A few weeks ago, I wrote an article explaining why the Boston Bruins should stay out of the free-agent battle for Marian Hossa.
The main reason I cited was strictly financial. Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins management would have to do too much to clear enough salary cap space to bring Hossa to Beantown. But I thought of a way they might be able to make this happen.
The idea originally occurred when I was keeping track of the NHL draft on June 20 and 21. One of the biggest headlines of the first day was that the dreaded Canadians had been given permission to speak with Mats Sundin.
It didn't strike me right away, but the more I thought of how this related to Marian Hossa, the more I felt the Bruins might be able to bring Hossa to Beantown.
I read a lot about the NHL, and I track it fairly closely. The three teams that have been named the most in the hunt for Hossa are the Rangers, Canadians, and Bruins. If the Canadians bring in Sundin (if I'm not mistaken, they've been given until 17 July to try to reach an agreement), there's no way they can afford Hossa.
Why not the Bruins? To bring him to Boston, this is what the Bruins need to do:
Trade Manny Fernandez
If the Bruins bought out Manny, they'd still have to eat some of his salary over the next two years. At $4 million plus, that's a hit of about $1.5 million each year.
Save that money. Find a team willing to deal for Fernandez (maybe the Kings), and take a draft pick in return.
Re-sign Alex Auld
Trading Manny won't help if you don't have a reliable goalie to take his place. Fernandez was brought in to give Tuuka Rask more time to develop in Providence. If you can find a taker for Manny, offer Auld a contract—maybe two or three years, at $1.5 to $2 million a year.
Timmy Thomas and Auld would be the goalies this year. Next year, it would be Rask and Auld. If the B's can make both these things happen, they've just saved $2+ million which can be used to go after Hossa.
Buy Out Murray
Glen Murray has been an outstanding Bruin. However, he is getting older and his skills seem to be eroding. Watching him leave Boston would be painful, but buying him out would give the Bruins another $2.5 million in the hunt for Hossa.
I know some of this would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make happen. And Chiarelli would still have to find $2 to 3 million to bring Hossa to Boston.
But the biggest problem the Bruins had last year was goal scoring. Hossa would help put an end to that in a big way.