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Bruins know what they’re up against: cap is $71.4m

Bruins GM Don Sweeney is a big fan of Dougie Hamilton. AP/Associated Press

The Bruins finally have the number: $71.4 million.

The NHL and NHLPA announced on Tuesday the salary cap would be set at $71.4 million for the 2015-16 season, with the cap floor set at $52.8 million.

The numbers fall in line with what was expected, with the players electing to use the 5-percent escalator.

So what does that mean for the Bruins?

The Bruins have $59,841,667 committed to 15 players for the upcoming season. That doesn’t include Marc Savard’s contract, nor does it include players with two-way contracts, such as Joonas Kemppainen or Joe Morrow.

The Bruins have $37.1 million committed to nine forwards, $15,741,667 to five defensemen, and $7 million to one goaltender.


With the remaining money, the Bruins have to find room to fit in three restricted free agents (Dougie Hamilton, Brett Connolly, and Ryan Spooner), plus fill out the rest of their roster with another defenseman, a fourth line, and a backup goaltender.

Some of those players will come from the AHL, with possibilities in Kemppainen, Morrow, Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, and Brian Ferlin. The Bruins also remain interested in re-signing defenseman Adam McQuaid.

The salary cap was $69 million last season.

“You’re sort of guessing prior, but with concrete knowledge now, I think you can continue to do planning that we had been doing with a clear understanding of where you have to be,” general manager Don Sweeney told reporters in Las Vegas. “We’ve been in that general vicinity anyway, so I don’t think it came as any great surprise, but it certainly didn’t go down any lower than the level which it did today, which is a bonus for us.

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