Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug once again indicated to the media that he would prefer to remain a Bruin past July 1, 2020, when he can hit the unrestricted free agent market and likely almost double the $5.25 million he will make this season and has made for each of the last three seasons in his current four-year contract.
“Would I take less to stay in Boston?” Krug answered rhetorically during the first day of the NHL/NHLPA preseason media tour. on Thursday“It’s something that I’ve talked about with my family and my agent. It’s something I’m interested in. How much less — that’s a question that will be answered at a certain time. I think something that’s fair will be able to be worked out both ways. As long as they want me, I think something could be done, realistically. Everyone does it. How much they do, is kind of their own opinion and [dependent] on their own circumstances.”
Of course, the Bruins’ current circumstances are that they are in a salary cap pickle with training camp starting in a week and two of their other valued, and younger (than the 28-year-old) defensemen in restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo still unsigned. With just $7.2 million left in cap space, it was suggested here on August 9 via conversations with various NHL sources that McAvoy, 21, and maybe even Carlo, 22, will have to take bridge deals and also take less than market value for players coming out of their entry-level contracts. Whether they are willing to do that is not known for sure.
However, it is known, as reported here Monday, that the Bruins have had and were planning to restart negotiations with both McAvoy and Carlo as early as this past Tuesday following the Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately for Krug, he couldn’t say the same when it comes to the Bruins potentially signing him to an extension. In fact, on Krug confirmed another report here back on August 20 that there have been no contract talks between his camp and the Bruins this offseason, calling them “nonexistent”.
“Maybe a little surprised nothing has been talked about, but I realize that our team is in a different situation,” Krug said. “I understand that we have two guys that need to be signed and that can have big effects on our cap situation moving forward and our boss has to deal with that. Of course, I wish there was dialogue and I wish there was some sort of call or something like that, but it’s just nonexistent.”
Even with the Bruins’ cap restrictions, it would be normal for a defenseman entering his prime and who has had three straight seasons with 40 or more assists and 50 or more points, to be stunned there hasn’t even been a casual conversation on extension with Krug less than a year away now from unrestricted free agency. Despite that though, Krug, who had his best playoff yet in 2019 – with two goals and 16 assists – and improved his all-around game during the Bruins’ run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, is remaining positive and grateful to be a Bruin, even if just for one more season.
“I love the situation I’m in,” Krug said. “I’m pretty sure my teammates would love me to come back. My coach [Bruce Cassidy] I know for a fact loves the way I play. This last playoffs was big for me and my development and my growth. I feel like I’m just hitting my prime.
I put together a resume that I’m very, very comfortable with and happy about. You’ve just got to be patient and try to do your part, be a soldier. You don’t get these opportunities too often. You just try to take advantage of it.”