Over the last several seasons there has been seemingly endless speculation about the future of veteran defenseman Torey Krug. In spite of his undeniable value to the Bruins as an offensive defenseman and power play specialist, Krug has often been the subject of trade rumors during his time in Boston and now has his career hanging in something of a limbo.
Krug was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st but the hope of many a Bruins fan was that the team would sign the veteran blue liner to a new deal before he hit the open market, perhaps even a team friendly type of contract. No new deal has been signed as of yet however and now there is more uncertainty than ever before due to concerns about how the season shutdown will impact the salary cap for the 2020 - 2021 National Hockey League regular season. The estimates suggested the cap would have increased to somewhere in the neighborhood of $84 million, but there is no chance of that happening now and there has even been talk suggesting that the cap could come down next season as a result of the financial loss the NHL and its players have taken due to this pandemic.
That means that the already cap strapped Bruins will have even less salary cap space than they would have had under ideal circumstances, and even prior to having this knowledge the Bruins had made little effort to work out a new deal with the defenseman. In a recent article for NBC Sports, Bruins insider Joe Haggerty certainly made it sound like he no longer believes the Bruins can retain Krug.
There was a time when Krug and the Bruins might have been able to make a deal based on the salary cap space that Boston cleared by ridding themselves of the David Backes contract, and based on the salary cap going up from the $81.5 million salary cap ceiling this past season.
Instead Haggerty believes that Krug will now seek out as much financial security as he will be able to find given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, and competition for a long term deal on the open market could very well take the Bruins out of the running given what may come with the salary cap.
Again from Haggerty:
It’s a tough spot for both player and the hockey club because of the financial uncertainty. It’s more likely now that Krug is going to sign for as much money as he can get now given the uncharted waters ahead. Krug would have been able to command an annual salary in the $8 million AAV range based on his offensive production over the last handful of seasons, something few of his peers can boast.
The fact that the Bruins waited this long may have already been an indication that they were not prepared to sign Krug to a lucrative long term deal, but waiting this long may have now also put re-signing Krug out of reach as a result of the unexpected shutdown.