With the NHL on pause, Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is isolating back home in Colorado and in addition to growing his faith in God, even more, he has been in constant touch with his defensive partner, teammate and good friend Torey Krug. Krug can become an unrestricted free agent whenever free agency begins and with his contract talks with the Bruins at a “mutual and amicable” pause, Carlo is hoping he doesn’t lose a teammate he appreciates dearly.
“For me, I love playing with him,” Carlo replied. “I don’t want to lose him. I’ve made jokes throughout the entire year that he better not leave me.”
Carlo understands the reality of salary cap though and knows that with the cap staying the same at best but very likely dropping potentially up to thirty-percent, teams – like the cap-strapped Bruins – may not be able to sign some key players.
“I recognize that this game has a lot of uncertainty and with contract situations and different aspects like that but overall I have the faith that he’s an important piece to Boston and if it’s meant to be and it’s in his path, God will handle it.”
Krug, speaking to the media in a Zoom meeting last week, expressed concern that he really has no idea where that path will lead for him.
“For me personally, I really hope I did not play my last game as a Boston Bruin,” a straight-forward Krug told reporters. “It’s been a special place for me and my family to grow. My love for the game and playing in front of these fans has been very special to me. But [this situation] hasn’t given me any clarity. It makes you wonder about this process a little more because I was just in the moment thinking only about helping my team win games and hopefully push our team toward winning a championship.”
Carlo spent his first season in the NHL (2016-17) playing alongside Bruins captain Zdeno Chara but has spent the last three seasons developing his game as Krug’s defensive partner. The Colorado Springs native expressed gratitude for all he’s learned from Krug on and off the ice and for their friendship.
“Obviously my first year I played with ‘Zee’ and I grew a lot in different aspects of the game,” said Carlo who has four goals and 15 assists in 67 games this season emerging as a steady support system for the puck-moving Krug.
“Ever since I’ve been with Torey, I feel like my game has just continued to flourish and a lot of that is a credit to him. He gives me the confidence to be the best that I can be and playing with him has been a lot of fun. I tell him all the time how much I enjoy it. We’ll joke back and forth about just being on a d-pairing together and how fun it truly is.”
Carlo, Krug and, Bruins General manager Don Sweeney have all expressed how much they want that fun to continue.
“I dearly hope Torey hasn’t played his last game (with the Bruins), this year or going forward,” the Bruins GM said in a Zoom Conference call with reporters Friday. “He’s been a big part of any success we’ve had as an organization. He’s a special player, both on and off the ice. He means a lot in the locker room and I think everybody could acknowledge his attributes on the ice and his importance to our team.”