With the trade of Tim Thomas, the Bruins now have an extra $5 million in cap space this season. According to CapGeek, the Bruins have about $7 million in cap space right now. If or when the Bruins put Marc Savard on long term injury reserve, that number will jump to about $11 million. That's a lot of room for Peter Chiarelli to play with.
With a team that has started 7-1-1, there doesn't seem to be a need for a big name acquisition, especially in a shortened season when everyone feels they still have a chance. But that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement, because there are two spots. One is a third line left wing. The other, and probably most pressing, is the need to improve the power play.
The Bruins have been linked in the past to several players that could improve the power play, including Bobby Ryan, Keith Yandle, and Stephen Weiss. While it would be very nice to see any of those players in a Bruin sweater, the Bruins would have to give up a lot to get one of them.
Weiss may be the only one of that group the Chiarelli takes a hard look at. He can drastically improve the Bruins power play, where he as shined in his career. He has 143 career points on the power play. And while he is a natural center, depending on what Chiarelli has to give up to get him, Weiss could fit on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. It would be no surprise if Weiss does come to Boston this year.
With Anaheim off to a fast start and Phoenix in the hunt, it doesn't seem likely that either team would be willing to part with either key player. Yandle and Ryan would both cost the Bruins too much to get. At this point, Chiarelli doesn't want to shake up the core of this team. After all, this is pretty much the same team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Another possibility with the cap space would be to tender an offer sheet to Ryan O'Reilly. O'Reilly, a restricted free agent, is currently in a contract dispute with the Colorado Avalanche. While the Bruins would lose some draft picks if he is allowed to leave, it couldn't hurt to add a player like O'Reilly, who's offensive skills could also help the power play and add some more punch on the third line.
All these players would help fix the Bruins power play problems and even the need for a third line winger. Expect Chiarelli to make some move or moves with the extra space. He has until April 3, the trading deadline, to make those movesTags: Bobby Ryan, Boston, Boston Bruins, Hockey, Keith Yandle, NHL, Peter Chiarelli, Rich Peverley, Stephen Weiss, Tim Thomas