Torey Krug, Reilly Smith signings still leave Bruins in cap quandary – USA TODAY
Torey Krug, left, and Reilly Smith, middle, celebrate a goal with Milan Lucic. (Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)
Friday’s much-needed re-signings of defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith give the Boston Bruins two fewer contractual headaches this summer.
But Krug’s new salary cap hit of $3.4 million for one season and Smith’s hit of $3.425 million for two seasons, although both reasonable and important to the team, underscore that the Bruins face more cap struggles this summer.
With those two signings, the Bruins are closing in on $60 million committed for next season with the salary cap expected to be in the $71 million to $72 million range.
The reduction in the value of the Canadian dollar threatens to reduce the salary cap by a modest amount, but even a drop of a few hundred thousand dollars could be difficult for the teams that are close to the cap ceiling.
The Bruins still need to re-sign Dougie Hamilton, who would be the fifth defenseman under contract, plus backup goalie Niklas Svedberg. Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner are also restricted free agents.
Carl Soderberg, Adam McQuaid, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille are among the unrestricted free agents.
It seems likely that Soderberg, plus one or two of the free agents, will end up elsewhere, although there has also been some speculation that the Bruins might consider trading Loui Eriksson ($4.25 million cap hit) this summer to give themselves maneuvering room.
Much of the emphasis now is about the Bruins trying to keeping the talent they have. But the other issue is the Bruins have not performed up to expectations this season and it could be time to make significant changes.
Salary cap flexibility is needed to make over a team, and the Bruins simply don’t have that.
Your games tonight
Columbus at New Jersey, 7
Minnesota at Carolina, 7
Buffalo at Ottawa
Calgary at Detroit, 7:30
Edmonton at Chicago, 8:30
Pittsburgh at Anaheim, 10
Follow the rest of USA TODAY Sports’ in-depth NHL coverage at nhl.usatoday.com. Follow Kevin Allen on Twitter @ByKevinAllen
Boston, Boston Bruins, Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith, salary cap, Torey Krug, NHL
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