The NHL and NHLPA announced Tuesday that the salary cap upper limit for the 2015-16 season has been set at $71.4 million dollars. 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 (Brian Ferlin, Joonas Kemppainen, Alexander Khokhlachev, 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.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Should the Bruins seek picks or players for their stars? (Francois Laplante/Getty Images)Draft picks play a co-starring role in many trades.



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

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.

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 to 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.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Claude Julien was on to something when bemoaning some of the Bruins' issues from last season. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)Bruins fans have heard the explanation a million times over from Claude Julien by now.



Don Sweeney enters his first NHL draft as Bruins general manager. (Getty Images)Don Sweeney is entering a brave new world. And he knows it.

This is the first draft under his control as general manager of the Original Six hockey club in Boston.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


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

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. 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. “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 Kärpät 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 Kärpät 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. 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.”

As for other UFA such as Matt Bartkowski and defenseman Adam McQuaid, Sweeney announced they may or may not join Greg Campbell and Daniel Paille as cap casualties for 2015-16.

“Peter [Chiarelli] had told Greg Campbell and Danny Paille that they weren’t [returning]. I have not changed that,” Sweeney said. “I have not completely conveyed but have spoken to both Carl and Matt’s representatives and I’ve also spoken to Adam in terms of what our intentions are. Obviously, it’s coming down to the wire in terms of their abilities to interview elsewhere. So, I have been in communication with them, yes.

“I’ve had several talks with teams that may or may not present the opportunity to be able to bring one of those players back. I can guarantee at this point in time that all three [Soderberg, Bartkowski, McQuaid] of them won’t be back.”

All of this doesn’t even include the uncertainty surrounding the future financial impact of signing Dougie Hamilton, who as a restricted free agent, could be getting a huge payday, as our DJ Bean pointed out. Sweeney said negotiations are ongoing with Hamilton’s representatives but those talks are not getting in the way of doing business.

“We’re not in a free agency period at this time so I don’t think it’s holding things up at all,” Sweeney said Friday. “I’m not going to comment on the actual negotiation side of it but I don’t think it’s holding things up in any regard.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

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

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)

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia