The Bruins have finally reach new deals with Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Both players have signed 1 year deals worth 1.4 million dollars. The good news is they still have about a week and a half until the start of the season to get up to speed. The bad news is that according to capgeek.com the Bruins are $3,609,143 over the cap going into the season. Yes the Bruins have the ability to move Savard's contract to LTIR so his cap hit does not affect the cap but even if they can move all 4 million of his deal they will still only be about 400,000 under the cap. If the Bruins want to have any sort of flexibility going into the season a trade will be made and very soon. The trade doesn't have to be anything to huge but just enough to create 1-2 million in cap space so that if need be moves can be made during the season. I am fully confident in the ability of management to get that trade or trades done so let's take a closer look at our resigned young guns.
First up is Reilly Smith. Smith is a 23 year old right wing who spent most of last season on the second line playing with Marchand and Bergeron. The former Dallas Stars 3rd round pick had a break out season scoring 51 points including 20 goals in his first full season also finishing plus 28 with 6 power play goals. Smith was brought over in the Seguin trade and if Dallas knew what he could do I think they would have asked for more then just Peverley in return. Before this past season Smith had only played in 40 NHL games scoring 9 points but 35 points in 45 AHL games showed he had upside. Smith has the ability to build on his first season with the Bruins and could easily improve his numbers if he plays more consistently since he had a big slump at the end of the year. The fact that he will be returning to the second line will also help him improve since he already has chemistry with his line which is huge. With the 1 year deal Smith should be extra motivated to show what he can do this season in order to get a raise and a longer term deal to stay in Boston. With this added motivation I see Smith scoring 20-25 goals and about 57-63 points especially if Marchand and Bergeron get off to better starts then last year. Smith is a talented young player who could be a part of the Bruins top 6 for a long time to come.
Now we move on to Torey Krug. Krug is exactly what the Bruins were searching for a few years ago a speedy puck moving defenseman who can run the power play but is also not a big liability in his own end. Krug like Smith is only 23 years old so more growth will be coming as he learns how to become a more complete player. Krug was in the running for the Calder trophy last season with 14 goals and 40 points while going plus 18. The former undrafted free agent out of Michigan State also chipped in 6 power play goals. Krug spent last season on the bottom pairing with McQuaid and Miller and he should again fit into that role with plenty of power play time. Another year will only help Krug defensively so I'm expecting big things from him again this year. Considering Krug scored 10 points in 12 playoff games last year his regular season scoring could also jump. I would not be surprised if Krug scored 18-21 goals this coming season and finished with 48-54 points to go with a plus 15-20 rating. Krug like Smith will have that extra motivation with the one year contract but even a little more considering he went undrafted. Krug is the missing piece the Bruins searched so hard for just a few years ago and I see him staying here for a very very long time. Yes we have other options in Warsofsky and Morrow but neither of them are proven in the NHL. That is the reason that resigning Krug was so important the Bruins finally have a deadly power play and letting one of the best players on that power play walk is just not an option at this point.
The Bruins roster is starting to take shape and with talented young players still pushing for now even fewer spots it is going to be an interesting run up to the season. Now that Ville Leino has been released likely a result of the Smith signing the only veteran left to push the young players is Gagne who might still have some game left in him. Let's also not forget about the possibility of a salary moving trade to creat that 2 million dollar buffer with the cap just incase some moves need to be made during the season or at the deadline to improve the team for the playoffs since the minor moves did not work last year. Keep checking back here for the latest news and updates on everything Bruins and also all your other favorite Boston teams.