Thursday, July 24, 2008

Murray headed for buyout

The Bruins locked up one of their younger players in 25-year-old Dennis Wideman yesterday, signing the defenseman to a four-year, $15.5 million extension that translates to a $3.875 million annual cap hit.

On the same day, in a salary-clearing transaction, the Bruins took the first step in buying out and saying farewell to one of their veterans, placing 35-year-old Glen Murray and his $4.15 million salary on waivers.
More squeezing and tightening under the cap. And there's definitely more to come.

Boston at the moment is one of seven teams potentially over the salary cap, and dumping Murray's deal in a buyout will put them under. The Bruins brought in Michael Ryder for $4-million a season, which combined with Wideman's contract put them over.

Murray's had an awful time with injuries (groin and hip) since the lockout, averaging 62 games played, 23 goals and 43 points over the past three seasons. Last year was the real low point, as he posted his lowest totals in 11 years.

He's still an NHL-calibre player, and should find a home. Some have even suggested reuniting him with Joe Thornton out in San Jose, as Murray had a career year with 44 goals and 92 points alongside the big centre five years ago.

Given the Sharks' lack of cap space and the fact Jonathan Cheechoo is still on Thornton's right wing, that seems like a long shot.

Murray is a big body and he has a nice wrist shot, but isn't the greatest defensively. He's probably suited to more of a power-play specialist's role, and catching on at a steep discount somewhere like Ottawa would make sense.

As for the Wideman deal, it's a little high, but that's about the range that every young RFA defenceman is signing in these days. He was ninth in the league in ice time with more than 2,000 minutes played and was almost the perfect partner for Zdeno Chara.

At this rate, Brent Burns ($3.55-million) and Brent Seabrook ($3.5-million) are looking like bargains.

Spector has more on teams trying to get under the cap.



At 7:03 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NHL's best young D-men are now under a contract except Jay Bouwmeester and who will have nice group of comparisons:

Dion Phaneuf 6.5M
Mike Green 5.25M
Shea Weber 4.5M
Joni Pitkanen 4M
Brent Burns 3.55M
Brent Seabrook 3.5M

I can't remember for sure but Edmonton gave Tom Gilbert 4M a year??? Anybody else?

At 7:13 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous ]effadams#2 said...

Last years signing of Kevin Bieksa by Dave Nonis, 3.75m/year looks pretty good right now. My guess is he easily could have raked in 5-6m or more as he would have been an UFA in this summer of slim pickings.

Boy do I miss Dave.

At 7:18 p.m., July 24, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Bieksa really struggled last season when he was healthy, and I think it's pretty tough to predict what his game will look like going forward.

There's a reason his name is popping up in so many trade rumours.

At 8:25 p.m., July 24, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

Yeah, because a guy gets a serious knee injury, plays in 34 games, racks up 90 penalty minutes and gets MORE than he would have gotten the year before.

At 8:48 p.m., July 24, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Bieksa actually had his calf muscle cut by a skate, quite badly, too. It shouldn't affect him long term like a bum knee might.

At 9:01 p.m., July 24, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

The Wild locked up Nick Schultz to just $3.5m a year as well... two young, top 4 d-men for just over $7m. Great work on that front by Risebrough, for sure.

Yeah, once Gilbert gets $4m per, Wideman at $3.85m doesn't look silly at all.

At 10:30 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who moved Brent Burns from wing to defence but it has to rank up there with a decision to move Wendel Clark from defence to forward as one of the best moves ever.

It happens in junior hockey but rarely at NHL level. Imagine drafting Crosby or Ovie as number one and saying to media that he's going to play defence. And the move would be good in the long run.

It takes guts and vision. Then again Burns could've been dandy power forward, too.

At 10:33 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't looked through the CBA to confirm this but isn't the buyout period over? Wasn't June 30th the last day to buy out players under the normal process? As far as I know the only way to buy out players now is if a team loses an arbitration case. In that case they are allowed to buy out a player to make room for the arbitration award. I don't think Boston has any arbitration cases now that Wideman has signed.

At 11:10 p.m., July 24, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Anon: according to James's link to the Boston Globe, the Bruins get an extra 48 hour window because Wideman has filed for arbitration.

Tough to keep track of...

At 11:10 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:02 a.m., July 25, 2008, Anonymous ALeX said...

Wrong link for the Spector story. It should be


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