With nearly two weeks gone by since Torey Krug signed a seven year, $45.5 million contract with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent, it’s beginning to settle in with the Boston Bruins that life will continue on for the Black and Gold next season.
Clearly they will be lesser for it on the back end offensively at least to start, but the hope is that young D-men like Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy can step up their production while overall the Bruins will be a tougher defensive team to play against. Bruce Cassidy coached Krug in Providence during the 2012-13 AHL season and then during the last four seasons in Boston with the Bruins, and was the perfect coach for Krug as a creative, offensive-minded former defenseman that formed a sympatico bond with the player.
Needless to say Cassidy is going to miss Krug next season after taking his 10 goals and 50 points annually to the Blues, and it’s going to be up to the Boston Bruins head coach to figure out what’s next for the top PP unit and their offensive pop on the back end.
“We’re gonna miss him a lot. Personally, I’ve had Torey [as a player] since he was a first-year pro down in Providence, so I’d built a relationship with him not only as a player but as a person. He gave a lot of good years to the Bruins’ crest. We can’t thank him enough for that,” said Cassidy during an interview with NBC10’s Raul Martinez this week. “It’s just one of those business decisions that happens in sports where players move on. We’re in a salary cap era so there’s always that to consider. But at the end of the day, we need to get ready for the ‘next man up’ mentality.”
Clearly the Bruins have decided to make a transitional move to some younger players with options like Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril, Urho Vaakanainen and Jeremy Lauzon on the left side, so they deserve a chance to see how good they can be in Krug’s absence. But all the coaching in the world from Cassidy and the B’s coaching staff isn’t likely to replace the outgoing player’s offensive production with those left at this point to fill the void next season.