Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knows that there might be choppy waters as the Boston front office navigates its way through some difficult salary cap decisions this summer. Those difficult moments began on Wednesday morning as the Bruins bid adieu to longtime Bruins defenseman/alternate captain Andrew Ference, and they will continue as Boston attempts to clear off space for a number of planned contract extensions.


The Bruins have $59 million in player salary committed to next season with the cap ceiling dropping to $63.4 million, but they do have the $4 million Marc Savard salary exception once he’s placed on long term injured reserve.


Chiarelli confirmed the CSNNE.com report from Tuesday that the Bruins won’t be using any compliance/amnesty buyouts this summer, and admitted they’ve got some work to do over the next few months.


“What does CapGeek[.com] say this morning?" Chiarelli asked. "I’ve got some work to do. [CapGeek is] right, and we’ve got some decisions to make in short order. We’re confident that whatever decisions we make, the team that we have at the end of the day will be a contending team that has a real good chance to win again. So we’ll find the right mix, but we do have some hard decision to make, including deciding on re-signing players and deciding on retaining players.”


The first order of business will be signing playoff warrior and heart-and-soul leader Patrice Bergeron to an eight-year contract extension that will pay No. 37 $6 million-plus dollars per season, ensuring that the center retires in a Bruins uniform. Expect the Bergeron contract to be something in the eight-year range for $48-52 million.