The Boston Bruins blue-line has been a widely discussed topic of late, especially because of rumors surrounding the Bruins and Cody Franson. While Boston claims that they’re looking to create a team that is more aggressive offensively, they currently have only one true offensive-defenseman on their roster – Torey Krug.
Krug made a name for himself when he broke into the league back in the 2012-13 playoffs, when the 5-foot 9-inch defenseman tore apart the New York Rangers. Since then, Krug has established himself as a regular on the Bruins blue-line, and is now an essential piece of roster.
Drafted by Boston out of Michigan State University, Krug has spent the last two seasons on Boston’s starting roster. In 160 career regular season games, the former Spartan has put up 81 points, and sits with a +30 rating.
Towards the end of last season, Krug signed a one-year contract extension worth $3.4 million dollars, locking him up for this season with his second-straight one-year deal.
While locking Krug up short-term has worked thus far for the Bruins, it won’t be their best option come next season, when Krug’s contract expires once again. After his third full season with the Bruins, Krug will look to sign a contract that will give him a little more security, as well as a bigger paycheck.
How Boston goes about doing that is yet to be determined, however, one thing’s for sure: Boston needs to make sure that they lock up Krug.
With Dougie Hamilton gone, Krug is easily Boston most important young defenseman. He possesses the offensive ability, as well as the playing style that Boston is looking for moving forward, and has already established himself as an NHL-caliber talent. His offensive threat will be a huge part of Boston’s powerplay next season, and the 24-year-old defenseman has improved his play in his own end of the ice, making him an even more valuable asset.
When Krug becomes a restricted free agent following this season, Boston will have to find a way to negotiate a longer-term deal to keep Krug in Boston. The issue? Don Sweeney will also be juggling Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Max Talbot, and Kevan Miller, who will also be restricted free agents, unless dealt elsewhere before then. However, of the names listed, Krug should be Boston’s top priority.
There’s no doubting that Krug will be in for a pay-day with the next contract he signs, assuming he has another good year with Boston. However, there is good news for Bruins fans: Krug loves Boston, and he isn’t afraid to share that.
Krug recently announced the addition of a new member of the Krug family, his new dog, Fenway. Besides being adorable, Krug’s new dog actually says something very important about him. The guy loves Boston. Krug, who spent a ton of time in Boston this summer, has been enveloped by the city’s culture, stretching far beyond his own team. The proud Red Sox fan even went so far as to dedicate his dog’s namesake to the city’s historic ballpark.
All dogs aside, Krug has stated his interest to remain in Boston, the city that gave him a shot at the NHL.
“I’m a very determined individual,” Krug said, according to CBS Boston’s Matt Kalman. “I obviously want to be here and I want to play for this team. Being a Boston Bruin is very important to me. That’s one of the reasons I chose to come here, the organization and everything that comes with it. For me, it’s about this year, showing your worth, your value. Obviously the main is to win the Stanley Cup. If you win a Stanley Cup then that helps prove to everybody what you’re worth, what your value is.
“It’s a big year for me. I want the stability for my family and obviously for my mental sake, sanity and everything. It would be great. But I’m very determined.”
The stage is set for Krug to cash in next summer, which is something the Bruins need to keep in mind. Boston needs to avoid Tyler Seguin-ing (or Dougie Hamilton-ing, for that matter) Torey Krug away. They’ve made the mistake of letting young talents go too many times, and this is a chance for Boston to secure Krug.
Another contract year also means that Krug will have even more motivation to make an impact for Boston this year, which is good news for Bruins fans.
Krug’s unique talent is exactly what Boston is looking for, and he could really become one of the centerpieces for the Bruins moving forward, assuming that Don Sweeney and co. can come to terms with Krug. On top of that, he has the attitude that Boston wants, both on and off the ice, and he loves the city he plays for.
When discussions with Krug begin next Spring, Boston would be smart to work very closely with the Michigan native. Dishing out some money to keep Krug at home for a while is fine, because cash for Krug is cash well spent.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!