WILMINGTON, Mass. — Boston Bruins training camp is less than two weeks away and two important players remain unsigned.
Defenseman Torey Krug and right winger Reilly Smith are restricted free agents, but they aren’t allowed to negotiate with other teams and sign offer sheets, like other RFAs, because they played fewer than 10 games in their first NHL seasons.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli wants both players in camp when it begins Sept. 18 at Ristuccia Arena.
“I want them to be part of this team, and obviously to have a full camp,” Chiarelli said. “In my tenure here, we’ve never had anyone not attend. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t.”
Boston signed first-line center David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million contract extension earlier this week. While the Krejci extension doesn’t make much of an impact on this year’s salary-cap situation, it does give Chiarelli a slightly better picture of what his roster will look like long term.
“… It was a priority, and we’ve been working on it for a while,” Chiarelli said. “So, you know, we’ve got some other things to take care of now, and we’ll peck away at it.”
Krug became a household name during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs when he scored four goals in Boston’s five-game second-round series victory over the New York Rangers. The 23-year-old from Michigan State followed that with a successful 2013-14 campaign in which he led all rookie defensemen in scoring with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 79 games. He also has emerged as a valuable part of the power play and brings much-needed puck-moving skill and speed to the Bruins’ blue line.
Krug’s last contract was a three-year deal with a $916,667 cap hit. He signed with the Bruins as a college free agent.
The Bruins acquired Smith as part of the Tyler Seguin trade with the Dallas Stars in July 2013. Smith surprised everyone by becoming the second-line right winger for most of last season, tallying 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 82 games. His previous contract was for three years and carried a $900,000 cap hit.
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