The Boston Bruins have some salary cap problems, although it may not initially look like it upon first glance.
The Bruins currently are sitting at just over $8 million in salary cap space, which is plenty to be sure, but the problem comes when you look at the players that they currently have unsigned on their roster. Both defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are currently restricted free agents in need of new deals, and even conservative estimates have put their combined cap hit for next season somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. This of course would go over the current space that the Bruins currently have available to them, and it is for this reason that many expect the Bruins will have to make a significant trade in order to become cap compliant.
The most obvious choice for such a move would be to somehow move the contract of veteran forward David Backes, a player that is currently earning a whopping $6 million per year. Backes' salary would not be so much of an issue if it weren't for the fact head coach Bruce Cassidy has seen fit to place Backes on the sidelines more often than not as of late. In fact Backes road the bench for a large part of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, this in spite of the fact that he was earning considerably more than the players replacing him, while also having considerably more experience under his belt. It is for those very same reasons that many believe Backes' contract would be near impossible to move, but it seems the Bruins may in fact have found a suitor.
According to a report from Boston Bruins beat writer Jimmy Murphy, it now appears that the New Jersey Devils have expressed significant interest in the possibility of acquiring Backes, somewhat of a confusing move on their part. The part that does make sense is that the Devils currently boast plenty of cap space, but adding $6 million to your cap for the sake of adding salary does not seem to make much sense. More likely the Devils see Backes as a potential fit and know fully well that the Bruins are in a tough spot, meaning that Devils GM Ray Shero could be looking to extract an extra asset out of Bruins GM Don Sweeney.
No word yet how far along the talks have progressed but Murphy claims that the Devils have expressed interest in picking up the final 2 years of Backes' deal.
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