The Bruins announced Monday morning that they have signed defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith to one-year contracts worth $1.4 million apiece.

Torey Krug and Reilly Smith both took one-year deals. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Torey Krug and Reilly Smith both took one-year deals. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Bruins got two blossoming young players, one a power-play cog and the other a second-line right wing, to take one-year contracts worth $1.4 million apiece.

Yet when all is said and done – and admittedly, we don’€™t say this often around these parts – Monday’€™s signings may not end up in the ‘€œAdvantage: Chiarelli’€ column.

Both Smith and Krug had exactly no leverage. They were entry-level free agents (players who had reached the end of their entry level deals but hadn’€™t accrued enough NHL service time to qualify for restricted free agency), so they were only allowed to negotiate with one team. That team happened to only have $3.218 million in cap space, so the summer, as well as the first 11 days of training camp, served as a waiting game of sorts.

On Monday, the wait ended, and the players swallowed their pride and took what is essentially the hockey version of the franchise tag, but instead of getting big money, they got underpaid.

That’€™s great for the Bruins this season. They don’€™t have to trade Johnny Boychuk, which was the worst-case scenario all along, and they don’€™t have to trade Chris Kelly, who despite carrying a high cap hit ($3 million), makes the Bruins a better team in ways unquantifiable. They still have to trade someone to fill out their roster with their young forwards or Simon Gagne, but the savings required is now under $1 million.

With the one-year deals to Smith and Krug, however, the Bruins are asking for trouble going forward. They already have $49,897,857 against the salary cap committed to 10 players (Marc Savard not included) for the 2015-16 season, with some important players still unsigned past this season.

The big ones: Johnny Boychuk and Carl Soderberg are both in the final year of their contracts before unrestricted free agency, while Smith and Krug can now be added to a restricted free agent class highlighted by Dougie Hamilton. Signing Hamilton to a multi-year deal that will eat up the early years of his prime is critical if they want to avoid the mistake the Canadiens made by giving P.K. Subban a bridge deal and then having to give him an eight-year, $72 million contract.

Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Adam McQuaid are also unrestricted free agents to be, while Jordan Caron, Justin Florek and Niklas Svedberg are set to become restricted free agents at season’s end. Peter Chiarelli has said he is going to trade a defenseman; McQuaid ($1.566 million cap hit) or Bartkowski ($1.25 million) would be enough to solve the Bruins’ cap situation for now.

If the Bruins had more cap space, the safe play would have been to give both Krug and Smith two- or three-year deals with cap hits of $2.5 million or more. With good seasons –€” Krug had 40 points last season and Smith raced out to 18 goals in the first 52 games of the season before getting sick during the Olympic break and being ineffective down the stretch of the regular season — both players could command even more than that next summer, but unlike these negotiations, they’€™ll be able to both file for arbitration and talk to other teams.

This isn’€™t so dissimilar from what happened when the Bruins signed Jarome Iginla last summer. Knowing cap space was tight, they bet on the current season by giving Iginla a deal that would see most of its money count against the next season in the form of a cap penalty. They got a great season out of Iginla, but ultimately were unable to sign him and ended up in the sticky situation in which they currently find themselves.

The Bruins are again betting on this season. Time will tell if it pays off or results in a messy offseason next summer that sees them lose more players.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Torey Krug

Torey Krug

The Bruins announced Monday morning that they have signed defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith to one-year contracts worth $1.4 million apiece.

The B’€™s, who entered training camp with $3.218 million in cap space, ultimately did not have to trade anyone in order to create more room to sign Smith and Krug, who were entry level free agents unable to negotiate with other teams.

Though getting the players to take low dollars is a financial win for the Bruins this season, it also presents a major risk to the B’s going forward. Both Smith and Krug will be restricted free agents at the end of the season and will have arbitration rights.

It also adds Smith and Krug to Boston’s list of players it needs to sign going forward. Both Johnny Boychuk and Carl Soderberg will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end, while Dougie Hamilton, Smith and Krug are among the B’s restricted free-agents-to-be.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Dougie Hamilton is entering his third NHL season. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)When Dougie Hamilton gets into the thick of his career, he will be one of the best defensemen in the NHL.



Gregory Campbell was once again absent from practice for the Bruins Sunday, and with the clock ticking down to Oct. 8, Claude Julien admitted after practice that Campbell might not be ready for the opener.

Gregory Campbell was once again absent from practice for the Bruins Sunday, and with the clock ticking down to Oct. 8, Claude Julien admitted after practice that Campbell might not be ready for the opener.

Campbell, who has been out with a core injury, has yet to take the ice in training camp. He is part of a competition for fourth-line playing time, as he, Alexander Khokhlachev and Ryan Spooner are all possibilities to center the fourth line. The team will consider him at wing if either of the young centers claim a job.

“I’d say right now it’s questionable,” Julien said of Campbell’s readiness. “Questionable means it could go either way, and I don’t know if he’ll be ready for that opener. From what I’m hearing, there’s a possibility he could be skating this week. That will be determined on how he progresses the next few days here.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

 

 

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins cut 11 players from training camp Sunday, with Seth Griffith and Zach Trotman the biggest names among them.

Seth Griffith

Seth Griffith

The Bruins cut 11 players from training camp Sunday, with Seth Griffith and Zach Trotman the biggest names among them.

Also sent to Providence were forwards Alex Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Jared Knight, Matt Lindblad, Tyler Randell and Ben Sexton. Defensemen Chris Casto and Joe Morrow were also sent down. Bracken Kearns, who was in on a tryout, was released from his tryout agreement. Randell must clear waivers before he can be assigned to Providence.

Trotman figured to be cut, as his status as perhaps Providence’€™s defensemen doesn’€™t do much considering Boston’€™s logjam on defense. Griffith, however, is something of a surprise cut, as the Bruins gave him ample looks in Reilly Smith’€™s spot on the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line with Brad Marchand.

David Pastrnak returned to practice for the B’€™s, skating on a line with Ryan Spooner and Ville Leino. The Bruins’€™ camp roster (34 players counting the injured Gregory Campbell and Linus Arnesson as well as Anthony Camara, who is out with an illness) is now small enough to ice one big group rather than two. Saturday’€™s lines were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Eriksson
Marchand – Bergeron – Gagne
Kelly – Soderberg – Fraser
Paille – Cunningham – Caron
Leino – Spooner – Pastrnak
Florek – Khokhlachev – Robins

Defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, David Warsofsky, Chris Breen, Adam McQuaid

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg, Malcolm Subban, Jeremy Smith

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Milan Lucic made his preseason debut as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 3-1, Saturday night in Detroit.

Lucic, who sat out Boston’€™s first three preseason games as he recovered from offseason wrist surgery, played 14:57 for the B’€™s, registering no shots on goal and taking three minor penalties.

Milan Lucic made his preseason debut as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 3-1, Saturday night in Detroit.

Lucic, who sat out Boston’€™s first three preseason games as he recovered from offseason wrist surgery, played 14:57 for the B’€™s, registering no shots on goal and taking three minor penalties.

The Bruins got goals from Dougie Hamilton and Ville Leino, with Brad Marchand securing the victory with an empty-netter. Hamilton assisted on Leino’€™s goal, giving him a two-point night.

Tuukka Rask played two periods for the B’€™s, stopping 14 of 15 shots faced. Jeremy Smith stopped all eight shots he faced in the third period.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean