Torey Krug will enter the final year of his contract come July 1. The Bruins are free to negotiate a contract extension with their 5-foot-9 defenseman at the turn of the calendar month.
The former Michigan State Spartan called Boston home for good upon his arrival to the Bruins organization as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Krug, who will welcome a new addition to his family this summer, expressed a desire to stay in Boston for the rest of his career during the team’s breakup day on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena.
“That’s been my goal from Day 1, to become a part of this locker room and this core. Guys have come and gone and I’ve been lucky enough just to stay for a while and I want to be here forever,” Krug said. “It’s a great group of guys. You feel really privileged to be part of the group and you want to bring something to the table yourself. Hopefully, I’ve done that.”
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney sees Krug as a viable core piece. His growth into a more well-rounded defenseman and established leadership makes Krug a key cog to the tight-knit Bruins locker room.
He’s more than a power play specialist and offensive-minded defenseman. Yes, his 5-foot-9 frame still puts him at a disadvantage in net-front battles, but he’s more than held his own against bigger and stronger competition, culminating into a career year in 2018-19.
But the soon to be fifth-year Boston GM could use some salary cap flexibility. Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen are all due for raises after their entry-level deals expired while Marcus Johansson would love to stay with the Bruins after a solid post-trade deadline run. Sweeney also needs to address a top-six upgrade to skate with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk before the team begins their quest for the Cup in April.
A trade or buyout doesn’t appear likely for David Backes, who has a modified no-trade clause entering the second to last year of his contract. Sweeney would have to eat some of his $6 million AAV in any potential transaction.
That leaves Krug as a valuable trade chip with a rather friendly $5.25 million cap hit. Krug, like Backes, has a modified no-trade clause. Sweeney, though not putting any potential trade off the table, isn’t keen on parting ways with the 28-year-old blueliner.
“We have an opportunity starting July 1 to open up talks,” Sweeney said about Krug. “But it would take a unique opportunity for us to part with Torey. We think he’s a big part of the fabric in our group.”
Krug arrived in Boston with a bang during the 2013 postseason. He came close in a couple of instances to hoisting that elusive Stanley Cup.
His game came a long way over the last six years. Krug hopes to reap the benefits of his professional hockey growth with a new contract in the next 12 months or so.
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