Is Horton’s departure a blessing in disguise?


The Bruins are in the middle of free agency frenzy, and as of yet nothing big (or anything) has happened for the Black and Gold. The Bruins had some tough choices in front of them, and they knew it was going to be an ugly squeeze trying to fit into the salary cap.  At the moment, Boston are (according to CapGeek) $5.15 million under the cap. The Bruins will be able to increase their cap total by an additional four million when Marc Savard is placed on long term injured reserve.

Well, that’s nine million, not counting whatever they give to Tuukka Rask. (Let’s say for sake of argument, that Tuukka is going to see a six to six and a half million dollar contract.) That leaves the Boston Bruins very little wiggle room to stay in compliance with the CBA’s new lowered salary cap. So what will the Bruins do? Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is reacting as he has these last seven seasons. His cool and methodical approach will help the organization cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.

“We are going to interview a few guys in the next couple days in this new interview period,” Chiarelli said. “We got a couple of trades we’re looking at. It’s early on in the process. As for how far off the grid, I mean I’d like to think that we can be creative in filling these holes. We got a real good core. We plan to contend for a Cup again. I think we would attract some pretty good players too, so it takes two sides to be creative. That’s something that we’d be looking at also.”

“With Nathan [Horton] gone, we got to look to our right side to see and assess how we are going to reconstruct it. We’ve got some players from within that may be able to fill, but I want to do a sweep of these players that will be available in trades and free agency. I’d like to think we’re a destination for an older player, old relatively speaking, that wants a chance to win. I’ve got to canvas that. It’s about turning over all the stones and seeing—going through the free agent list player by player. We’ll have our guys in here. We met all day yesterday. We will meet again today. You make calls and you gauge how the market’s going. You act when you think you have to act.”

The Bruins have a limitation on what they can offer players. Anyone that comes in to the Bruins next season will be under a one year contract, with just over or under a million dollars for compensation. Bringing Tuukka’s needs back in to the mix, that will only give us the chance to snag two or three people, and we still need a back up goaltender. I know it sounds harsh, and I love what Nathan Horton did for us this year, but his departure is a real blessing in disguise for us. Now it’s up to Chiarelli et al to conjure up another piece of trade magic for the Bruins this year.

Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) looks around a screen set by Boston Bruins right wing Nathan Horton (18) during the first period in game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports