Bruins sign Krug and Smith to contract extensions

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The Boston Bruins announced the signing of defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith to contract extensions Friday morning.

Krug’s deal is a one-year contract worth $3.4 million while Smith gets a two-year deal worth $6.85 million ($3.425 million cap hit).

Both players were scheduled to become restricted free agents after this season.

Krug, 23, has 11 goals and 20 assists in 59 games this season.

Smith meanwhile has appeared in 63 games for the Bruins this season scoring 12 goals and 35 points.

The Bruins return to action Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Video: Schlemko converts on one-handed shootout move, Flames beat Bruins

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The Calgary Flames waited until the eighth round of the shootout to unleash their secret weapon — David Schlemko.

Yeah. That guy.

The 27-year-old defenseman Schlemko once scored four goals in an NHL season. That was for the Arizona Coyotes, back in 2010-11.

Making his Flames debut, and with Calgary needing a win to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race, Schlemko scored the shootout winner in the eighth round to give his new team a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

The Flames, without Mark Giordano for the remainder of the season and a below average puck possession team at even strength, continue to hang in there, third in the Pacific Division.

Words don’t do the Schlemko move justice. See for yourself.

Bruins sign former WHL captain Justin Hickman

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The Boston Bruins announced today that they’ve signed forward Justin Hickman to an entry-level contract.

From the release:

Hickman, 20, has spent the previous five campaigns with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League from 2010 to 2015, establishing career highs last season when he notched 22 goals (tied for fourth on the team), 24 assists (tied for sixth on the team) and 46 points (sixth on the team) with 154 penalty minutes (first on the team). Hickman served as team captain for the last two seasons.

No word what the B’s have planned for Hickman, who played five AHL games for Bridgeport in 2013-14 on an amateur tryout agreement.

Here’s Hickman earning a decision over Brandon’s Taylor Green back in 2013:

Julien talks up Bergeron as next Bruins captain

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There’s been plenty of talk about Zdeno Chara’s future in Boston this year, given his injury issues and the fact he turns 38 this month.

While nobody’s ready to write B’s captain yet — a title he’s held for nine seasons —  head coach Claude Julien acknowledged the club has a replacement candidate in mind.

“It’s probably undeniable that down the road when [Chara] is done with his career, if Bergeron is here it would be pretty hard to not make him the next captain,” Julien said, per CSNNE. “So I think he feels comfortable in dealing with issues that maybe he didn’t two or three years ago. I think that’s just a player being a little more of a veteran player every year, and that we’ve got some young players that need some leadership.

“So he’s kind of taken over a little bit.”

Wearing the “C” in Boston is a fairly big deal. Franchise icons like Terry O’Reilly, Rick Middleton and Ray Bourque all served as captains and, dating back to the earliest days of the franchise, legends like Dit Clapper, Milt Schmidt and Johnny Bucyk all held the title as well.

Bergeron does seem to be a nice fit to replace Chara when the veteran blueliner calls it a day. The 29-year-old has spent his entire 10-year career in Boston, winning a Stanley Cup (in 2011) and two Selke Trophies as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron has also served as an alternate captain since the 2006-07 season and has represented Canada at each of the last two Winter Olympics, helping the country capture gold both times.

(Video) PHT Extra: Cup contenders bolster blue lines, except for handcuffed Bruins

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The trade deadline came and went, with the blue lines of numerous Stanley Cup contenders growing deeper with additions.

But the Bruins’ defense stayed the same.

Related: Bruins ‘cap crunch’ made it ‘tough’ to get trades done