Torey Krug has come close to winning the Stanley Cup twice in his Boston Bruins career, and when the 2019-20 NHL season resumes in less than two weeks, the veteran defenseman could be embarking on his final championship run with the Original Six franchise.
Krug is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and as one of the top players (and arguably the best defenseman) able to hit the market, the 29-year-old has a chance to earn a very lucrative long term contract.
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Krug has said on a number of occasions that he'd like to remain in Boston, and last September he talked about the possibility of a hometown discount to stay here. The landscape of the league's economics have changed quite a bit since then, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted revenue and changed salary cap projections for every sport going forward.
The Bruins will soon head for Toronto, where they'll enter the league's Eastern Conference bubble and prepare to kick off their round-robin schedule with a matchup versus the Philadelphia Flyers on Aug. 2.
Krug spoke to reporters Friday in a Zoom conference call, and while he acknowledged this could be his last title march with the Bruins, he's doing his best to focus on the task in front of him and the team.
“For me, it’s no secret that this could potentially be the last run I have at winning a Cup with this group,” Krug said. "Not only that, I get to do it while stuck in a bubble with all of those guys and enjoy their company 24/7 for as long as we're there. I'm just trying to enjoy it.
"Obviously, we have to remain focused and we have a job to do, but I think that's part of the process that we all enjoy in here. It's always fun to go to battle with these guys. I'm not approaching the games any differently. I'm still willing to sacrifice and do anything for this group, as they are for anyone else in the locker room. That's the fun part -- going to battle and then we get to return to a hotel room and reminisce on the games and create better memories than we already have right now. I'm excited about the opportunity, and I know those guys are as well."
Krug will be one of the most important players for the Bruins when games restart.
His offensive skill at both 5-on-5 and the power play is a major component in Boston's ability to score goals, especially against the best competition. Krug ranked eighth in scoring among defensemen with 49 points (nine goals, 40 assists) in 61 games during the regular season.
The Bruins will need strong secondary scoring if they're going to return to the Stanley Cup Final and finish the job. Offensive production from the blue line, and Krug specifically, could be a huge part of that effort.