Report: NHL rejects Chris Kelly’s contract extension

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RDS’ Renaud Lavoie floats some surprising news: the NHL reportedly rejected the Boston Bruins’ four-year, $12 million contract extension with Chris Kelly. Lavoie refers to “cap issues” as what railroaded the deal.

Update: Elliotte Friedman reports that it might be a “tagging” issue and believes that the Bruins might need to wait until July 1 to try again. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty backed that up from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.

“Peter Chiarelli addressed Kelly contract earlier today. He said he can’t make deal official until July 1 due to “payroll tagging” cap issue.”

Looking at the Bruins’ Cap Geek page, if you take out Kelly’s canceled $3 million cap hit, Boston has a little under $62 million committed to salaries for next season. If the ceiling is indeed $70.3 million, they’d have about $5 million in cap space if Kelly gets the same deal on July 1 and as much as $8 million if the Bruins suddenly have cold feet.

(Some believe that Kelly simply isn’t worth $3 million per year, but that’s a discussion for another day/the comments.)