Originally written on NHL Hot Stove  |  Last updated 10/11/11

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 17: Rich Peverley #47 of the Atlanta Thrashers celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime against the Dallas Stars at Philips Arena on December 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Boston Bruins announced that they have re-signed center/wing Rich Peverley to a 3 year deal worth $3.25 million per year.

The undrafted 29-year-old from Guelph, Ontario arrived in Boston via a trade in February, 2011 and played a key role in the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship. Peverley scored four times and added eight assists in the 2011 playoffs. He has tallied two goals in the Bruins’ first three games of the 2011-2012 campaign even though the Bruins have only amassed two points in the standings.

Peverley’s offensive career highs in the NHL came in the 2009-2010 when he put up 22 goals and 55 points. Following the trade to Boston, Peverley scored only four goals and seven points through 23 games while playing primarily on Boston’s third line. Following the retirement of Mark Recchi, the Bruins are counting on 20+ goal, 50+ point production on a consistent basis from Peverley on Boston’s second line, centered by two-way stalwart Patrice Bergeron.

With the three-year extension awarded to Peverley, the Bruins have a total of seven forwards (not including forward Marc Savard, who is on LTIR, recovering from multiple concussions), five defensemen, and starting goalie Tim Thomas under contract for the 2012-2013. Those 13 players carry a combined cap hit of $41.87 million for the 2012-2013 season. Assuming a $3 million rise in the cap ceiling to $67.3 million, the Bruins would have over $26 million in available cap space to sign 10 players.

One player expected to use a significant portion of that available cap space is first line center David Krejci, whose current contract expires at the end of the 2011-2012 season. Krejci will likely command a cap hit of $5 million minimum on an extension, which would leave the Bruins with $21 million (again, based on the assumption of a $67.3 million cap ceiling for next season) and nine players to sign. If the current Bruins play to the level of their contracts, they should have no trouble filling out a roster for the 2012-2013 season with $2 million or less cap hits.

Stick checks, face washes, and slew foots are welcome on Twitter @Gordsie.


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