The Boston Bruins’ recent acceptance of the one-year, $2.2 million arbitration award for winger Blake Wheeler raised expectations the club would be forced to make a salary-dumping trade, but it’s possible they won’t have to.
Even though they still have promising forward Tyler Seguin to sign, the Bruins might be able to fit his salary and Wheeler’s on their payroll without having to make any trades.
The Boston Globe noted center Marco Sturm is expected to open the season on long-term injury status, allowing the team to be over the cap by the equivalent of his $3.5 million salary, plus they could demote winger Michael Ryder, clearing his $4 million salary from their cap hit.
Rumors persist they’re shopping Marc Savard, but at this point it remains to be seen if they’ll find any takers, let alone if he’ll agree to waive his no-trade clause.
Another possibility was floated by THN columnist Ryan Kennedy, who suggested Seguin play only nine NHL games this season and then be returned to the Ontario League to finish the season, giving him a taste of big league action and at the same time not burning through the first year of his entry level contract.
Whatever option is taken by Bruins management, it’s clear they no longer are under the same pressure to make a trade as they were a month ago.
FLAMES SELLING; DUCKS BUYING?
The Calgary Flames could be shopping defensemen, while the Anaheim Ducks are in the market for one or maybe two.
Last Friday, the Flames avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Ian White by re-signing to him to a one-year, $2,999,995 contract. That gave them eight blueliners under one-way NHL contracts, pushing the Flames over the salary cap and fueling expectations one or two could be dealt.
On the same day, the Ducks avoided arbitration with one of their defensemen by putting pen to paper with James Wisniewski to a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
He was then shipped to the New York Islanders for a conditional pick in the 2011 draft, leaving the Ducks short of experienced blueliners and in the market to address that issue.
Anaheim has been linked to Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa. Given their available cap space ($15.5 million, according to capgeek.com) the Ducks could acquire one of them and still have enough remaining to re-sign forward Bobby Ryan.
With the Flames possibly selling and the Ducks looking to buy, those two might become trade partners.
LIGHTNING, BLUE JACKETS, KINGS & DEVILS LOOKING AT KABERLE?
The Ducks wouldn’t be the only team interested in Kaberle, as the National Post listed the Kings and Devils as possible destinations.
But don’t rule out the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite re-signing Anton Stralman, it’s believed they’re still in the market for another puckmoving defenseman.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are also thought to be in the market for additional blueline depth if Paul Ranger, who is currently dealing with undisclosed personal matters, is unable to return to the lineup next season.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.