According to Joe Haggerty, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug might be looking for something the Bruins can’t afford. And, if so, it appears his days in Boston could be numbered.
Krug had been the subject of trade rumors in the past, but the feeling was that the Bruins always wanted to hang onto him. Now that he’s a pending free agent, the conversation is similar, only this time, it’s that the Bruins would like to re-sign the gifted defenseman, assuming they could afford to.
Speculation was that the two sides might be able to come to an agreement and that Krug might take a bit of a discount to stick around.
Now, with uncertainty around the salary cap and no real clue as to when the numbers might bounce back, the new talk is that Krug may want his money while he can get it.
In a recent article for NBC Sports, Bruins insider Haggerty is hinting that things are growing farther apart more than they are moving closer together between the Bruins and Krug’s people. Haggerty writes:
There was a time when Krug and the Bruins might have been able to make a deal based on the salary cap space that Boston cleared by ridding themselves of the David Backes contract, and based on the salary cap going up from the $81.5 million salary cap ceiling this past season.
Now, with the cap staying flat, Haggerty believes Krug will be seeking financial security. Other teams have the money and term to offer Krug and the market may take the Bruins out of the running. Haggerty adds:
It’s a tough spot for both player and the hockey club because of the financial uncertainty. It’s more likely now that Krug is going to sign for as much money as he can get now given the uncharted waters ahead. Krug would have been able to command an annual salary in the $8 million AAV range based on his offensive production over the last handful of seasons, something few of his peers can boast.
So Now What?
The Bruins can’t do anything right now. They’re in the playoff picture, they can’t technically make trades and they don’t want to deal with this at the moment. But, whenever this season is ultimately done, the team will have to deal with this issue.
If the Bruins are fairly certain Krug is leaving, their best bet is to try and get something for his rights, trading him for a later-round pick and giving another team a good chance to sign him. That said, with few teams able to offer Krug what he might be seeking, there could be a sense of confidence the team that would like him doesn’t need to spend assets to acquire the right to talk with him first.
There is so much we don’t know about how the marketplace will work going forward. It makes knowing how to proceed if you’re the Bruins or Krug difficult.
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