Jarome Iginla and the Boston Bruins proved last season that they are a good match, at least in a hockey sense. When it comes to dollars and cents, however, they’re finding that continuing their relationship will be complicated.
It’s so difficult, in fact, that Iginla reportedly will start listening to other teams.
Sportsnet reported Thursday that Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, has started to set up meetings with teams other than the Bruins. B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli later confirmed this report, according to The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa, adding that Iginla will keep the Bruins in the loop if the forward “gets close” with another club.
Iginla is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Boston’s messy salary-cap situation appears to be the Bruins’ biggest hurdle in re-signing the probable Hall of Famer.
The Bruins’ cap issues have been well-documented, and it will take some creativity from Chiarelli to make room under it for Iginla. The winger, who will turn 37 on July 1, had a tremendous first season with the Bruins, and did so on a one-year, incentive-laden contract. Those bonuses carry over and count against the cap in 2014-15, and Iginla likely would have to sign a similar deal to stay in Boston next season.
The Bruins only have between $7 million and $8 million available, and they also have a handful of restricted free agents to sign. Another option for Chiarelli and the Bruins would be to trade a veteran player or two off the active roster to free up cap space, but that’s something Chiarelli is trying to avoid.
It’s far too early to rule out the Bruins re-signing Iginla, though. The Boston Herald reported that Meehan will meet with Chiarelli on Thursday in Philadelphia, the site of this weekend’s NHL draft.
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