It looks like we’re getting hockey back, but at a price.
As part of the NHL and NHLPA’s agreement to resume play and extent the collective bargaining agreement, a flat salary cap is being instituted for at least the 2020-21 season, keeping it at $81.5 through at least next season.
In other words, it’s not a great time to be a professional athlete approaching free agency, and the Boston Bruins have a few players due for new contracts.
B’s general manager Don Sweeney on Sunday discussed the flat salary cap during a Zoom call with reporters, sharing how he plans to approach these conversations with players and agents.
?Ultimately I think we?ll have (contract discussions) case-by-case,” Sweeney said, via Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston. “I?m not going to be overly aggressive as we get into Phase 3 getting ready to play and then into the playoffs. But if something makes sense then we?ll do it. If there are some players that are very particular and don?t want to have those conversations until we?re done (with the games) then I respect that as well.”
Defensemen Torey Krug is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, while Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk will be restricted free agents. Of course, captain Zdeno Chara likely wants to sign another team-friendly deal to return to the team next year, among other contracts that need to be worked out.
?I think I?ll just touch base with each and every one of (the free agents), and that includes RFAs that want to know where they?re going to be,” Sweeney said. “There will be some conversations that will take place in terms of how we?re going to position contracts and how we?re going to structure contracts, and how you fit it together. Ultimately, we?re all going to have the $81.5 million for the next two years. We?re going to start to have conversations.
?We?ve had to run simulations and still (get to a place) where we?re treating every player fairly from a compensation standpoint. But we have some decisions to make and we may have to make some hard decisions just like every other team in the league now that we have the parameters of the cap and how the mechanisms of the new CBA are going to work.?
Fortunately, the Bruins will have one of the better cap situations in the league, as they’re projected to have around $16 million in space as calculated by The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa.