According to a source with first-hand knowledge of the negotiations, the Bruins and restricted free agent center Greg Campbell have virtually finalized a new two-year contract for the former Panther. Look for the Bruins to make the signing public within the next 24-48 hours.
Campbell, 26, earned $800,000 last season and was acquired by the Bruins, along with Nathan Horton, in last month’s swap that sent Dennis Wideman and a first-round pick to Florida.
Just days ago, Campbell filed for salary arbitration, with a hearing set to take place in Toronto next Thursday. Provided he signs off on the new pact–likely to be valued in the $1.1 mlllion-$1.3 million range per season–the hearing date will be scrubbed.
Boston GM Peter Chiarelli now will shift his attention to another restricted free agent, Blake Wheeler, who is scheduled for his arbitration hearing on July 27. Wheeler’s cap hit last season was $2.825 million, which could make him both more expensive and more difficult to sign. His agent, Matt Keator, said in this space yesterday that both sides would prefer to settle the new deal without entering arbitration.
Assuming that Campbell’s new deal amounts to a $1.2 million cap hit, the Bruins will be within roughly $500,000 of the league’s $59.4 million cap figure for the upcoming season.
The anticipated signings of both Wheeler and would-be rookie sensation Tyler Seguin (a $900,000 cap hit, per the NHL CBA) would force Chiarelli to make moves in order to be under the cap figure by the start of 2010-’11 schedule.