The Boston Bruins have agreed to terms with defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith on new $1.4m contracts.
According to TSN hockey analyst Aaron Ward, Krug will earn $900,000 plus an additional $500,000 signing bonus. Krug finished ninth in points last season, tallying 14 goals and 26 assists in 79 games for the Bruins. Smith finished sixth in points with 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games last year.
Deals finally complete
These guys both had exceptional seasons this past year. These deals are both huge bargains for the Boston Bruins organization. These guys are young, have loads of potential and have proven they can contribute on a consistent basis.
The only reason these guys had to wait this long for contracts is due to the Bruins cap space. But now with the contracts signed Krug and Smith can continue improving their skills. There is no doubt in my mind that both these players will reach 50 points or more this season.
The Boston Bruins will be a very tough team to beat in the Eastern Conference this year. This is mainly because there is so much depth within the roster. This team has the perfect mix of veteran players and young players. Veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara is the team’s anchor at the back and Krug and Hamilton have the speed and ability to make up for any of his mistakes. Guys like Johnny Boychuk, Adam Mcquaid and Matt Bartkowski will provide head Coach Claude Julien with some secondary scoring options.
The team’s offense has endured some changes, but most of the core players have been kept. Last season Krejci, Bergeron and Lucic combined for 190 points last season. Marchand, Eriksson and Smith followed that up nicely combining for 141 points last season. All these players have the talent, experience and knowledge to accumulate similar numbers this year.
Bounce back year required
The only players that will need to step it up this season are Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly. Kelly struggled with injuries last year and ended with just 18 points to his name. Paille seemed to struggle to fit in last year and as a result had a similar year to Kelly’s.
However, these two players still have plenty to offer this team. Kelly will continue to be one of the team’s main faceoff specialists this season. Paille will be able to use his speed to kill penalties and create chances.
If these guys can avoid injury and just play their game, they’ll both have bounce back years. There is no doubt in my mind that this Boston Bruins team will be challenging for top spot in the Eastern Conference again this season. It will be interesting to see how many starts rookie goalie Malcolm Subban will get this season. I can’t wait for the regular season to begin.