Aside from the status of Tuukka Rask, there’s probably no bigger offseason storylines for the Bruins than whether or not Torey Krug will be with the team next season.
Based on his comments today, it appears that Krug will be playing elsewhere.
In his end-of-season media availability, Krug was obviously asked multiple questions about his contract status. As is normally the case, Krug was thoughtful and honest with his answers.
When asked about contact between his representation and the Bruins, Krug said that the conversations were “very, very few and far between, for whatever reason.”
“It is what it is,” he added. “As far as what it looks like, I don’t really know what the future holds.”
The fact that Krug and the Bruins haven’t held regular contract discussions isn’t exactly surprising, but the “very, very few and far between” part seems to indicate that those “talks” bordered on nonexistent.
While it’s fair to say that the Bruins (and Krug) had plenty of other stuff going on, it’s not a stretch to say that if the Bruins truly thought they’d be bringing Krug back, conversations would have been had.
When asked if he’d consider a one-year deal, probably something team friendly to allow them to make another run, the answer was a hard “no.”
“I’m very opposed to that,” he 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’m in a position now where I need to make the most of it.”
Translation: I’m cashing in on my last best chance at a huge contract. Frankly, you can’t knock him for it. He’s been a good team guy for the better part of a decade, and deserves a shot at a big pay day.
Krug did go on to say that he hadn’t thought about any other team at this point, but noted that he’d probably have to start doing just that as free agency approaches.
The weirder, more “yeah, he’s leaving” part came at the end of his virtual media availability, where Krug essentially gave a “thanks to the memories” to the (virtually) assembled media.
“I appreciate all you guys, all the questions over the years, good and bad,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be seeing you soon at the rinks and if not, I’ll see you elsewhere...I really appreciate everything.”
Generally, you don’t thank the assembled media if you think you’ll be coming back to town, right?
Overall, I don’t think anyone is surprised by the situation. Krug has been a great Bruin, arguably one of the Bruins’ best free agent signings of the past 20 years.
He has taken shorter, “prove it” deals in the past, and isn’t willing to do it again. While the financial landscape in the NHL has been impacted due to COVID-19, there certainly will be teams willing to give Krug the long-term deal and money he feels he deserves.
Stranger things have happened, but the Bruins, in all likelihood, won’t be that team.
If this is the end of Krug’s time in Boston, it’s been a hell of a ride.