May 14, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) celebrates his goal with teammates defenseman Torey Krug (47) and center David Krejci (46) as Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) skates away during the second period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Small Spending for the Bruins in NHL Free Agency


Chiarelli Leaning Away from Big Free Agency

The NHL Draft is right around the corner, and for the Boston Bruins, while that June 27-28 date entails building a future foundation, the opening of free agency on July 1 could present an more immediate purpose.

The Bruins, despite boasting one of the best teams in the league during the regular season, fumbled and lost to the Montreal Canadiens two rounds before the Stanley Cup finals, where many projected them to stand.

Nonetheless, General Manager Peter Chiarelli won’t lose his cool, regarding his current squad as a first-rate competitor.

“We had a very good team and, with a little bit of tweaking, I feel we’ll be right back where we were in the past,” he said in a conference call today.

He notes that the salary cap situation, which now has only $4.5 million with multiple expiring contracts and open roster spots, will affect the decision-making process this offseason.

“We’ll probably take a step back, and look at what may be lesser deals — meaning not the high-profile deals that may be available — partially due to salary cap reasons, and partially due to team chemistry reasons,” said Chiarelli, per the Providence Journal.

Boston has yet to sign restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, young players with promise who showed their worth last season.

While unpredictable, free agency keeps Chiarelli on his toes.

“As long as the expectations are in place and you know the player that you’re getting, I wouldn’t necessarily say [free agency] is a bad deal,” Chiarelli said. “It may be in five years that it’s a bad deal, but you just have to be cautious and avoid the hysteria that can happen.”

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