Thursday, September 24 (Boston, MA)
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Saturday, September 26 (Detroit, MI)
-Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Monday, September 28 (Boston, MA)
-Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins (TD Garden, Boston, MA, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Wednesday, September 30 (New York, NY)
-Boston Bruins at New York Rangers (Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Friday, October 2 (Washington, DC)
-Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals (Verizon Center, Washington, DC, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL, preseason,

Zdeno Chara has no plans to retire before contract is up in 2018

06.15.15 at 12:26 pm ET
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In case anyone was thinking Zdeno Chara might consider retirement after a disappointing 2014-15 season, the defenseman made it clear that’s not on his mind.

Speaking to Postmedia Network late last week, Chara said he wants to play out his contract, which runs through the 2017-18 season, and help the Bruins return to the postseason.

“My contract goes for another three years and I’d like to play until then,” he said. “I think we still have a competitive team with some good young players.

“Being out of the playoffs just makes you want to get back there even more.”

Chara dealt with some physical issues this past season — most significantly a torn ligament in his left knee that knocked him out of the lineup from Oct. 23 until Dec. 11. He also suffered a fractured ankle in April, keeping off the Slovakian roster for the World Hockey Championship in Prague. He said the one good thing about the Bruins missing the playoffs is it’s given him more time to recover.

“You’d rather be playing at this time of year,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s given me a chance to heal and that’s important.”

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A cheat sheet for those confused about the Dougie Hamilton situation (with visuals!)

06.15.15 at 12:17 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton is going to get paid a lot of money and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Any conversation about how he shouldn’t — and there have been several over the last few days — generally exposes a lack of understanding on the part of its participants.

We’ve written about Hamilton’s next deal multiple times now, outlining his comps and and what they made. Here’s an attempt at summarizing things for folks who may still be confused.

HIS COMPS ARE VERY GOOD

For the third time, look at this table:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.04.13 PM

Those are not advanced stats. It’s points per game. Division is not an advanced concept for most elementary school graduates.

NONE OF THESE GUYS WERE IN THEIR PRIME WHEN THEY SIGNED THEIR DEALS

The Kings took a leap of faith with Doughty by giving him that contract, and it has paid off. Doughty has led the Kings to two Stanley Cups since, and one could only imagine what he’€™d command if he had taken a short deal and had his contract come up again a couple years late.

The reason teams should go long at a higher cap hit is to buy out years of free agency. The goal is to have a player’s prime years cheap. A bridge contract means the team would have to later pay way more for those prime years.

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Read More: Dougie Hamilton,

Ex-Bruin Vladimir Ruzicka denies accusations of impropriety but resigns as Czech coach

06.10.15 at 12:03 pm ET
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Vladimir Ruzicka (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Former Bruin Vladimir Ruzicka, shown here coaching the Czech Republic in 2004, resigned after being accused of accepting bribes. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Vladimir Ruzicka, who was serving as coach of the Czech Republic hockey team, resigned Tuesday in light of bribery allegations brought forth by parents who said that the former Bruins center demanded money to allow their sons a chance to play while he was coaching the Slavia Prague team of the Czech Extraliga.

“I’ve never done anything illegal and I will continue to defend myself, to clear my name,” Ruzicka said in a statement released by his lawyer.

Ruzicka allegedly accepted a bribe of 500,000 Czech koruna, which equates to about $20,000, during the 2012-13 season. The money came in two portions from entrepreneur Miroslav Palascak, who said in April that he gave the money in exchange for Ruzicka keeping his son on the team.

Ruzicka said in April that he thought the money was a donation to the team and returned it because of his own concerns, even releasing a statement to defend himself.

On Tuesday, more allegations emerged from other parents who told similar stories, and police are investigating.

The president of the Czech ice hockey federation, Tomas Kral, told state television that the sole solution to the claims were to have Ruzicka resign.

Ruzicka played three seasons in Boston from 1990-93 and recorded 66 goals and 66 assists in 166 regular season games. He added 18 points in 30 postseason games.

Read More: Vladimir Ruzicka,
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