Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he still hopes to have new contracts in place with entry-level free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith before training camp starts Thursday.
"I'm not going to comment on negotiations," Chiarelli told the Bruins website in Antioch, Tenn., where he is with Bruins rookies at a tournament that also includes the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. "I hope to have them at camp. I can't give you any more clarity."
Krug tied for the lead among Bruins defensemen last season with 40 points, and his 14 goals were second among Boston defenders to the Zdeno Chara's 17. Smith had 20 goals and 51 points in his first full NHL season, and teamed with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to form a strong second line.
Complicating matters is the Bruins' salary-cap issue. According to CapGeek the Bruins will have about $3.2 million of space left after center Marc Savard is placed on the long-term injured list.
However, Chiarelli knows how important both players were to the team last season, when the Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy and advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"They're both valuable members of this team," Chiarelli said. "And I hope they'd be with us when we start playing."