Updated: March 6, 2015, 5:11 PM ET

By
Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli got a head start on the team’s offseason planning Friday by signing forward Reilly Smith and defenseman Torey Krug to contract extensions.

Smith agreed to a two-year deal worth $6.85 million. He will earn $3.35 million in 2015-16 and $3.5 million in 2016-17. Krug signed a one-year extension worth $3.4 million.
“These are players we always liked and have a bright future for us,” Chiarelli said during a press conference Friday afternoon at TD Garden.
Unlike some of the other long-term deals Chiarelli and the Bruins have handed out in recent seasons to Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask and David Krejci, these shorter-term contracts for Krug and Smith give the players and the team flexibility. “The one- and two-year terms were important to us,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli explained that both sides agreed on the ideas and philosophies behind these types of deals. From a team standpoint, it helps with the salary cap moving forward. As a player, it serves as incentive to perform on a short-term platform.
Chiarelli defended the notion that the Bruins overpaid both players by saying these contracts are exactly what Krug and Smith, both of whom would have been restricted free agents again this summer, would have received if they went to arbitration.
Krug said he was comfortable signing a one-year deal.
“I want to prove myself as a top-four guy. My whole career I’ve been betting on myself, so it’s another opportunity to do that,” Krug said. “I just want to expand my role, like any player would. They want to play more, be a bigger part of the team and that’s the reasoning behind the one-year [deal]. I’m always comfortable betting on myself, so it’s another chance to do that.”
Krug’s offensive skills are evident and his numbers prove that. He has 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 58 games this season. He has a knack for getting the puck to the net and is also a strong contributor on the power play. Krug understands his defensive game needs to improve, and he said he prides himself on his defense.

“You’ve got to win the coach’s trust, and whether it’s the last minute of the period or near the end of the game or taking defensive-zone faceoffs, it’s all that — and I’m pretty happy with all the progress that I’ve made,” Krug said. ” …Read More