With an aging core and lack of scoring being the focus with the Boston Bruins, trade talks have picked up steam on social media. And that nagging Torey Krug will he or won’t he stay saga? Still an issue. In case you didn’t know, with the COVID-19 affecting the trade deadline date, the Krug talks stalled. The season is done now for the Bruins and those talks are stickier than ever.
“We haven’t found a landing spot. I would hope that I’ll make the moves to be able to accommodate what he and his family and agent feel that he has earned. I would be the last person to begrudge any player trying to make the best decision they can make for their family… In a perfect world, it’s with us, but we know that the world is anything but perfect right about now.”Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney on Torey Krug
Krug has been upfront about not wanting a short-term deal and Sweeney fully understands the situation. The 29-year-old defenseman will be looking at a ball-park figure of $8 million a year. With the uncertainty of what the salary caps will be in the next few years, it’s unlikely the Bruins would offer that to Krug. The Lightning took advantage of Boston’s smaller-bodied defense and rather than re-signing the 5’9″, the likelihood they let him walk wouldn’t be too shocking.
MORE PENDING CONTRACTS
Making this situation stickier? Boston needing to re-sign Jake DeBrusk (RFA), Matt Grzelcyk (RFA), Joakim Nordstrom (UFA), and Kevin Miller. Both Grzelcyk and Nordstrom thrived and blossomed this past season and in particular during the abridged Playoffs. Reportedly, the Vancouver Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens showed interest in Krug. The Boston Bruins have also reportedly been looking at St. Louis Blues free agent Alex Pietrangelo.
Another name the Boston Bruins have reportedly looked at is Arizona Coyotes Captain Oliver Ekman-Larson (OEL). At 6’2″, 200lbs, OEL would certainly add more to the defense, especially if Krug leaves. However, would the Bruins pull the trigger and pay the hefty price tag of $8.25MM cap hit over seven more years? And at 29-years-old, would he start to show signs of slipping (which at that age can be an issue for most defenseman). For Arizona, who are financially strapped-both cap-wise and paying off ASM Global (who operates the Gila River Arena), moving Ekman-Larson would free up needed space.
A quick rundown of OEL stats: since breaking into the NHL 2010-2011, he has played 723 games, 124 goals with 364 points. Since 2013-2019, he’s pretty much notched a 40+ point record. He also plays big minutes which would bode well with the likes of McAvoy or Carlo.
IN OTHER NHL NEWS
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced during the state of the league address that the NHL wants to return to its 82-game format. He also noted that the start of the season would either be in December or January 2021. There is hope that the league will look into transitioning a limited amount of fans back into arenas. One thing that was not answered was the navigation of playing between the U.S. and Canadian Border. The league is in its final stages of the bubble Playoffs and have had zero COVID results in 300,000 tests.
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