By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Just days away from the start of free agency, the Boston Bruins and pending unrestricted free agent Torey Krug remain at a standstill, as confirmed by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
“We haven’t had any progress,” Sweeney said Monday.
The update, or non-update when it comes to bringing the power-play quarterback back to Boston on a long-term deal, is hardly a surprise. Krug has been open about the lack of progress on a new deal, and Sweeney has done his part to remain diplomatic, almost encouraging the 5-foot-9 Krug to get his maximum payday.
Sweeney remained diplomatic Monday, too, noting that these discussions have remained cordial despite the lack of progress.
“There’s no animosity whatsoever in this situation with this player,” said Sweeney. “Every team has sticky deals and trying to thread the needle so to speak in this day and age with the salary cap and competitive environment that we’re all in and trying to win. Those things collide.”
It’s believed that the Bruins offered Krug a six-year deal worth nearly $40 million, but that was not accepted, and the Bruins have since engaged in trade talks for the Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a left-shot defenseman making $8.25 million per season for the next seven seasons. (Ekman-Larsson, mind you, is only willing to his no-move clause to Boston or Vancouver.)
At this point, it’s almost too easy to see the exit sign that’ll take No. 47 out of the Hub and towards a big payday elsewhere.
When asked about potentially trading Krug’s negotiating rights between now and the start of free agency, Sweeney noted that everything, including bringing Krug back, remains on the table this week.
“We’d consider anything at this point in time, including the fact that several free agents have have gone and tested the market and come back to the same place that they were at, and it’s something we would also consider,” said Sweeney. “There’s no way in hell you’re going to change my opinion of what I think Torey has the right to do and I believe that. He’s put himself in a great position either with us or with other teams that have interest in him.
“I’ll listen to any situation that might improve our hockey club and move forward from there if it plays out that way.”
A career-long Bruin, the 29-year-old Krug scored nine goals and 49 points in 61 games this past season, and has been the league’s sixth-highest scoring defender since the start of the 2016 season, with 212 points in 282 games.