By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins defenseman and pending unrestricted free agent Torey Krug doesn’t want to leave Boston, and has made it known that he’s interested in taking a discount to make it happen.
But speaking at the NHL-NHLPA preseason media tour, the 5-foot-9 defenseman admitted that he’s a little surprised that talks with the Bruins about an extension have been “nonexistent.”
Even though he understands why that’s the case.
“Maybe a little surprise [that] nothing has been talked about, but I realize that our team is in a different situation,” Krug told reporters in Chicago. “I understand that we have two guys that need to be signed and that can have big effects on our cap situation moving forward and [Don Sweeney] has to deal with that.
“Of course I wish there was dialogue and I wish there was some sort of call or something, but it’s just nonexistent.”
The two guys Krug’s referencing are still-unsigned restricted free agent defensemen Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy. Now less than a week away from the official start of training camp, updates on the status of Boston’s two right-side pillars have been few and far between, and the Bruins still have just over $8 million in cap space to their name.
It’s left Sweeney to explore all creative and inventive avenues to get the defensemen signed in the now, and it’s left Boston’s next group of pending free agents in the dark as the team is still unsure how much cash they’ll have to their name in 2020.
And Krug is not the only Boston skater without a deal beyond this season, as the team also has to make decisions on restricted free agents Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk, as well as unrestricted free agents Charlie Coyle and Zdeno Chara. Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak, bottom-six winger Chris Wagner, and defenseman Kevan Miller are also unrestricted free agents. It’s quite a headache for Sweeney and Co., who without Carlo and McAvoy signed and assuming there’s no change in next year’s cap, are operating with $31 million in available cap space for Summer 2020.
It’s worth noting that the Bruins will get some relief next summer though, as just over $3 million in buyout penalties (Dennis Seidenberg counts for just over $1.1 million on Boston’s cap this season) and retained salary (the Bruins ate $1.9 million of Matt Beleskey’s salary to trade him to the Rangers in 2018) will come off the books.
Factor that in with the aforementioned ‘discount’ word thrown around by No. 47 and it shouldn’t be all that hard for Boston to find the cap space needed to keep one of the game’s top power-play quarterbacks in a B’s sweater.
But even if an offer doesn’t come this season, Krug seems content having to once again prove his worth to the B’s.
“I put together a resume that I’m very, very comfortable with and happy about,” Krug noted. “You’ve just got to be patient and try to do your part, be a soldier.”
After recording a career-best 59 points in 2017-18, Krug set a career-high in assists (47) this past season, and added two goals and 18 points in 24 games on the Black and Gold’s run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.