ANTIOCH, TN - As the Bruins' rookies have been showcasing themselves in Tennessee during a three-game tournament, General Manager Peter Chiarelli has been perched up top, watching their every move.
The GM's focus, though, isn't only on watching the young prospects prove themselves to the Bruins' brass.
Boston's main camp opens on September 18, and Chiarelli still needs to fill out his 2014-15 roster.
The Bruins re-signed several restricted and unrestricted free agents in the offseason who will fill out the competition at training camp, including Niklas Svedberg, who will push for the backup role behind Tuukka Rask, defensemen Matt Bartkowski and David Warsofsky, and forwards like Justin Florek, Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham and Matt Fraser, who will all ramp up the competition up front.
David Krejci, who was set to enter a contract year, was signed to a six-year contract extension - a deal that Chiarelli deemed his top priority of the summer.
With four days before main camp opens, there are still two players to be re-signed: Reilly Smith and Torey Krug.
Both entry-level free agents, Smith and Krug can only negotiate with the Bruins in the NHL. Boston is in a restricted salary cap situation (with roughly $3.2 million in cap space, according to CapGeek.com, once Marc Savard is placed on long-term injured reserve). Chiarelli has said he will likely have to trade one of his nine NHL-caliber defensemen before the start of the season, but would like to see how the pairings play out during camp. The decisions are not going to be easy.
The GM remains hopeful that Smith and Krug will be reporting for the start of camp, and take part in a full training camp. During his tenure in Boston, he's never had anyone not attend.
"If you're talking about Reilly and Torey, I'm not going to comment on negotiations," Chiarelli said to reporters at the rookie tournament in Tennessee on Sunday, when asked if he had any more clarity about everyone being at camp.
"I hope to have them at camp. I can't give you any more clarity, we're not at that date yet [September 18]."
"They’re both valuable members of this team," Chiarelli has said of Krug and Smith. "And I hope they’d be with us when we start playing."