Boston Bruins Should Extend Torey Krug This Offseason

Mar 8, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins Should Extend Torey Krug This Offseason As They Attempt To Fix Their Blue line Issues

The Boston Bruins should re-sign Torey Krug this offseason if the price is right. While Torey Krug‘s goal-scoring total dropped from 14 goals in 2013-14, to 12 goals in 2014-15, eventually to four goals in 2015-16, it’s undeniable that Krug is becoming a better player with every passing season. Torey Krug has shown a willingness to improve on the defensive side of the puck while also posting a career high in points last season with 44 points.

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Krug has shown throughout his entire life that his 5-foot-9 frame is not indicative of Torey Krug‘s ability, and he’s finally starting to show that he can be a legitimate top-four defenseman in the NHL. Accountability in the defensive zone is the most important trait for any defender, especially one playing in Claude Julien‘s system. Torey Krug has hit his share of hiccups in his own zone over the last three years, but the errors are seemingly getting further and further apart as he continues to gain experience skating in the Bruins’ system.

Upgrading defense is something that general manager Don Sweeney and the president of the Bruins’ Cam Neely have already emphasized a few times this offseason. It’s clear that the Bruins need to make some significant additions, and changes to their blueline if they have any hopes of successfully re-tooling their roster rather than rebuilding it.

Cam Neely has this to say about Don Sweeney‘s attempt at fixing the defense over the last two years, and specifically at last years draft.

"“I can tell you (Sweeney) worked extremely hard to try to move up. The scouting staff did a good job of identifying, and obviously you look back at the draft where you kind of had to be to get one of those D that were highly coveted, he just couldn’t do it last offseason,” – Cam Neely"

He continued talking about defense and Don Sweeney‘s attempts at fixing the roster by saying:

"“(He) tried throughout the year to make something happen and he’s maybe laid some groundwork leading up to the deadline and hopefully be able to get something done in the offseason. But like I said earlier, we know it’s an area that we need to improve upon.” – Cam Neely"

The Boston Bruins may need significant changes on defense, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of Torey Krug. Over the last two offseasons, the Boston Bruins have let go of both Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton for differing purposes, but both relating to the salary cap to some extent. The team should avoid trading away a potential top-four defenseman in three consecutive seasons, and they should work on extending Torey Krug for a reasonable cap hit if the opportunity arises.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs recently signed defenseman Morgan Rielly to a contract that lasts six years and will pay him out $5,000,000 per season. Rielly is a 6-foot-1, 205 pound defender who has shown at only 22 years old that he can be one of the league’s best defensemen for years to come as his development continues. Morgan Rielly was definitely in line to get a higher contract than Torey Krug this offseason before the Leafs locked him up, and the Bruins’ should use that as leverage this offseason as they try to lock up one of their more promising current-defenders. Torey Krug is only 25 years old and there’s no reason to think he’ll stop developing in a positive manner defensively under the tutelage of Claude Julien. With that in mind, a contract that pays Torey Krug $4,000,000 – $4,500,000 per season over the next four years is one that the Bruins should consider.

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While it’s impossible to determine what Torey Krug and his agent deem fair, the Bruins should not be too hesitant when it comes to re-signing the young Michigan-native. With the possibility of the Bruins’ buying-out the remainder of Dennis Seidenberg‘s contract as well, an extension for Torey Krug could be more feasible with the freed up cap space.