Fans are still patiently waiting on Patrice Bergeron’s decision if he will return to the Boston Bruins for 2022-23. There is also the suspense surrounding David Krejci as he considers an NHL return and could be tempted to reunite with the Bruins seeing that there will be a new head coach in town. It is no secret that Boston will need depth due to the many injuries announced at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The issue here is that Boston is almost out of money. According to Cap Friendly, have around $4.8 million in salary-cap space, which prompted Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe to wonder if the Bruins will not be forced to pull a trade in order to have money to sign Bergeron, Krejci and also new addition Pavel Zacha.
Sure, the Bruins will get some cap relief when Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy kick off the season on the long-term injury reserve until they return from offseason surgeries around Dec. 1. However, general manager Don Sweeney will have to shed some salary once those players return to the lineup.
Dupont believes the Bruins could sacrifice Craig Smith and place him on the trade block to get some cap relief. He carries a $3.1 million cap hit for the coming season and becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Smith would definitely get some interest from rival teams: he a former four-time 20-plus goal scorer who had 16 goals and 36 points last season. A deal could be made much easier too since Smith lacks no-trade protection and could interest clubs seeking an experienced middle-six winger.
The issue with these types of trade is that Boston will probably have to include a draft pick or prospect as a sweetener in the deal since teams across the NHL know the Bruins need room to add talented players.
While Smith is an interesting option for the Bruins to showcase on the trade block, rumours also brought up the name of Matt Grzelcyk as a candidate on the block. He is signed through 2023-24 with a $3.67 million AAV.
Who will be sacrificed in Boston to get more room in the wallet?