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Bruins’ quiet summer could have an eventful finish

Aug 29, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

JohnnyBoychuk Getty Images

The Boston Bruins watched Jarome Iginla walk away as a free agent this summer, but as far as adding players go, they’ve done almost nothing. Christopher Breen and Jeremy Smith are the only two unrestricted free agents they’ve brought on board from other organizations and it wouldn’t be surprising if neither of them are on the opening game roster.

Boston’s quiet summer might end with a bang though.

The Bruins are roughly $800,000 over the ceiling, according to Cap Geek. They will get to shave Marc Savard‘s cap hit of roughly $4 million off the books, but at the same time, they still have to re-sign restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug. Once you factor in Smith and Krug, who are coming off strong seasons and likely want to get paid accordingly, the Bruins’ situation looks murky.

With that in mind, the Bruins might resort to making a trade to give themselves some breathing room. It’s been an option that’s been discussed all summer, but with time running out until training camp, Boston might finally pull the trigger.

Among the players that have been mentioned before as potential trade candidates are forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Marchand would provide the Bruins with some long-term relief given that he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million for another three seasons, but moving Boychuk or another blueliner might make more sense.

The Bruins have a defensive logjam as it is with six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Dougie Hamilton or Krug and there are certainly teams out there that would be very interested if the Bruins made a top-four defenseman available. Trading Boychuk would create about $3.4 million in cap space.

Perhaps GM Peter Chiarelli has an alternate solution in mind. We won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

  1. ironyisadeadscene - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    They need to hurry up and do it already. Whom will I be annoyed that they traded? I want to know

  2. withseidelinn - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    I think trading Marchand is probably most likely. Most cap relief and there are obviously some issues surrounding his behavior. Nothing major like Chiarelli has said, but from the Seguin situation we know he has little patience for that stuff.I think they could get a high return for him based on his play and age. Boychuk just seems to important to their core for him to be let go.

    • elvispocomo - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Good player when he focuses on hockey, but those character issues are the reason he’s not an easy trade. That, and trying to fit in a good majority of his $4.5M so close to the season without being able to send a similar amount of cap back in trade is tough for most teams that even would want him.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        What character issues?

      • elvispocomo - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Ignorance is bliss, eh HF?

  3. drivemekrejci - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    It will not be Marchand. I find that so ridiculous. We are already struggling to fill offensive voids, why would they create another one? The Bruins would immediately not be the top team in the East if they lose another top forward. It isn’t going to happen, and if it does, it’ll be so fun to watch us finish in the middle of the pack.

    Get real.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Based on his ability to finish against Montreal, I don’t think he will help solve anyone’s offensive problems.

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Krejci struggled that series too. Should we just dump him for cap space? Marchand frustrates me as much as any other fan, but unless they’re moving him in a “hockey trade”, much like the Seguin one, I’m not interested. He was nonexistent at times last year and still finished with 25 goals, most (if not all), at even strength. Pretty sure he was like top 5 in the league in 5v5 goals last season. He’s an important half of what is imo the best PK pair in the league (Bergeron). He also just seems to have great chemistry with Bergy in general. Every year, I’m hoping THIS year, Marchand will grow up and show us how talented he really is. Well, here’s to hoping this is the year!

  4. nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Bruins have depth in Providence, they should start giving guys like Spooner, Florek, Cunningham and Fraser more time on fourth or third lines. These guys may not have the experience, but from what I saw, were much hungrier than the likes of Marchand in the playoffs.

    What was done in 2011 (Marchy) will never be taken for granted, but at some point, you have to take a real hard look at past and present.

    I think he’s worth keeping if his play and point production keeps up, but mediocrity at his cap, is not gonna last. This has happened with Krejci several times and the bruins have stuck by there draft pick.

    His cap hit, in my opinion, has always been inflated. He does not get nearly as many points without a speedy Seguin or a responsible Bergy setting him up. That’s not to say that Kelly also got an inflated deal, but his contract is coming to and end.

    Move Marchy and two young D men (Not being Krug or Hamilton) to get in cap compliance. I could see Boychuck going, however, would like to see the aforementioned happened before moving a key cog like him.

    Get a solid player, whoever is still available……or not.

    • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      I think he’s worth keeping if his play and point production keeps up, but mediocrity at his cap, is not gonna last. This has happened with Krejci several times and the bruins have stuck by there draft pick

      Explain how Krejci didn’t live up to his contract? Was it the first time he led the playoffs in scoring? Or was it the second time when he got even more points in fewer games? Some of these comments are gonna drive me to drink. At least you’re not on the “Charas not good enough for his contract” band wagon

      • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        You believe Krejci had a good playoff ? He is the second highest paid center on the team and was practically non existent in both rounds. Leading the bruins in several categories over the years is why he will be kept past this season.

        Marchand cannot have a decent season keeping in line with his contract and just have an awful playoff, else, he gets dealt, just like Seguin.

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        I’m not saying he had a good postseason, but one bad series does not constitute saying, “he has not lived up to his contract several times”. I thought he was definitely adequate in the postseason though. That top line missed SO MANY good scoring chances. With just a little puck luck Krejci probably puts up around 8-10 points. Not awesome, but not bad. There are way way to many people here who seem to think the B’s need some kind of overhaul. They had two bad games, 6/7, against the habs. Other than that, they were the best team in the league last season.

      • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        Krejci has had some real lack luster regular season numbers. I agree that he had some bad puck luck last post season. However, when you compare Krejci to marchand, keeping contracts in mind…..Marchand has way more to prove and i don’t think his past allows him to stick around like krejci’s has. Basically a Krejci even when not scoring is a far better player than marchy.

        No overhaul, I think the team is fine barring major injury.

        With that being said, with cap constraints, got to deal marchy to get cap complaint with a couple young d men. I mean you really think chia has intention to keep 8 d men ?

    • Moop - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Trading Marchand could open up a spot on the second line for a guy like Ryan Spooner; his offensive abilities would be very useful playing with Bergeron and Smith, even if it’s not at center, where the Bruins want him to play. Then again, would moving Soderberg up to that line and letting Spooner center the third line be a viable option?

      What do we even look to get back by trading Marchand? We’re trying to clear cap space here so expecting an already proven scoring forward might not be realistic.

      To be honest, if I have to choose between Marchand and Boychuk for this season, I’ll take Boychuk. He’s too important to the defensive core of the team to trade away right now, and Marchand’s spot could probably be filled within the organization.

      • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Well said sir.

  5. matthews4 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Marchy is good on on a line with Bergy so that’s not happening. I would trade Chara but that will not happen. If you actually look at who does not perform to their contact it is him. He was awful against Montreal. So i would then trade several players like Bart,Caron,Kelly, and Campbell. That would save roughly 6.4 million. Enough to resign everybody, but they will trade Boys because they get the same play out of Miller they believe. Still even with that they need to clear space for the future, The Chara contract should be taken care of sooner than later. Just Sayin…..

    • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      They won’t ever trade Chara. I agree he loses a lot of steam because of the minutes he plays.

      I would assert that Marchy and Chara were equally terrible against Montreal, but one gives tangibles and intangibles that the other simply does not. Got to keep the guys making under 2mm for cap reasons, I believe they have dangled Caron many times to no avail.

      Miller is physical like Boychuck but has no where near the offensive ability and that rocket slap shot.

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    There is currently a need for a right handed d-man in Detroit and Dallas.

  7. cotts1 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Red Wings will take Boychuk off your hands for our 2015 2nd…

    • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      *cough* Jurco *Cough*

      • bsaures - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        Lol in your dreams

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Det probably won’t do it but that’s what it would take. Supply and demand my friend, B’s aren’t giving away a top 4 RHD as that’s one of the hottest commodities out there

      • cotts1 - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        No chance you get Jurco for one year of Boychuk

      • bsaures - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        Lol except for the fact that every other team knows that boston has too much supply and are in trouble if they dont sell. They will be lucky to get a mid round pick for boychuk

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Well every team knows det is desperate for a top 4 rhd, so why would Boston give one away for a mid round pick? Goes both ways bud

      • bsaures - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        There is a massive differance ….need versus want. Detroit wants a RD they can however not suffer any ill consequences should they choose not to. The bruins on the other hand HAVE to trade someone if they want to keep krug and smith. Detroit or any team trading with boston has a distinct adavntage

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Right, and they have guys such as McQuaid, Bartkowski, Kelly, Caron and maybe Campbell that could be had for peanuts. Not Johnny Boychuk

  8. bsaures - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    This is what happens when you gamble and lose all of the problems right now are because of Iginla s contract last year they got no cup and now having trouble signing two of their best young players.

    • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      It sucks for sure, but I’m glad they did it. That team was stacked last year. If not for injuries they probably would have had an even better record and probably would have at least beat Mtl. Poop happens though, still a contender, that’s all I care about

  9. bcisleman - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    After the deal Orpik got ($5+ mil per) you have to believe Johnny Rocket will rate $6 mil per. Bs won’t be able to re-sign him AND Krejci in 2015. They may not WANT to move JB but I don’t think they will have a choice. My understanding is they want a veteran RW who can play 2nd or 3rd line. Might be a pick or prospect thrown in one way or another depending on who the RW is.

    • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      That deal the caps gave him was great for orpik terrible for the caps. horrible move. What rw vet is even left, scotty gomez ?

  10. shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I’d also like to know, since when is a player who scores around 25 goals a year, is great on the PK and bugs the hell out of the other team overpaid at 4.5m? Like I’ve said, Marchands antics get really annoying, but you are absolutely out of your mind if you think the Bruins would be able to replace his contributions and save $$ by trading him

  11. timmons94 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    I hate Marchand. But if he was a penguin, I would love him. Kid is a weasel but fearless and really good

  12. hockeyflow33 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Marchand is a top six forward, 20+ goal scorer, plays PK, can play PP and has the ability to change games. Does anyone other than a pink hat or Haggerty think these qualities are easily replaceable?

    • nhloon - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      how about his timely penalty minutes ?

      • shaundre93 - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        Frustrating, but its not like he’s the only good player with that problem. Perry and Brown come to mind

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