Why Torey Krug might stay with Bruins after this season

Matt Kalman
September 05, 2019 - 3:21 pm

Most of the focus around the Bruins right now is on defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

The restricted free agents remain unsigned with one week until training camp.

But part of general manager Don Sweeney’s dilemma is getting those two signed to reasonable contracts and knowing there will be hard negotiations ahead in future season with other free agents.

Matt Grzelcyk and Jake DeBrusk will be RFAs next summer. And Torey Krug will be an unrestricted free agent, unless he signs an extension before next July 1.

There’s no doubt that Krug, 28, will be in line for a raise from the $5.25 million annual average his concluding four-year contract pays if he continues to play the way he did last season, when he had 53 points (six goals, 47 assists) in 64 games.

But loyalty to Boston, the only organization he’s known in the NHL and the one that won the bidding for him when he was a college free agent in 2012, may keep Krug from testing the market.

"Would I take less to stay in Boston? It's something that I've talked about with my family and my agent. It's something I'm interested in,” Krug told ESPN.com at the NHL’s media preseason tour on Thursday. “How much less? That's a question that will be answered at a certain time. I think something that's fair will be able to be worked out both ways. As long as they want me, I think something could be done, realistically. Everyone does it. How much they do it, is kind of their own opinion and [dependent> on their own circumstances."

There’s precedent for Boston players taking a hometown discount, most notably Brad Marchand, who spurned a possible UFA summer by signing for eight years and $49 million in Sept. 2016. Patrice Bergeron re-signed almost a year before he would’ve become a UFA, signing an eight-year $55 million contract in July 2013.

There’s no telling at this point what McAvoy and Carlo’s new deals will look like and whether even “something that’s fair” will be possible between Krug and the Bruins when they get down to talking about an extension.

For now, Krug has tilted sentiment in his favor be expressing what most Bruins fans wanted to hear from him.