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Today the Bruins inked a deal with their top draft pick, Tyler Seguin, but the contract puts the Bruins over the salary cap. Who will the B’s get rid of to get back under the cap?
The Bruins and their second-overall pick agreed to terms on a three-year contract that can be worth up to $3.75 million. Seguin will be earning the maximum salary for a 2010 draft pick, with $900,000 guaranteed and up to $2.85 million in bonus money.
According to the CBA, Seguin will not be permitted to play in the AHL until the 2012-13 season, when he will be 20. His contract for Providence is $67,500 but does not matter per the CBA stipulation. Given his draft status and the investment the team is making in him this early on, this will likely be the last time you hear “Seguin” and “AHL Salary” in the same sentence.
The more important storyline is that Seguin’s contract puts the Bruins over the salary cap. His deal, along with Blake Wheeler’s $2.2 million arbitration contract, leaves the Bruins’ current payroll at $66.28 million. The club is above the $65.3 million “summer cap” and must downsize to $59.4 million by the time the season starts.
So the Bruins heavily invested in their highest draft pick since Joe Thornton and essentially guaranteed that he will be with the big club for his entire tenure in Boston. They are showing they have faith in the 18-year-old by going over the cap, but their faith in their aging offensive mainstays begs speculation.
There is one clear and temporary solution. And there are many hazy, long-term ones.
For now Peter Chiarelli is putting Marco Sturm on long-term injury reserve, which affords $3.5 million cap relief until he is deemed playable. But that is just for now.
Throughout the summer trade talks, Marc Savard has been mentioned as a likely bargaining piece for the Bruins. The 33-year old centerman could be the focal point of a trade for younger, cheaper pieces of the puzzle. The youth movement is in full swing, and, lets face it, Savard isn’t that young anymore. Not to mention, he is set to make $4 million a year for the next six years. Michael Ryder, also with $4 million on the books for this season, has been mentioned in trade talks.
Peter Chiarelli sounded off regarding the current predicament:
“There’s always things that crop up. We just saw a Stanley Cup-winning goalie become available on the free market. So things happen, things crop up, and it’s never done until the opening-day roster is filed. Things come up and you’re never filing your final roster until you file your final roster. I might expect another move.”
So, there you go, straight from the horse’s mouth. A transaction is likely.
The only sure move as of yet is Sturm’s stay of execution on injury-reserve. It buys management time in determining his fate and the future of the organization.
With the off-season acquisition of Nathan Horton (25) and Gregory Campbell (26), the Bruins are cementing a core of their roster for years to come. Seguin is here to stay, but nobody knows the fate of the team’s elder statesmen.
Except for maybe Chiarelli.