NHL free agency officially kicked off at noon ET on Friday, and one of the top players available is Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug.
Krug is a 29-year-old veteran with loads of playoff experience, strong leadership ability and an impressive offensive skill set. He's also the No. 2 defenseman in the 2020 free agent class behind St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo.
So, where do the Bruins and Krug stand with the market now open?
Here's what TSN insider Frank Seravalli said on his network's free agency broadcast early Friday afternoon:
"I'm told that the Bruins held firm throughout the night with their last offer to Torey Krug's camp -- six years and $6.5 million (per season)," Seravalli explained. "Both sides have left the door open for him to return if he gets to market today and decides that what he's seeing out there doesn't exactly meet what his expectations were."
Replacing a player of Krug's caliber would not be easy for the Bruins. No one in the organization, either at the NHL level or in the prospect pool, is capable of filling Krug's top-four role. If the Bruins plan on being a top Stanley Cup contender next season, they'd have to fill Krug's shoes by making an acquisition in free agency or the trade market.
One option now off the table is Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Arizona Coyotes defenseman's agent announced a deadline of Friday before free agency for a trade to the Bruins or Vancouver Canucks to happen. The deadline passed without a deal, and Ekman-Larsson's agent told Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman that his client is "staying" in Arizona.
Krug is not the only free agent situation the Bruins must resolve in the coming days and weeks. Left winger Jake DeBrusk (RFA), and defensemen Zdeno Chara (UFA) and Matt Grzelcyk (RFA) are the other notable free agents for Boston.