Word around the NHL the last two days is that the Boston Bruins have entered their offseason with two different approaches: One that includes defenseman Torey Krug and one that doesn’t.
According to numerous NHL sources Friday, it appears they’re leaning more towards the latter than the former and “for a while now” have done just that as they were resigned to the likelihood Krug had played and would play himself out of Boston. This was not because the Boston Bruins didn’t or don’t want to re-sign the 29-year-old defenseman who has reached the 50-point plateau three of the last four seasons and become a leader in the Bruins’ dressing room. This is because of those accolades and leadership qualities that will likely earn him a multi-year deal worth upwards of $7 million per season in unrestricted free agency.
“I think it’s pretty clear from both Don Sweeney and Torey Krug that they both would love to find a deal that makes sense for all involved but that’s just not going to happen at this point unless Donny pulls a miracle,” an NHL source told Boston Hockey Now Friday evening. “They’re banking on young guys like [Matt] Grzelcyk, [Connor] Clifton, [Jeremy Lauzon] and hoping they take that next step. That’s how they’re operating at least right now.”
That falls right in line with the tone of and words Krug said in a Zoom media call with the Boston media on Thursday.
“The contact was very few and far between for whatever reason. It is what it is…I don’t really know what the future holds in terms of the coming weeks,” Torey Krug said. I gotta be honest, I haven’t thought about any other team or any other situation. It’s been. …I was very truthful and honest with you guys when I told you I wasn’t thinking about it during the season. I invested all my time in what’s going on with the Bruins, and I was very hopeful that it would result in ending up back with the Bruins.
So I haven’t thought about any other team or any other situation to date. Likely as we approach free agency, I’ll probably have to do that. But I haven’t thought about anything. I’m very proud of what we’ve done here in Boston over the years, and being part of that core group, guys have come and gone, and I’ve managed to stay for eight years now. I’m very happy that I was part of it. So hopefully it continues and hopefully, I still am. I’ve done everything they’ve seemingly asked of me and I’m proud of that…There’s nothing personal about it. It’s business.”
Another source told BHN:
“The most I could see the Bruins offering him right now without moving a big contract or two is a one-year, $6.5-$7 million deal and even still they’d likely need to move a [Jake] DeBrusk probably,” this source pointed out. “Do you move a potential 30-goal scorer for just one more year of Krug?”
That wouldn’t work either way because Krug also said he is “very opposed” to a one-year deal to prove himself even more and strike paydirt when the NHL financial climate improves.
“I’m very opposed to that,” Krug said. “I’ve bet on myself and I’ve taken shorter-term deals and less amount of money my whole career now. So this is my time, in terms of my value at its peak, and I have the ability, and I’m in a position now where I need to make the most of it. So I’m very opposed to something like that. I’ve done it long enough now and that’s the situation I’m facing.”
Torey Krug just finished a four-year contract with the Bruins that carried an annual cap hit of $5.2 million. Krug has had 40 or more assists in each season since signing that extension back on June 30, 2016 and had three straight seasons with 50 or points until the COVID19-shortened season he and the Bruins just finished. Krug finished with nine goals and 40 assists in the 2019-20 regular season and then added six assists in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games in the NHL bubble in Toronto. During the Boston Bruins’ run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Krug had 16 helpers and 18 points in 24 games.