Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has used the month of July to add to upgrade his forward corps and lock up cornerstone pieces. A week after trading Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson, Chiarelli locked up goaltender Tuukka Rask to an 8-year, $56 million contract on Wednesday. To end his week, he did the same for center Patrice Bergeron.
On Friday, the 27-year old Bergeron signed an 8-year, $52 million extension, which will include a $6.5 million cap hit. A perennial Selke Trophy contender, Bergeron has netted 433 points in 579 career NHL games over nine seasons. After suffering a major concussion early in his career, he's been a model of durability, including playing Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final with a hole in his lung, a broken rib, torn cartilage and muscle tissue, and a separated shoulder.
According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, Bergeron's contract has a no-movement clause in the first six years and a limited no-trade clause in the final two.
The fun now for Chiarelli will come next summer when the Bergeron deal kicks in. As of today, the Bruins will have $7.37 million in cap space with 15 players signed for the 2014-15 season, according to CapGeek. Dennis Seidenberg (unrestricted) and Torey Krug (restricted) are two free agents in the summer of 2014 who might be deserving of raises, if the Bruins can afford to fit them in.
Despite those potential concerns in the future, Chiarelli said Thursday he's fine with where the Bruins are cap-wise. From CSNNE:
“I think right now we’re going to stand pat. I like the fact that we’re going to have competition on the third line. We have some good young players already in the organization that we just recently acquired,” said Chiarelli. “You never know what happens after the summer, but [off-season transactions] will slow down. It has slowed down [already].
When the cap ceiling likely increasing for the 2014-15 season -- which it has done for every season since it came into existence eight years ago -- Chiarelli will get some added room so as to not have to make a major salary-shedding deal.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy