By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Toronto bubble was not conducive to contract talks between the Bruins and pending unrestricted free agent Torey Krug.
“The contact was very, very few and far between, for whatever reason,” Krug said. “And it just, it is what it is.”
By now, both sides have made it known that they’d like to be back for next season and beyond. The Bruins have talked about their appreciation for Krug’s skill-set, and Don Sweeney said the sides had ‘very, very good’ discussions when asked in April. Sweeney also said he had hoped that Krug’s Boston tenure was not finished after the power-play quarterback brought up that possibility during an early-quarantine availability with the media.
But, again, that hasn’t led to much traction when it comes to sitting down and hammering something out.
“I don’t really know what the future holds in terms of the coming weeks,” the 29-year-old Krug admitted. “Free agency isn’t until about I think a week after the season ends in terms of the Stanley Cup being awarded. We’ll see. I guess there is a lot of time between now and then. I’m not really sure what the future holds and I’m willing to sit back and see what happens here.
“That’s pretty much all I got for you.”
On the possibility of a one-year deal, the 5-foot-9 Krug, who totaled six assists in 13 games inside the bubble, seems done taking short-term gambles.
“I’m very opposed to that,” Krug said. “I’ve bet on myself and I’ve taken shorter term deals and less amount of money my whole career now. This is my time in terms of my value at its peak and I have the ability and I’m in a position now where I need to make the most of it. I’m very opposed to something like that. I’ve done it long enough now. That’s the situation I’m facing.”
One of the premier offensive blue liners in the game, Krug totaled nine goals and 49 points in 61 games during the 2019-20 regular season, and his 212 points since the start of the 2016-17 season are the sixth-most among all NHL defensemen, trailing only Erik Karlsson, Roman Josi, Victor Hedman, John Carlson, and Brent Burns.
Krug, an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State, has also spent his entire pro career with the Bruins, and is the highest-scoring American player in franchise history. He’s also the longest-tenured Bruins player without a championship.
Leaving all of that behind on a long-term deal elsewhere would be emotional, but it’s not something that’s giving Krug anxiety.
“There is an emotional attachment,” Krug acknowledged. “I think that is a mistake that a lot of athletes get caught up in when they start their professional careers, there is nothing personal about it. It’s business on both ends. Teams have to put the best team forward, spending a certain amount of money. Athletes have one shot at making all their money in their career, whether you play one, two, three years in the league up to ten to fifteen years, you have one shot to do it all. I realize that. It is what it is.
“There definitely is an emotional attachment. There is no secret. I’ve been very outspoken about it and my teammates know it, everyone knows it. It’s part of the business. It stinks. But we’ll see what happens moving forward.”
The Bruins have a projected $15.5 million in cap space entering this offseason.