After he signed restricted free agent defensemen Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy in mid-September, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he had “some forecasting” with the team’s salary cap to do before he began discussing contract extensions for defenseman Torey Krug and forward Charlie Coyle. At Bruins media day Tuesday, Sweeney didn’t exactly say there were sunny, blue skies ahead, but he and the representatives for both players have begun negotiations.
“The [contract negotiations] are all ongoing,” Sweeney said. “As I’ve been previously saying that you will not hear through us where those deals are at, and that’s really out of respect for every deal that you negotiate. I understand it makes [the media’s] job that much harder, and you do a hell of a job predicting where those are all supposed to go. Those influences are not brought in to our discussions. We have discussions that need to take place, and the other side will hopefully respect that as well.
Sweeney also expressed how much he values both players and that if all goes well, they will be with the Bruins well pat this season.
“We are in discussions with the players we’ve discussed because they are a part of our group right now and a very important part of our group. If things work out and we find that common ground, they probably will be for a long time,” the reigning NHL GM of The Year said.
As for Krug and Coyle, both were happy that talks have finally begun. While Coyle has continually expressed how thrilled he is to be playing for his hometown team, the Weymouth, MA native has also done his best to deflect any contract related talks. The best player by far in the Bruins postseason was doing the same Tuesday after practice.
“To me, I’m not really worried about it at all,” Coyle said. “It’s nice to have that communication right now and I’ll talk with my agents and they’ll talk with Don just to keep that open line of communication is good. But, it’s not something where ‘we gotta get this done! We gotta get this done!’ just so it’s off my mind. I’m really focused on this year. I’m under contract this year, so I feel like I can just play and do what I need to do to help this team win and be the best player I can be. That stuff will work itself out if I keep focusing on the task at hand I think. So yeah, I’m not too worried about it. That will play out and like I said, we have that open line of communication and that’s good going forward.”
Unlike Coyle, Krug has been very open with the media about his thoughts on getting an extension done with the Bruins and the non-existent communication between his camp and Sweeney. The Bruins highest-scoring defenseman for the last four straight seasons has also expressed a willingness to take less money to remain a Bruin. On Tuesday, he was happy and relieved that contract talks have finally begun but also let it be known that he was done talking about the topic now that the regular season is about to begin.
“It’s exciting,” said Krug, who had 53 points in only 64 games last season. “Now that we’re in the regular season I don’t want to talk too much about it just out of respect for my teammates and the process. But it’s obviously exciting when you’re talking about where you could be for the future while taking care of the present obviously. That’s the most important thing. But it’s an exciting time and hopefully, things work out.”
Krug is in the last year of a four-year deal that carries a cap hit of $5.2 million and Coyle is in the final season of a five-year contract – signed with the Minnesota Wild – that has a cap hit of $3.2 million.