Elise Amendola/Associated Press
What must be addressed: Shed one or two surplus defensemen, plus re-sign restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith.
The Boston Globe's Amelie Benjamin reports the Bruins currently have nine NHL-ready blueliners. GM Peter Chiarelli prefers not to enter the season carrying that many defenders. The Bruins are also above the $69 million salary cap by about $809,000, hampering their efforts to re-sign Krug and Smith.
The Bruins will receive cap relief by placing concussed center Marc Savard ($4.027 million) on long-term injured reserve when the season begins. Trading one or two of their extra defensemen could also provide additional cap space.
Options: NHL teams usually carry seven defensemen during the season. CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty believes Adam McQuaid and David Warsofsky could become trade candidates. Earlier this summer, veteran blueliner Johnny Boychuk was also mentioned as a trade option, but Haggerty believes Chiarelli prefers to retain Boychuk.
Possible moves: McQuaid or Warsofski could be on the move. Much will depend upon what shakes out during training camp and preseason.
Of the pair, McQuaid should attract the most interest in the trade market. Though oft-injured, the 27-year-old is a big (6'5”, 209 pounds), experienced shutdown defenseman carrying an affordable $1.566 million cap hit. McQuaid is also eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. Chiarelli could replace him by promoting a younger, healthy and cheaper defenseman.