The Boston Bruins are tapped out… scratch that… capped out. As in, the NHL’s $81.5 million salary cap.
The Bruins currently have just over $8 million in cap space, but still need to signed restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. Given how well the two young blue liners have performed up to the this point in their careers, it’s likely going to take well north of $8 million to lock the pair up. Should Bruins general manager Don Sweeney find a way to rid himself of veteran forward David Backes though, he’ll free up an additional $6 million is salary to spend on his young blue liners.
Bruins insider Jimmy Murphy is now reporting that not only is Sweeney shopping Backes on the trade market, but discussions have actually gotten underway with New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero. Check out this report from Murphy for Boston Hockey Now:
According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the New Jersey Devils have at least kicked the tires, if not outright expressed interest in 35-year-old David Backes, who has two years left with an annual cap hit of $6 million.
The Devils have taken on a ton of salary this offseason, mostly as a result of trading for defenseman P.K. Subban and his $9 million annual contract, but remarkably they still have nearly $20 million in cap space to spend. Murphy sees the Devils as a perfect fit for Backes, a veteran player who can still provide leadership… even with his high price tag.
Backes to New Jersey makes sense. He is a veteran of the last two USA Hockey Men’s Olympic teams and is familiar with Shero through USA Hockey circles. Backes’ leadership – even at a steep price – could come in handy for a young New Jersey team with 10 players who are 25-years-old or younger and the team has an average age of 25.2.