In today’s edition of Boston Bruins’ News & Rumors, we look at Torey Krug’s contract situation, David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase missing the first day of training camp and Anders Bjork being praised by Bruce Cassidy.
Krug’s Contract & Future in Boston
The future of Krug in a Bruins’ uniform has been up in the air for quite a while. On the one hand, Krug is an exceptionally gifted offensive defender who produces at an elite rate for his team. On the other hand, he’s undersized and isn’t as effective in his own zone as some of the other top paid blueliners around the NHL who contribute in all situations and not primarily on the power play.
On his current deal that counts for $5.25 million against the Bruins’ salary cap total, Krug is perfectly priced for what he brings to the table. While the team could be comfortable paying him an increase on that in the realm of $6 million to $6.5 million per season, it may not be so simple.
Krug’s offensive totals will likely make him a hot commodity on the open market and there will likely be at least one suitor looking to throw a significant contract his way should things come to that point. Though Krug has stated that his wish is to stay in Boston and that he may even be willing to do so at a discounted rate, the price tag may still be too rich for the Bruins given their current salary situation.
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen,” Krug said Monday at training camp. “I’m just trying to take it day by day and worry about the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs right now. I’ll have to probably prepare for free agency, and we’ll see what happens there.”
For now, Krug and the Bruins will be looking towards playoff success before figuring out a new deal for the 29-year-old. Still, though, they’ll have to circle back on his future at some point and figure out if he’ll be a part of the team next season.
Pastrnak and Kase Miss Day 1 of Bruins’ Training Camp
If the Bruins’ lineups at Day One of training camp looked a little strange, that’s because the team was practicing without two of their top forwards.
Both Pastrnak and Kase were absent from camp Monday, but that isn’t something fans should be worried about. The delay for the duo returning to the ice for the Bruins wasn’t injury-related but instead was due to international quarantine protocols, according to head coach Bruce Cassidy.
“With Kase and [Pastrnak] because of when they got here [to Boston], they have to have enough [negative COVID-19] tests,” said Cassidy. “There are some guys going out in a later group because of the numbers. I would expect a few more will join us tomorrow and then we’ll go from there on a daily basis to see where they’re at.”
Pastrnak is a lock to return to his top line duties alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand when he’s eligible to take part in these organized practices. Kase, on the other hand, may have to earn his way back into a top-six role given that he only played six games with the Bruins after the trade deadline and before the season was postponed.
Still, the Bruins are high on Kase’s potential and there’s a good chance he finds himself in a favorable lineup spot should he prove he’s worthy of it in camp.
One player who could stand in Kase’s way, however, is Bjork.
Anders Bjork Earns Bruce Cassidy’s Praise
With both Pastrnak and Kase missing from training camp Monday, Karson Kuhlman and Bjork stepped into roles on the Bruins’ first and second lines respectively.
Though Bjork has had his ups and downs with the Bruins, largely due to unfortunately timed injuries, the 23-year-old showed that he’s ready to go for the postseason with a strong showing in the team’s first official day back.
Earning the praise of Cassidy, who would mention that Bjork looked “terrific” Monday and was potentially “the best player on the ice,” Bjork definitely wants to play a prime role for the Bruins during this playoff run.
Despite the praise Cassidy paid Bjork, he did mention that it’s still early in camp. One day obviously isn’t going to make or break any player, especially when everybody is trying to shake the rust off after so long of a break. Still, though, Bjork earning this praise from Cassidy is a great step forward for him regardless of where he ends up skating during actual games.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.