The Los Angeles Kings have entered the Boston Bruins trade sweepstakes for the rights to negotiate exclusively with unrestricted free agent-to-be Torey Krug.
An NHL source has confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Kings have had Torey Krug at the top of their free agent and trade target list ‘for a while’ and General Manager Rob Blake has let it be known he would be willing to trade for the right to talk contract with the longtime Bruins defenseman. If as expected, the Bruins are expecting a second or third round pick for Krug, Blake has a surplus. The Kings have three second round picks and two picks in the third round. They also have $16.9 million in cap space with three unrestricted free agents and one restricted to sign should they choose to do so.
Following a Barstool Sports report that Torey Krug was on the verge of being traded and that the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights, and Florida Panthers were all in trade talks with Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney, BHN confirmed that the Panthers – who have one second round pick and two thirds – were ‘pushing hard’. Well, now it appears you can add the Kings into that ‘pushing hard’ category.
Michael Anderson is the only left-shot defenseman signed to a contract as Ben Hutton and Joakim Ryan are both unrestricted free agents. The Kings do have a plethora of left-shot prospects coming for their defense but Blake would love to add an impact and veteran left shot for the present and going forward to mentor his young defensemen coming.
There have been no public statements from Krug and Sweeney since early this month when they did their end of the season media Zoom calls. Krug reportedly turned down a recent Bruins contract offer of six years with an annual salary cap hit of $6.5 million. In that final Zoom call Torey Krug made it clear he was not doing any bridge or one-year contracts until the financial climate in the NHL hopefully improves.
“I’m very opposed to that,” Krug said bluntly when asked if, given that uncertainty, he’d do a one-year deal and hope he can earn even more if and when things get better financially. “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.”
As he always does, Sweeney has toed the company line and heaped praise on Krug whenever the topic of a new contract came up.
“Well we haven’t found a landing spot,” Sweeney said just under a week ago. “Listen I respect Torey coming in as a rookie free agent and making our hockey club. “I only hope that we made the moves to accommodate what he and his family and agent feel he has earned. I would be the last person to begrudge any player trying to make the best decision for them and their family, and in a perfect world it’s with us, but we know that the world is anything but perfect right about now. So again, I don’t have an update on an individual contract level.”