|Slow free agency to blame for slowed trade market||07.19.10 at 3:41 am ET|
The Bruins had plans to be active in the trade market throughout the offseason, and as anyone who’s seen their current cap situation could infer, they would have been in far better shape had they been able to move contracts out as they brought new ones in. Yet in all their moves thus far, they’ve crept closer and closer to that $59.4 million cap ceiling with moves still left to be made.
Dennis Wideman and Nathan Horton‘s annual cap hits were essentially a wash, with Horton ($4 million) making slightly more, but the $1.1 million Gregory Campbell will earn in each of the next two seasons, in addition to multiple re-signings made by the Bruins, has left the team looking at just over $500,000 to sign both Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin, neither of which could be had for such cheap money.
Though the Bruins clearly are in a predicament, it’s tough to blame them. In fact, it could be argued that they have actually done the best with the situation the offseason has put them in, with free agency in particular preventing them from potentially making a deal they may be interested in.
Though Ilya Kovalchuk has gotten plenty of attention for still not having signed a deal, the fact of the matter is that the high-scoring winger is not alone is prolonged free agent status. Alexander Frolov, Lee Stempniak, Marty Turco, Paul Kariya and Maxim Afinogenov are just a few of the big names that remain on the market 20 days into free agency.
As a result, general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week to expect the Bruins to be “relatively quiet” as they wrap up Wheeler and Seguin. This means that anyone who has been strung along by each murmur of a rumored deal including Marc Savard or Tim Thomas may be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »
|Will Bruins stick to status quo in net?||07.02.10 at 12:54 am ET|
Though Tim Thomas rumors have been more or less overflowing from the internet this offseason — some feasible, some outrageous — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is certainly speaking like a guy who wouldn’t feel it was the end of the world if he goes into next season with his No. 2 goalie making $5 million.
“I’m comfortable with our goaltending duo,” Chiarelli said. “There will be an intense competition, that’s the way we had planned it and I’m comfortable with it. I’m not saying it’s going to end up that way, but I’m certainly comfortable if it is.”
With the looks of free agency so far, it’s a good thing he’d be comfortable with it. With Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov still on the open market, it’s hard to believe teams would rather trade for a guy who’s two years older and seemingly better-suited for a tandem.
Some may view it as a waste to keep the 36 year-old Thomas around at such a high price tag, but he undoubtedly adds security to a goaltending position that may be a bit overestimated due to solid play down the stretch from Tuukka Rask. Thomas has the track-record of being able to play at a high level despite age and Rask hasn’t been the man for a full season yet.
The Bruins are in a tight spot regarding cap space, and though Thursday’s two-way deal given to old friend Jeremy Reich won’t be a back-breaker (he’ll get $500,000 if he’s on the NHL club), the team has just $4,465,357 in cap space, with Tyler Seguin set to seemingly get the entry-level maximum of $900,000 in salary (he’ll get more in bonuses) and deals still to be done for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart.
Making all three deals happen may be tough given their current cap number and a contract may have to be moved around to make the signings a possibility, but don’t count on it being Thomas.
|Could Leighton signing close door on Thomas?||06.30.10 at 4:50 pm ET|
Though we’ve been hearing all along that the Tim Thomas-to-Philadelphia rumors have been overblown, maybe today’s news that the Flyers have re-signed Michael Leighton will make such chatter a little less believable — for now, at least.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the Flyers gave Leighton a two-year deal for $3.1 million total, and while that isn’t a lot, McKenzie tweeted that, “Whatever happens with [Flyers] goaltending, the next guy in won’t be making more than $2M per year.” Evgeni Nabokov whom the Flyers recently traded for the rights of, is likely their No. 1 option, but all indications are he will test free agency on Thursday.
Brian Boucher is also under contract for next season and carries a cap hit of less than $1 million. Thomas is owed $5 million for each of the next three seasons.
|Gagne for Thomas? ‘No.’||06.25.10 at 4:32 pm ET|
Amidst rumors that the Flyers are looking to shed payroll in order to take on Tim Thomas‘ contract, a source close to the situation is saying talk that Simon Gagne could be swapped to the Bruins for the goaltender is bogus.
“This is not an accurate rumor at all,” the source said.
Salary-wise, it makes sense, as Gagne will carry a $5.25 million cap hit next season, the final year of his deal, while Thomas has three years remaining at $5 million per season. On the ice, however, such a move could upset Flyers fans. Gagne can be counted on for 30 goals a season and is just 30 years old, while Thomas, 36, lost his starting job last season to Tuukka Rask.
The left-winger made a major impression on the Bruins in the postseason this past postseason, scoring in overtime in Game 4, adding two goals in Game 5, and slipping the series-winning goal past Rask in the third period of Game 7.
Gagne was hampered by groin injuries throughout the season and was limited to 58 games. He scored 17 goals and had 23 assists for 40 points after having 34-40-74 totals a year prior.
|Report: Tampa can’t afford Thomas||at 2:56 pm ET|
Tim Thomas, who has been given permission by the Bruins to talk with other teams about a trade, may not be a fit for one of his most logical suitors. According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, a Tampa Bay source does not believe the Lightning could add Thomas’ $5 million salary for the next three seasons without shedding payroll. LeBrun says in a tweet that a move to the Lightning “doesn’t look like a fit right now.”
The Sharks and Flyers have also been rumored as potential suitors for Thomas. Tampa Bay has over $23 million in cap space, but only 13 players under contract at the NHL level.
|Thomas chatter continues||06.24.10 at 4:08 pm ET|
All indications out of California say that Bill Zito, the agent for Tim Thomas, has been cleared to talk shop with other teams regarding a new home for the goaltender. The story was first reported by TSN and it makes all the sense in the world, given the Bruins’ tight salary cap situation and Thomas’ $5 million cap hit for the next three seasons.
It is unknown which teams may be in on Thomas, though the Lightning have been rumored to be one of them. A source told WEEI.com earlier this week that the Flyers were not among those interested. Thomas’ no-trade clause doesn’t figure to be an issue in a potential deal, as the ’08-’09 Vezina winner’s ultimate goal is to start, which he wouldn’t do in Boston due to Tuukka Rask‘s stranglehold on the job.
|Source: Thomas not on Philly’s radar||06.22.10 at 4:59 pm ET|
Rumors that have linked the Flyers to the Bruins in recent trade discussions might be just that, according to a source close to the situation. Though the Bruins have been shopping Tim Thomas, the goaltender is “not on [Philadelphia's] radar,” said the source. Thomas, who carries a $5 million salary cap hit will be a little easier to take on for interested teams with Tuesday’s news that the NHLPA has exercised an inflator clause to bump the salary cap up to about $59 million.