The Boston Bruins are in talks with veteran power forward Jarome Iginla, his agent Don Meehan of Newport Sports Agency confirmed to TVA's Renaud Lavoie on Friday. Clearly both sides have interest in extending the aging star's rather successful stay in Boston.
Iginla was a force for the Bruins in his first season in black and gold, scoring 30 goals and managing 61 total points in 78 games played.
Extending Iginla might prove somewhat difficult for the Bruins, considering his age and the club's rather precarious salary cap situation. Because Iginla is 36-years-old, any deal he signs will be of the "35+" variety. Contracts signed by NHL players older than 35 carry a high degree of risk, since the annual cap-hit remains on the books even if the veteran player elects to retire during the life of their deal.
Because of the 35+ rule, the Bruins are unlikely to give Iginla any sort of serious term on a new deal. Beyond Iginla's age, the Bruins are looking at a cap-crunch situation this summer, one that the structure of Iginla's one-year contract for this past season exacerbates.
The Bruins currently have roughly $61.98 million in salary cap-hits committed to 17 players for next season per capgeek.com. Those figures include Marc Savard's cap-hit, which the Bruins will be able to spend since Savard will be on LTIR for all of next season, but don't include the penalties the Bruins are due to pay for exceeding the salary-cap during the 2013-14 season.
Iginla, for example, cost the Bruins just $1.8 million against the salary-cap last year, but ultimately made $5.5 million because he hit several of his performance bonuses. The Bruins have to make up that $3.7 million difference this upcoming season, and all told, could be penalized in excess of $4 million for the 2014-15 campaign as a result of performance bonuses hit by Iginla, Torey Krug, and Dougie Hamilton.
In addition to re-signing Iginla, should the two sides find common ground in contract talks, the Bruins have a number of talented young restricted free agent players in Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski, all of whom are due healthy raises this summer.