The Boston Bruins have several players with expiring contracts to consider re-signing before NHL free agency opens in early November, and the most notable decision that must be made involves Torey Krug.
The veteran defenseman is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason and should cash in with the first major payday of his career. Krug has been underpaid his entire career, and with his four-year, $21 million contract about to expire, he finally has an opportunity to secure a lucrative long-term deal.
It's looking increasingly likely that Krug will find that lucrative contract outside of Boston. The 29-year-old defenseman told reporters earlier this month that he has no interest in a short-term prove-it type of contract, and that's the smart play on his part.
The Bruins have around $15 million in salary cap space, per CapFriendly. That's not a ton of room to bring back Krug, Jake DeBrusk and the team's other free agents.
TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli tweeted Monday that his belief is the Bruins have offered Krug a six-year contract worth $39 million.
This offer of six years at $6.5 million per season is almost certainly less than what Krug would command on the open market. As the No. 2 defenseman in the 2020 free agent class with a coveted offensive skill set, loads of playoff experience and impressive leadership qualities, Krug should have no shortage of suitors in free agency.
If the Bruins are unable to find common ground with Krug, then trading his negotiating rights for a draft pick makes the most sense. The team that acquires his rights would be the only club able to talk contract terms with him until the beginning of free agency.