Panthers acquire Reilly Smith, contract of Marc Savard from Bruins for Jimmy Hayes

Panthers acquire Reilly Smith, contract of Marc Savard from Bruins for Jimmy Hayes

Chris Pronger isn’t the only inactive NHL player to be switching teams this summer. Marc Savard, or more accurately, Marc Savard’s contract has been dealt to the Florida Panthers along with Reilly Smith from the Boston Bruins in exchange for current restricted free agent Jimmy Hayes.

Florida had been in on the discussion for Pronger’s $4,941,429 cap hit during the NHL Draft, but instead they’ll add Savard’s $4,027,143 number to help keep them well beyond the salary cap floor. The key for the Panthers is that Savard is only owed $575,000 in salary in each of the next two seasons.

Savard suffered two concussions nine months apart and has not played in the NHL since February of 2011.

"We have a lot of cap space. It made sense,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “They probably wouldn't have done the deal otherwise."

The move was a precursor to the Bruins signing forward Matt Beleskey to a reasonable five-year, $19 million deal.

Smith was dealt to the Bruins two summers ago as part of the Tyler Seguin trade. In two seasons in Boston he scored 33 goals and posted 91 points. He has two years left on an extension he signed this past March.

The acquisition of the 6-foot-6 Hayes and signing of Beleskey puts the Bruins out of any contention to be a landing spot for Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell, which had been rumored heading into Wednesday.

Between all these moves, Bruins GM Don Sweeney now has just under $10 million in salary cap space, according to General Fanager, to sign RFAs Smith, Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner and a backup goalie if the plan is to allow Malcolm Subban and Zane MacIntyre time to develop in the AHL.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!