BRIGHTON – With the Bruins now having cost certainty with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo in the last couple of days, the expectation is that they will be moving on to extending the players entering the final year of their contracts with the Black and Gold.
One of the top names on that list of players is Torey Krug, who wasn’t shy when asked over the last couple of weeks about his contract status with the Bruins entering the final year of a deal paying him $5.25 million per season. Krug indicated the Bruins haven’t really approached him with any contract extension discussions, but that he’d also be willing to take a hometown discount just as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have with their recent contracts. Given the seven-year, $53 million contract handed out to Jared Spurgeon by the Minnesota Wild less than a week ago, it’s clear that Krug is going to be facing a substantial raise given the market value for offensive defensemen playing top-4 minutes across the league.
The good news is that buyouts for Matt Beleskey and Dennis Seidenberg will be coming off the books after this season to free up some money, and Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara could potentially be off the books as well. Don Sweeney was fairly non-committal when asked directly about Krug on Tuesday afternoon while discussing Carlo’s two-year extension, but did indicate a conversation was forthcoming between the Bruins and Krug’s representation.
“Everybody has their place on our hockey club. Torey is an important part of our hockey club. We have some forecasting to do. We have some conversations that have to take place and they will,” said Sweeney. “I have indicated to each of our players that we will have those [contract discussions]. Once I have the ability to forecast a little more accurately then I will have those conversations accordingly.”
There’s little question that Krug holds big time value to both the Bruins, and to any suitors across the NHL that might be looking for him to hit unrestricted free agency.
Krug is amongst the most productive NHL D-men in the league over the last three seasons while averaging nine goals and 54 points over that span, and he’s quarterbacked a PP that’s become a major weapon for the Black and Gold. Both Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy have shown some promise when it comes to putting up numbers on the back end, but at this point neither one of them is ready to replace Krug’s production.
Sweeney said, while asked about all of his free-agent players next summer, those kinds of scenarios will be amongst the projections that the Bruins make about a whopping 10 Bruins players headed to free agency after this season including Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Grzelcyk among others.
“We’ve got simultaneous things going on. There’s no prioritization from the standpoint of one player being in front of the other player. It’s just communicating that you have to make those decisions, maybe sometimes they are financially and maybe sometimes it’s based on who is actually coming along to replace those players if they decide to leave,” said Sweeney. “We have players that left our organization this year because they had other opportunities. We understood that well and it may happen again.
“But it won’t be for the Bruins underappreciating what they do for our hockey club. I’ll attack each and every one of them. When they finalize either here or somewhere else? That’s to be determined. But we have to do it with every one of them.”
One would expect the Bruins are going to “attack” things with Krug sooner rather than later now that they’re through the weeds of this summer’s contract stuff.
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