BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a very lackluster, quiet, disappointing offseason for the Boston Bruins. Pick whichever adjective you want, but the lack of moves by the team coupled with the loss of Jarome Iginla has put fans of the B’s into a summer malaise that may continue to persist.
The Bruins are up against the salary cap. Their offseason spending in recent years has put them into the proverbial “cap jail” and it’s affecting not only the building of a roster, but their ability to sign their own players, especially those in need of a pay raise like Torey Krug and Reilly Smith.
Krug finished his rookie campaign with being named to the 2013-14 All-Rookie Team. Krug, who turned 23 in April, led all rookie defensemen with 14 goals, 26 assists, six power-play goals and 13 power-play assists. He was the first Bruin to be named to the All-Rookie Team since Brad Boyes in 2005-06 and the first B’s blue-liner since Nick Boynton in 2001-02.
Smith was equally as impressive in his first full season in the National Hockey League. Playing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the second line, Smith finished with 51 points and proved to be an invaluable members of the Bruins’ improved power play unit.
However, because of the team’s salary cap situation, both Krug and Smith’s limited service time and their status as restricted free agents, the two will be forced to be patient.
Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal called in to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show to discuss the Bruins’ cap situation and its effect on contract negotiations with these two players.
“I think it’s bridge-contract time for these two,” said Merritt Wednesday night. “It isn’t great, but it’s not necessarily a slap in the face. I ran the numbers and I think what they can do is like $1 million plus for each of those guys this year.”
It’s not ideal if you’re a player, but Merritt thinks both of them have the make-up and are ready for the challenge to earn their next, and first, big contract.
“I think they’ll both take it as a suggestion like, ‘You have to earn your next contract.’ And I’d be very surprised if they didn’t earn big money when they finally do sign that big contract.”
Listen below for the full discussion, including P.K. Subban’s big deal, the possibility of trading Matt Bartkowski and much more: