Rejoice Bruins’ fans, the hockey season is almost upon us! The B’s opened up training camp yesterday and I am faithfully here to provide you with four important questions to keep track of throughout camp.
When are the Bruins going to re-sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith?
Ah the big one. Before I begin I should probably get this out of the way first: The B’s are not going to trade either one of them, it isn’t going to happen. Don’t believe me? Here is a quote from General Manager Peter Chiarelli during last night’s state of the Bruins meeting with season ticket holders:
“My intention is to have these players playing for the Bruins, and they’re not going anywhere, so I can tell you that and it’s just a matter of working through these things.”
Now it is easy to say that we have heard this type of lip service, but I believe him. Krug and Smith don’t have any leverage. They can’t sign anywhere else, and holding out is honestly hurting themselves as they will lack the necessary preparation for the upcoming season. The B’s obviously want them under contract, but don’t necessarily have the cap space to do so right this second. These two are going to be in the black and gold this season and many others after that. It’s just a matter of making a trade to clear some space to sign them, which leads me to my next question…
Who are the Bruins going to trade to clear some cap space?
Before you start screaming at your computer “Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid, Jordan Caron, and Matt Bartkowski!”, remember that these aren’t hot trade chips that every team is clamoring for. Both Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid are coming off of substantial injuries and are going to need to prove that they can still play to build up their trade value again. Caron is literally a throw in to any trade the B’s make, I believe he can be a serviceable bottom six forward given a fresh start somewhere, but he’s done in Boston. We know, he knows it, and potential trade partners know it.
Bartkowski is a worthy trade chip, but his value might be limited due to his pretty terrible playoff performance last season. I believe he is on the outs in Boston and the B’s are looking for the best possible options before pulling the trigger, even if it means some important young players are without new deals. The other possibility is Johnny Boychuk who could simultaneously give the team its biggest cap relief, and garner the best return. However it appears as if it is a last resort, as it seems as if the team wants to retain him for one last run. This situation will be resolved soon, so stay tuned.