How Roman Josi’s new contract could impact Torey Krug’s talks with Bruins

Matt Kalman
October 29, 2019 - 5:22 pm

When he was on The Greg Hill Show last week, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug described his contract talks with Boston as a “work-in-progress.”

Krug is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 at the conclusion of his four-year contract with an average annual value of $5.25 million.

Well in the world of contract negotiations we’re always looking for comparable deals, and Tuesday one that should trickle down to Krug's tier of defenseman was signed. The Nashville Predators re-upped with their captain Roman Josi for eight years at an AAV of $9.059 with a full no-trade clause. Next season he will be tied with P.K. Subban for third-largest AAV among defenseman, behind just Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty ($11 million) and San Jose’s Erik Karlsson ($11.5 million).

Like Krug, the 29-year-old Josi could’ve tested the open market this summer.

Over the past five seasons, the 6-foot-1, 201-pound Josi has averaged 54.8 points per season and 25:21 of ice time per night

Krug is 28 and has averaged 20:54 of ice time per night and 49.2 points per season.

Recently the Ottawa Senators signed 23-year-old Thomas Chabot, who would’ve been a restricted free agent, to an eight-year, $8 million AAV contract. Over the summer the New York Rangers locked up 26-year-old defenseman Jacob Trouba for seven years at $8 million. Chabot has just two years of NHL experience, one 25-point season and one 55-point season; Trouba has averaged 30 points per season since 2014-15, with a career-high of 50 coming last season.

Krug’s already gone on record as saying he would consider taking less money to stay in Boston, and he expanded upon that idea on The Greg Hill Show on Oct. 23.

“Well the idea behind it is you know realistically just living a happy life,” he said. “This is a great city where, you know I’ve mentioned before, championships are expected on a yearly basis and we expect it of ourselves.

“And ultimately winning makes a lot of people happy, so when we have the group that we have and you understand how things work here, the camaraderie, brotherhood if you will, these are some of our closest friends that we’ve grown up together and you want to be part of it for a very long time.

“And then you couple that with how happy your family is, you want your kid to grow up in this wonderful city as well, you just pair all those things together and that’s where the thought process comes from.”

Now it appears the bar has been officially set in the $7-8 million range, with the possibility that he would sacrifice some compensation in exchange for longer-term security. So the Bruins have to decide how long the 5-9 Krug can hold up under the rigors of the NHL or whether they’re willing to be paying him for nothing at the back end of his next deal.

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