The regular season is now eight days from opening and the Boston Bruins have somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million of cap room to work with after the trade of restricted free agent Phil Kessel. Depending on what rookies make the team and what bonuses they (Tuukka Rask and Zach Hamill in particular) have in their contracts, that room could be further reduced.
So there isn't much room to add anyone from outside the current roster to the mix, which doesn't seem to matter when you take a quick perusal at the list of still-available unrestricted free agents.
Take a look for yourself and see if you can get through the list without holding your nose:
Dominic Moore, W/C, 29: The most attractive of this group, the former Toronto and Buffalo forward must be kicking himself after turning down a two-year deal from the Leafs last winter. While his versatility and grit might look good in black and gold, he's way out of the Bruins' price range even if he brings his desired number down.
Miroslav Satan, LW/RW, 34 (35 next month): The veteran with more than 350 goals on his resume has never played enough defense to fit onto a Peter Chiarelli/Claude Julien team. The last thing the Bruins need is an old version of Kessel.
Robert Lang, C, 38: A year ago a second go-round for Lang on Causeway Street might've seemed like a good idea as a complementary piece, but at this point he wouldn't help much coming off major leg injuries and probably is asking for too much in compensation.
Marek Malik, 34, D; Greg de Vries, 36, D; Marc-Andre Bergeron, 28, D: All three are pretty one dimensional, and in the case of Malik and de Vries over the hill. Bergeron wouldn't really fit in because there's not much power-play time to be had.
Bottom line: Barring a late-camp trade, what you see skating in black and gold right now is what you're going to get come opening night.
Defenseman Andrew Ference skated for 23:18 of his preseason debut last night (a 6-5 shootout loss at Columbus). His recovery from offseason groin and hernia surgery had delayed his appearance in a game. He came out of the contest mostly unscathed.
Tuukka's No. 2
It would be a major upset if Tuukka Rask didn't earn the backup goaltender position. Rask has only allowed two goals in his two games, while Dany Sabourin's latest performance featured five goals allowed on 35 shots and two scores allowed in the shootout.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. He has been on the Bruins beat since the lockout for numerous publications and has been covering the Boston sports scene for a decade. Send any questions for Matt to his mailbag and he might answer them in his Bruins mailbag.