Although not official yet, the numbers are starting to trickle through the cracks in regards to the bonus penalties charged to the salary caps of the 30 NHL teams this off-season. And the Boston Bruins have the largest of them all.
According to the always trusty and super reliable capgeek.com, the Bruins have been docked $4.75 million against the cap this upcoming year for bonuses earned this past season from a number of players. Jarome Iginla is the leader of the pack, having earned a $3.75 million bonus after playing in more than 10 games, which seems odd with it being such a low number; why not more than 1/8 of the season? Why not 20, 30 or even half the season? But I digress.
According to CSNNE's Joe Haggerty Two of Boston's young defenseman, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton, earned $850,000 and $212,500, respectively, for their play this past season. Ryan Spooner was the other player to hit a bonus, earning $21,500 in extra dough.
When factoring in Marc Savard's $4.027 million to be used on long term injured reserve and an expected increase in the cap ceiling to be right around $71 million, the Bruins will have roughly $8 million in space to sign their numerous free agents, which include Iginla, Krug, Reilly Smith and potentially Matt Bartkowski, find possible replacements for the departed Shawn Thornton, as well as finding a new backup goalie behind Tuukka Rask.
The numbers to get everything on the checklist done simply will not add up as currently constituted for the B's. They know this, which is why they have already had to part ways with Thornton and have floated possible travel options to take when it comes to moving salaries on the team via trade. Brad Marchand ($4.5 million) and Johnny Boychuck ($3.6 million) have been the two most popular names that have come up as movable pieces to free up space.
Haggerty also notes that moving either Chris Kelly ($3 million) or Adam McQuaid ($1.56 million) could do the trick, but both players are coming off of serious injuries that derailed their seasons, so teams would have to take their salaries on as throw-ins to a bigger deal.
Whatever lies ahead, one things is certain: the Bruins have some serious work to do in the coming weeks to tweak and fiddle, or send a thundering shake up, to the roster.