The Boston Bruins were bumping up against the salary cap and still had two RFAs to re-sign: Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Even after taking Marc Savard's $4 million LTIR into consideration the Bruins were still going to have a tough time signing these two. Krug was looking for something in the $2-$2.5 million range, while Smith was in line for something between $2.5-$3 million.
The only way the Bruins would be able to get both under contract is if they accepted discounted one-year deals - and that's just what they did Monday.
Both players signed one-year deals that will pay them $1.4 million against the salary cap this season, which is actually a roughly $200,000 pay cut for Krug. They'll both be RFA eligible again a year from now and, you have to imagine, will be in line to get the paydays they could have gotten this year - and perhaps even more.
These are two great deals for the Bruins not just because they get the two players for below market value right now, but also because they can take one more run at the Stanley Cup with the current group. Johnny Boychuk doesn't have to be traded now to create space. Boychuk, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Carl Soderberg, Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski are all UFAs at the end of 2014-15.
Next summer, the Bruins will likely be forced by the salary cap to make some changes to the lineup. But players such as Smith and Krug and Dougie Hamilton will be a year older and more experienced - and ready to assume greater responsibilities.
For now, the Bruins got a deal on Smith and Krug. Next summer, they'll have to pay up.