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Bruins may lose some wiggle room under next season’s salary cap

Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton (left) and Torey Krug will be restricted free agents. John Tlumacki/Globe File/Globe Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the Bruins perpetually right up against the salary cap these days, every dollar allowed under the cap counts. So even though the news was good on Saturday regarding the cap for next season — at least relative to the plunging Canadian dollar — the Bruins can’t be happy about the potential for losing even a couple of hundred thousand dollars of wiggle room.

“I assure you that even with the decline in the Canadian dollar, the salary cap doesn’t fall off a cliff,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Saturday at the All-Star Game.

In December, the projections had put the salary cap at $73 million for the 2015-2016 season, but that assumed that the Canadian dollar was at 88 cents on the US dollar. That’s no longer the case. So, as Bettman said, the cap would fall to $72.2 million if the Canadian dollar is at 82 cents on the US dollar and $71.7 if it’s at 80 cents.

On Friday, Bettman said, the Canadian dollar had been at 81 cents on the US dollar.


For the Bruins, the news wasn’t great, even if the cap might fall approximately $1.3 million under those projections. They already have approximately $54 million committed for the 2015-2016 season, not including Marc Savard’s contract, and still need to fit a bunch of free agents under the cap.

Boston needs to find room for Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, and Niklas Svedberg, who are all restricted free agents. Carl Soderberg is an unrestricted free agent, along with Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell. Milan Lucic will be in the last year of his current contract.

The Bruins had significant difficulty with the cap this season given its lower-than-expected $69 million ceiling and overages that the Bruins owed, mainly due to Jarome Iginla’s deal. That resulted in the much-maligned deal that sent Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders just before the start of the season.


So Boston management can only hope that the Canadian dollar stays at least stable, rather than continuing to fall. Because they will need every dollar they can to continue to put together a Stanley Cup-level team for next season and in the future.

“That plays a part of where the cap will end up,” Bruins president Cam Neely said of the Canadian dollar on Saturday before Bettman had made his comments to the media. “At this point of the season I’m not sure how much more it’s going to affect it.

“So we’ll be keeping a close eye and hopefully get some decent information as time goes on so you can plan and prepare for next season because it’s important, especially teams that are up against the cap and you’ve got future dollars committed. You want to make sure that you’re planning accordingly.”

Johnny’s adventure

He was in. He was out. He was in again.

That’s what the weekend was like for Johnny Gaudreau, the former Boston College Eagle and now Calgary Flame. The rookie was alerted by the media on Friday that he had been added to the All-Star Game, in addition to playing in the skills competition as a rookie. Then word filtered out that that was not the case.

By Saturday evening, he was back in, having been added to Team Toews for Sunday’s game.


“I heard some rumors I was playing at first and I got kind of a little bit excited,” he said. “I heard I wasn’t playing, which wasn’t very fun. Then I got a chance to play and I was extremely excited about it.”

Gaudreau had two assists in his 14:06 of ice time in the game.

“It was awesome,” Gaudreau said. “It was a great experience for me. Being a younger guy here was really special for me and getting to play in the game was even better.”

His parents had intended to spend the weekend in Chestnut Hill, Mass., watching his brother Matthew play for the Eagles against UConn, but they made a last-minute switch. Gaudreau said they drove to Columbus on Sunday morning. Record set for goals

The teams combined to score 29 goals on Sunday, which bested the all-time All-Star Game record of 26, set in 2001, as Team Toews won, 17-12. The teams tied the record with 6:51 to go in the third on a goal by Patrick Kane, which was the first goal of the night not greeted with a cannon blast. His teammate, Jonathan Toews, added the 27th and record-setting goal 1:12 later. The 17th goal for Team Toews also set an All-Star Game record . . . Alex Ovechkin spent most of Friday night’s fantasy draft lobbying to be picked last so that he would get the Honda awarded to the last pick. He ended up going third to last with the final two players both getting cars. As it turned out, Ovechkin wanted the car because he wanted to donate it to the NoVa Cool Cats, a local hockey club for kids with special needs, as he told reporters after Sunday’s game. When Honda found out his plan, after the draft, the company gave him a Honda Accord, which will go to the Cool Cats.


Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.