NHL Sources confirmed to BostonHockeyNow Friday, that heading into the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline and even long before that, the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers discussed multiple trade scenarios, with Bruins defenseman Torey Krug being the centerpiece going back to Edmonton. However, one of the major stumbling blocks of any potential trade involving the Bruins star blueliner was that the Oilers were one of the teams Krug would likely put on his eight-team no-trade list he has as part of the four-year contract he signed with the Bruins back on June 30, 2016. According to one source, talks never got to the point where the Bruins asked Krug to submit that list but it was “understood” Edmonton was on it and that hasn’t changed.
With Krug heading into the final season of his contract and set to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1, 2020, both he and the Bruins have already made it clear privately and publicly that they would like to find a way ASAP to keep the veteran leader on and off the ice for the Bruins in Boston and hopefully sign an extension this summer. However, Sweeney acknowledged this past Monday, he has other contracts ending this July 1, including restricted free agent defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo – who clearly are the building pieces on the Bruins blue line for years to come. If their new deals push the Bruins up against the cap for years to come, it may not be possible for Sweeney to ink the 28-year-old and he didn’t rule trading Krug out but told the media that it would need to be a knock your socks off type deal to pry Krug away.
“Have the opportunity starting July 1 to open up talks,” Sweeney pointed out Monday. “Again the RFA market and some of our internal things will dictate the timing of those conversations. If somebody blew us away, every player has to be looked at in that way when your organization, you just have to, you’re doing a disservice if you don’t. But it would take a pretty unique opportunity to part with Torey. I think he’s a big part of the fabric of our group, he’s kind of that next wave of leadership that we talk about in behind some of the guys that have carried that mantle for a long period of time. But he’s an important part of our club.”
According to the same source above, one player that was previously discussed in trade talks with Bruins GM Don Sweeney and former Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli and then interim GM Keith Gretzky – who was also Bruins Director Of Amateur Scouting before Sweeney took over as GM in 2015 – was disgruntled forward Jesse Puljujarvi. Puljujarvi and his agent made it clear again to the Oilers this week that the 21-year-old 6’4, 210-pound forward who was selected 4th overall by the Oilers in 2016, wants out of Edmonton. Have or will the Bruins once again look at Puljujarvi as a potential answer to their top 6 winger with size dilemma? With Ken Holland recently hired as Oilers GM, would he even be interested in the previous talks the two clubs had? If so, unless he changes his mind, Krug will not be involved. As for what the Oilers would want in return for Puljujarvi, they have made it clear to teams, they will not give him away. It’s no secret that Edmonton still wants a puck-moving rearguard. Would they try and pry the 25-year-old silky smooth skater Matt Grzeklcyk away?
Just as there are heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, there are always plenty of trade rumors heading into the NHL Draft. One way to sift through the rumors and try to find out what rumors may have more substance than hearsay is to connect the dots from the chatter leading into the deadline to the trade buzz leading into and at the draft. Many times, teams will rekindle talks they had back in February and see if maybe they can find more common ground now. Only time will tell if that happens or already happened with the Bruins and Oilers, but one thing seems for certain, Krug will not be involved.