Boston Bruins

Dec 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) shoots the puck during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

A pending unrestricted free agent, consistent producer, and the power-play quarterback of one of the top units in all of hockey, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is in line for a massive payday. Be it in Boston or elsewhere.

But the 28-year-old has refused to let it become a distraction when it comes to doing his job for the league-best Bruins.

“I’ve kind of pushed it to the side ever since training camp started,” Krug offered following Monday’s practice. “Just tried to help this team win hockey games in the present, try to be part of the answer, the solution to winning here.”

And the career-long Bruin ain’t lying.

With eight goals and 45 points through 58 games played, Krug ranks eighth among all NHL defensemen in scoring, is tied with the Caps’ John Carlson for the most power-play points among defenseman (26), and ranks seventh in points per game (0.78).

The 5-foot-9 defender is also paced for his fourth straight season of at least 50 points, and his numbers to date project him to finish with a 10-goal, 47-assist, 57-point line if healthy and in action for the remainder of the season. That would be the season most productive year of Krug’s NHL career to date, too, just two points behind Krug’s 59-point 2017-18, which was the most productive year by any Boston defenseman since Ray Bourque’s 82-point year in 1995-96.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, meanwhile, noted that he remains in contact with Krug’s camp.

“We’ve continued to stay in communication with Torey,” Sweeney said last Monday. “Whether we find one at an appropriate time between now and the end of the year, I don’t know yet. We’ll have talks, they’ve been very cordial, both sides sort of understand where they are and whether or not we can bridge something along those lines is to be determined.”

But for Krug, who opted not to give reporters any details about his asks, the focus will remain on the ice.

“I haven’t thought about it any differently since [the year started],” Krug said. “So why start now?”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.