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Some Long-Term Concerns For Boston Bruins

While most of the NHL is focused on the short-term, one team, The Boston Bruins, might have eyes on what their play will be long-term.

While most of the NHL is focused on the short-term, one team might have eyes on what their play will be long-term.

NBC Sports Adam Gretz examined what’s in store for the Boston Bruins, focusing mostly on retirement talk from goaltender Tuukka Rask, contract concerns for unrestricted free agent defenseman Torey Krug and whether or not the Bruins have room for restricted free agent winger Jake DeBrusk.

Currently, the team is in pretty good shape. A good chunk of their team is signed long-term and nobody on the team carries a salary cap hit of greater than David Krejci’s $7.25 million per season. With the quartet of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy, taking up less than $25 million of the team’s overall salary cap, the Bruins are in good shape if they can keep the trend of below-market value deals going.

Gretz feels there’s enough salary-cap space to re-sign both Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk but there are concerns about keeping Krug at a reasonable cap number (around $6.5 million per season). Krug has said he’s willing to take a discount to stay with the team, but he’s going to be a wanted commodity on the free agent market. For the Bruins, the key might be in how they structure his contract, keeping the cap hit reasonable but ensuring Krug gets his money.

Goaltending becomes another long-term concern. Gretz writes, “Right now the duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak is as good as it gets in the NHL.” But, recently, Rask mentioned he was contemplating retirement. Is Jaroslav Halak their guy? And, if he is, what’s he worth? He will be a UFA this summer.

If Krug leaves, how long before Zdeno Chara follows? The veteran is in great shape but he can’t play forever. And, if the Bruins lose both Krug and Chara in the next two seasons, that’s half of their top-four.

From there, what is Rask retires and Halak wants too much money? Remember, the key for the Bruins has been in keeping everyone around or under that top-end salary. Is it possible the one of the team’s strenghts in their goaltending tandem becomes a huge weakness?

Related: Blue Jackets Working Long-Term Deal For Gavrikov

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