BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins were already facing a number of questions this offseason, and now with veteran forward Jarome Iginla signing a contract with Colorado the situation becomes all the more dicey.
The Bruins have gotten themselves into NHL salary cap jail, and because of this limited flexibility Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk thinks the only way to remedy Iginla’s absence is to promote from within the ranks.
He joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show Tuesday night to discuss what’s next for the Bruins. He thinks the answer lies on the current roster and in Providence.
“(General manager) Peter Chiarelli has got to do it internally. They are a talented team up front. They’ve got guys who can score, although they’re not an overwhelmingly scoring team in terms of individual talent — they are more the sum of the parts.
“I think there’s another step for Matt Fraser to go to. He didn’t get that good of a look last year but I’ve seen him play and there’s definitely another step there. Reilly Smith with more consistency could have an even better year than he did this year, and I think Loui Eriksson needs to give him more than what he gave them last year. Obviously he was sidelined by the concussions and everything, but you go back to his time in Dallas and this was a guy hovering around the 70-point plateau. Eriksson can give them more and he’s going to have to.
“I don’t think Chiarelli is just blowing smoke when he says we’re going to get results from within. They are gonna come, but it’s not going to be easy because Iginla had a really good year and he fit so seamlessly into that top line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci replacing Nathan Horton.
“I don’t think Eriksson is the ideal fit but he’s going to have to work at it,” Halford concludes.
Listen below for the full discussion, including possible free agent targets: