Five players the Bruins could trade in the NHL offseason to create salary cap space

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Five players the Bruins could trade in the offseason to create salary cap space originally appeared nbc sports boston

The Boston Bruins go -in during the 2022-23 NHL season in pursuit of the Stanley Cup title.

They traded a ton of draft picks To acquire Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnett Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov before the March 3 trade deadline. They signed veteran centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci signs one-year contract which will result Overage applies to his 2023-24 salary cap,

after a surprising first round playoff exit The Bills have come because of the Bruins, at the hands of the Florida Panthers. Next season the roster will look different.

“We took a little advantage of our cap position – everyone knows our overage at $4.5 million – so we have some constraints, as do many teams around the . Our goal this season was to have the best roster possible. Which we could put together and try to get a legitimate run, and we failed, no question,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We have to pay him a little bit up front. It could mean we're installing young players, it could mean roster changes we want to make. It could mean I'm going to be one of those three players.” (acquired before the trade deadline) or other unrestricted players. We have to address two RFAs in Trent Frederick and Jeremy Swayman, which we will do. There is a possibility of changes in the roster. We're not going to be the same team.”

The salary cap is expected to rise by only $1 million to the $83.5 million cap for the 2023-24 campaign. The Bruins have more than 10 players from their playoff roster eligible for unrestricted or restricted free agency this summer. superstar right wing David Pastrnak's salary cap hit rises from $6.67 million to $11.25 million With their eight-year extension starting from 2023-24,

The Bruins have limited salary space (under $10 million) and a lot of guys to re-sign. If Bergeron and/or Krejci retire, center immediately becomes an area that needs upgrading.

Which players should the Bruins explore the possibility of trading to free up much-needed cap space this offseason? Here are five names worth considering. all salary information via CapFriendly,

2022-23 statistics: 16G, 20A in 61GP

Contract: Cap hit of $6 million until 2024-25

age: 31

Hall had an impressive first round series against the Panthers with five and three assists in seven games. Having a player of Hall's caliber on the third line was an enormous luxury, which really showed off the impressive depth of Boston's roster.

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Hall will turn 32 in November. He has dealt with a lot of injuries in his career, including a lower-body injury that forced him to miss 20 games late in the 2022-23 regular season. Hall was also a bit inconsistent offensively this past season and had separate goal droughts of 15, eight and seven games. He hasn't scored more than 20 goals in a season since 2017-18.

It could be really tough for the Bruins to re-sign left wing Tyler Bertuzzi, who they acquired from the Red Wings before the March 3 deadline. He is three years younger than Hall and proved to be an excellent fit for the Bruins, especially with David Pasternak. Bertuzzi is a quality goal scorer, an excellent playmaker, contributes on special teams and does the dirty work to win puck battles on slick areas of the ice. He's going to be an iconic player in a year where the free agent class isn't very strong. Moving Hall and his $6 million cap hit would give the Bruins more flexibility to potentially bring back Bertuzzi or some of their other UFA picks.

Based on the fact that the Bruins only have seven forwards under contract for next season, trading a defenseman and Hall would not be a priority.

Hall's contract has a no-trade clause that allows him to submit to a 10-team no-trade list in 2023–24 and 2024–25. per cap friendly,

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2022-23 statistics: 4G in 75G, 22A

Contract: $3.687 million cap hit by 2023-24

age: 29

Matt Grzelcyk is a very good defender. He's a great skater, he's good at igniting transitions on the ice, he creates scoring chances on 5-on-5 and power etc., removing him from the lineup for game 6 against the panthers And putting Connor Clifton in his place was one of the biggest mistakes Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery made in Round 1.

The Bruins need help up front and especially in center. The blue line is an area where the Bruins have enough depth to trade away a quality player like Grzylic and still be fine. Therefore, moving Grzalic as part of a package for cap relief or as an impact forward is a deal worth considering.

Another factor is Grzalic has one more year left on his contract. If the Bruins don't see Grzalic as part of their future plans, it makes sense not to risk trading him and losing assets for next summer with nothing to lose in free agency.

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2022-23 statistics: 5G, 7A in 54G

Contract: $3 million cap hit by 2023-24

age: 31

Forbert is a solid defensive tackler. He blocks shots, he plays tough defensive work, he fights in dirty areas of the ice and he was a key component of the Bruins' No. 1-ranked penalty kill last season. PK was where Forbert really shone, but the B's showed they could kill penalties at a high rate even when not in the lineup. Boston had the league's top penalty kill (93.3 percent) during the 15 games they missed to finish the regular season.

Trading Forbert for a draft pick or prospect and replacing him with Jacob Zboril on the left side of the blue line makes sense. Zorboril is not as strong defensively as Forbert but he brings more offensive skills to the lineup. The cap savings would be worth it.

Forboort's no-trade clause allows him to submit to a 3-team no-trade list, per cap friendly,

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Mike Reilly, D

2022-23 statistics:0 G, 1 A in 10 games with the Boston Bruins; 7G, 19A in 36 games with Providence Bruins

Contract: $3 million cap hit by 2023-24

age: 29

The Bruins weren't able to move Reilly last season. As a , his contract was buried in the AHL. Now that Reilly is in the final year of his deal, perhaps he will be a little easier to trade. Reilly is not a bad player by any means. He skates well, he can move the ice he holds and his playmaking skills are above average. Teams could do worse than rally on their third pair.

Finding a new home for Reilly should be a priority for the Bruins this summer, whether that means retaining salary or attaching a draft pick to the deal.

2022-23 statistics: 40-6-1, .938 SV%, 1.89 GAA

Contract: Cap hit of $5 million through 2024-25

age: 29

Trade Potential Vezina Trophy Winner?

It's not as crazy as it sounds.

Ullmark's stellar 2022-23 season came out of nowhere. Sure, he's been a solid goaltender for most of his career, including his first season in Boston in 2021-22. But no one could have imagined that he would win the goalscoring Triple Crown by leading the league in wins, goals against average and save percentage.

What are the chances that he will repeat his 2022-23 regular season success – or something similar – going forward? It's possible, but the chances are probably not great. However, the real reason to consider trading Ullmark is that the Bruins can't afford to spend upwards of $9-10 million in cap space on goaltending when they have other flamboyant rosters to address.

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Backup goalie Jeremy Swaman is a restricted free agent this summer. He could earn around $4 million per season in his next contract. The three-year, $12 million deal that Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger signed as an RFA last September is a good template for Swayman.

If we assume that Swayman's next deal includes a cap hit of $4 million, this would result in the Bruins spending $9 million on their goaltenders. The number of teams that spent $9 million or more in cap space on their goaltenders this past season was less than five.

The Bruins have two No. 1 caliber goaltenders in Ullmark and Swaman. They can afford to move a player of Ulmark's caliber and still get top-tier targeting. Swayman is not a fluke. We have a large enough sample size that he is capable of being a top 10 goalkeeper. Only five goaltenders have a better save percentage than Swemann since the start of 2021-22. He is also five years younger than Ulmark and fits into the age timeline of core pieces of the franchise such as David Pasternak. Charlie McAvoy, etc.

Ullmark's no-movement clause expires at the end of the 2022–23 league year. The final two years of his contract include a no-trade clause, where he can submit a list of teams (16 in 2023–24, 15 in 2024–25) he will not accept a trade to join, per cap friendly,

If the Bruins trade Ullmark, they will need to find a veteran backup for Swayman. Brandon Busey and Kyle Keiser are not ideal NHL backups given their lack of experience. Signing a cheap veteran backup would be the best to go in that scenario.