There is a very interesting rumor running around the Boston area watering holes. The rumor mill has the Russian KHL hockey league dangling a contract in front of Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. Last season, Krug put up forty points (fourteen goals) with the Black and Gold. His plus minus was a +18, and he was a major factor in the B’s power play rising from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix.
If this rumor is true it gives Krug a surprising amount of maneuvering room when the Bruins finally sit him down to discuss a contract. Under normal circumstances, Krug’s status as an entry level restricted free agents gives him little to work with here. Krug can’t sign offer sheets with other NHL teams. He is ineligible for any form of salary arbitration. While the NHL doesn’t have indentured servitude, Krug’s status is barely one or two steps above it. (Cue Jeremy Jacobs rubbing his hands together and whispering “Excellent.”.)
Krug’s agent, Lewis Gross was contacted by the staff at CSNNE.com. They had received a tip on the existence of the KHL contract for the twenty three year old blueliner. (The contract was reported as generous in its compensation package, and it included a hefty sign-on bonus.) Gross offered no information on whether or not the contract existed and only offered “no comment” on the matter.
While Krug is very limited in his options with Boston right now, packing up and crossing continents is a bad idea for him. This contract could be nothing more than a smokescreen. On face value, it’s a tough card to play. The KHL has not embraced American players the same way the NHL has embraced Russians. Both sides know that there isn’t much money in the pot to offer this year. (Reilly Smith still hasn’t received a contract either.) Many European players have had a tough time adjusting to NHL ice and vice versa. (Former Boston Bruins forward Chris Bourque had two short stints in the KHL in his career.)
It’s in Krug’s best interest to take the deal ‘given’ to him by the Bruins organization this year, and then decide if he wishes to pursue other options in the 2015-16 season. The Bruins have usually been more than kind to players in this situation, and he’ll reap the rewards if he’s patient enough.