After the heartbreaking Stanley Cup Finals loss its time to look on to the off-season and what the team will look like next year. Torey Krug is entering his final year of his contract and the 28 year old defenseman expressed his love for the city when talking to reporters, “This is an important place in my heart, a place I’ve wanted to play my whole career. Ideally it would be something that gets done. I want to be here.”
Krug has been a valuable asset to the Bruins roster as he’s become a veteran that the younger kids look up to. He’s become the quarterback on a lethal power play unit and for this year his contract is a good price. So it begs the question, do they treat him as a one year rental, sign him now, or trade him this offseason?
You can make a case for all three options here and I wouldn’t be mad about any of them so long as you resign McAvoy and Carlo. Krug’s price tag only went up due to his brilliant run in the playoffs which can make it hard for the Bruins to match the money others will give him but if they can try and sign him now and knock the price down a little bit, maybe they can keep Krug in the black and gold for more than this year. Since he has expressed his love for Boston so much and how he wants to be one of the veterans the young guys can lean on, if the Bruins get contract talks started now they may be able to get the price tag down to where they need it.
If the Bruins want to treat him as if he was a one year rental and just let him walk at the end of the year, fine. He was a very valuable and important piece to the Bruins run this year at the cup and if they wanted to give it one last shot with him being the quarterback on that power play and being a pair with Carlo then so be it. They can afford to let him walk at the end of next year because their defensive core and defensive prospects are deep. We saw it first hand when Clifton had to come in and play or when Vaakanainen came up for a short stint before getting elbowed in the face. So they could have him play all year and then at the end of it all walk at free agency for nothing.
Lastly, the Bruins could trade him while his stock is at an all time high. I thought last year his stock was the highest it was going to be but, man was I wrong. Krug proved he is an offensive talent that isn’t to be messed with but still is struggling with his 5v5 play a little bit. He is a top 2 pairing defenseman who can hop up in the rush and act as another forward. We saw as Bruins fans how dangerous he can be especially when he’s in the ice with Bergeron and Marchand. If the Bruins don’t feel they can keep him and they could replace him with Grzelcyk, Vaakanainen or McAvoy then they could trade him now and get top 6 forward who could help the B’s 5v5. The Bruins were essentially a top 6 forward away from winning the Stanley Cup this year and if they can trade Krug away with a pick and prospect to get a shooter to either play with Krejci or Bergeron (move Pastrnak down to Line 2) that would help their 5v5 play which they ended struggling with in the playoffs.
What we don’t want the Bruins to do and I don’t think they’ll do is to play with him all this year, his value stays relatively the same, he hits the market and now the Bruins try to resign him. Then they would be bidding against a bunch of different teams and the money would be way to high for them to sign. Also, if they did create cap room to sign him on that large of a deal, would they even be comfortable having that much money allocated to the defense. You would have Carlo, McAvoy and Krug all on big contracts and they still need to lock up Debrusk, Heinen (RFA) and if they want a top 6 forward that’s the kind of money they would need open. So while the Celtics appear to be blowing it up and lookin for a minor rebuild, we can focus on a team that should have a lot going on this offseason with a bunch of moving pieces.
Photo: The Hockey Writers