BRIGHTON, Mass – With training camp officially underway for the Boston Bruins, Torey Krug enters the final season of his contract looking for a few answers.
And nobody could blame him.
Krug is coming off six goals and 53 points in 64 games during the regular season and another 18 points in 24 postseason games during the Stanley Cup playoff run. If the Black and Gold had captured the Cup, Krug certainly would have been among the names discussed for Conn Smythe, and the small-bodied defenseman certainly proved something to everybody by staying healthy throughout the rough-and-tumble playoff run.
So with all that in the recent past, Krug heard nothing from the Bruins about his deal as he enters the final year of his contract ahead of unrestricted free agency. Certainly some of it is about the Bruins still having unfinished business with unsigned RFAs Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, and the club needing cost certainty there before they could possibly proceed with the 28-year-old Krug.
But it’s also curious there hasn’t been a single conversation with Krug about his deal when they made certain to take care of Bruce Cassidy with a three-year extension as he was about to enter the final year of his contract.
Krug admitted that he’s curious about where it’s all going to lead and rightfully so.
“It’s something I’m comfortable with. I’ve played on one-year deals before and always had to prove myself,” said Krug. “But I’d love to get some clarity on my future for myself and my family, and know where I’m going to play. It’s something that I eventually hope will be discussed.”
A big part of the issue with Krug is that he’s primed to hit a massive payday on his next contract after being one of the most offensively productive D-men in the NHL over the last three seasons. It also remains to be seen if young D-men like Matt Grzelcyk, McAvoy and others can actually replace Krug’s point production or his ability to quarterback a power play.
He’s also approaching 30 years old as a 5-foot-8 D-man that’s managed to survive in the NHL during a career where he’s proved all doubters wrong.
It may give the Bruins some pause on a long term deal when Krug could easily command $7-8 million per season on a six-plus year deal as a free agent next summer. He’s already mentioned a willingness to take something of a hometown discount to stay with the B’s, but it remains to be seen how much of a discount that will translate to in real dollars. Certainly it’s encouraging that Krug is buying in on the Bruins as Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak did when they signed for less than they could have on their last contracts.
But it’s all speculation until the Bruins and Krug actually hold a discussion, and Don Sweeney and Co. begin showing interest in keeping the offensive D-man in the Black and Gold fold beyond next season.
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