First WBCN announces they are shutting down, then Aaron Ward, a WBCN regular, gets shipped out of town as well. Here’s what this does to the cap (at least I think these are the rules according to NHLSCAP.com). The B’s had approximately $2.85M of cap space before this and Aaron Ward’s contract was a $2.5M cap hit. Patrick Eaves has this year at $1.4M and next year at $1.7M remaining on his contract. The B’s would be responsible for a third of this $3.1M spread over four years which is only about $258K per season. The net result of all this is the B’s have $5.1M in cap space and only 5 defenseman plus Johnny Boychuk signed. This makes you think Chiarelli has a trade up his sleeve for a puck-moving defenseman with a good-sized contract. For the sake of argument I looked only at the Western Conference for possible trading partners since I doubt the B’s want to send him to an Eastern Conference rival. Here are the possibilities I came up with:
John Michael Liles (COL) – cap hit $4.2M
Brent Burns (MIN) - $3.55M
Kevin Bieksa (VAN) - $3.75M
Tom Gilbert (EDM) - $4M
Ryan Whitney (ANA) - $4M
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJS) - $3.1M
The first four on the list seem most likely as all four of these teams could use help up front. Anaheim and San Jose already have offensive weapons on the roster, but stranger things have happened.
I guess it is also possible they just want to sign Phil, but what would that mean for the Bruins backline. What happens when Ference or anyone else gets injured again? This has got to mean they are looking to acquire someone on defense. Don’t forget they could also sign Phil and trade some other forward for blueline help. I wonder how long they will make us agonize over this one???