The Boston Bruins may yet find a way out of their salary cap jam and be able to sign their restricted free agents Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy. But it may take a deal with the Devils to do it.
According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the New Jersey Devils have at least kicked the tires, if not outright expressed interest in 35-year-old David Backes, who has two years left with an annual cap hit of $6 million.
The New Jersey Devils are one of the four teams closest to the $60.2 million salary cap floor.
It has been a busy summer in New Jersey. GM Ray Shero acquired defenseman P.K. Subban at the NHL draft last month. Subban has three years left with a $9 million annual cap hit, yet New Jersey has a projected cap hit of only $61.6 million, which gives them about $19.8 million to spend.
The New Jersey cap situation is unique. The Ottawa Senators have $21.9 million in cap space and must reach the cap floor, but they are in a full rebuilding mode. The other teams with similar cap space also have big-name RFAs to re-sign, too. The Winnipeg Jets have $22.8 million but sniper Patrick Laine remains unsigned, and the Colorado Avalanche has $23.2 million but breakout star Mikko Rantanen has not yet been paid.