Bruins defenseman Torey Krug mentioned several times he has “no clarity” on his future after sitting down for a Boston Bruins-organized Zoom conference call with B’s media members on Tuesday afternoon.
After all, pretty much nobody has any kind of clarity about what’s going to happen over the next few months as regions of the United States are attempting to slow down a global coronavirus outbreak with hot spots in places like Boston.
But there’s another level to the uncertainty for Krug as a looming unrestricted free agent once this 2019-20 season has been finished, one way or the other. Krug hopes that there is some manner of resumption of the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs over the next few months, and just as passionately hopes he hasn’t played his last game as a member of the Bruins.
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“For me personally, I really hope I did not play my last game as a Boston Bruin. It’s been a special place for me and my family to grow. My love for the game and playing in front of these fans has been very special to me. But [this situation] hasn’t given me any clarity,” said Krug, who also mentioned there have been no contract discussions with the Bruins since the season went on pause in early March. “It makes you wonder about this process a little more because I was just in the moment thinking only about helping my team win games and hopefully push our team toward winning a championship.
But now the season is on pause and I’m definitely wondering what’s going to happen. But in terms of clarity, there pretty much has been none. I can’t put any assumptions on it, but I can only guess that things are going to look different from a salary cap perspective next season. Team structures as well are going to be affected by it, but I have no clarity about it. I wish I had a better answer for that, but it’s just the reality of the situation.
Krug had nine goals and 49 points in 61 games this season for the Bruins and was moving toward a big payday this summer — whether it was in Boston or somewhere else.
Based on comparable deals for other elite NHL defensemen across the NHL, a long-term teal in the range of $6-8 million per season was pretty much an automatic no matter where he was going to sign. It remains to be seen how much a lowered salary cap ceiling would impact player contracts for guys like Krug, but he’s clearly going into the situation with his eyes wide open.
There’s also very little clarity on when the NHL season will resume, or even if it can resume as the league explores options like summer Stanley Cup playoff hockey and neutral site locations for playoff hockey without any fans in the stands.
Krug has consistently said he wants to remain with the Bruins and might even take less to do exactly that when it’s all said and done, but there also hadn’t been a lot of documented progress in contract talks between the player and team to this point either.
It remains to be seen how Krug’s situation will play out, or if the player will get his wish to at the very least finish out the rest of what’s become a long, strange year with the Bruins.