Bruins

Understanding long-term IR and how it could affect Bruins’ cap crunch

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

We're less than three weeks away from the start of training camp, and the Bruins still find themselves in a similar position to the one they were in back in late June — stalled on the RFA front thanks to a finite amount of available capital.

At this point in the final weeks of the summer, it seems more likely than not that David Backes will remain with the organization in some capacity in 2019-20, scuttling Boston’s best avenue toward freeing up cap space in order to re-sign both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to new contracts. 

The next men up on the NHL roster that figure to be trade bait as part of a cap-clearing maneuver are Kevan Miller and John Moore — a pair of veteran contributors on the blue line that will cost a combined $5.25 million against the cap this season.

While both Moore and Miller would be valuable starting additions to most D corps across the league, Boston’s blue line (especially with McAvoy and Carlo returning) has the depth to part ways with a few regulars in order to save up cash — especially with youngsters like Urho Vaakanainen, Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon knocking at the door and Steven Kampfer primed to serve in a reserve role.

But finding a trade for Miller or Moore might be easier said than done, due in large part to the current status of both players going into a new campaign.