Krug could return to Bruins after testing free agent market, GM says

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Torey Krug and the Boston Bruins have not made any headway on talks to re-sign the defenseman, who can become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9.

“We haven’t had any progress as far as Torey,” general manager Don Sweeney said Monday. 

Sweeney said there is no animosity between the two sides and that the Bruins could trade Krug’s rights before the free agency signing period begins Friday at noon ET as well as continue discussions to keep the 29-year-old in Boston. 

“We’d consider anything at this point in time, including the fact that several free agents have gone, tested the market and come back to the same place that they were at,” Sweeney said. “It’s something we’d also consider. There’s no way you’re going to change my opinion of what I think Torey has the right to do and I believe that. 

“He’s put himself in a great position, whether with us or with other teams that have interest in him. I listen to any situation that might improve our hockey club and move forward from there if it plays out that way.”

Krug, who has said that he would like to remain with the Bruins, made clear that he is unwilling to accept less than he believes he is worth at this point in his career. 

“I’m very opposed to that,” Krug said Sept. 3. “I’ve bet on myself. I’ve taken shorter-term deals, less amount of money my whole career now. This is my time in terms of my value at its peak. I have the ability, I’m in a position now where I need to make the most of it.”

Video: BOS@FLA: Krug hammers home slap shot for OT winner

Krug led Bruins defensemen with 49 points (nine goals, 40 assists) in 61 games this season, while averaging 20:29 in ice time per game, with 28 points coming on the power play (two goals, 26 assists). He had six assists in 13 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs while averaging 22:51 ice time per game, when the Bruins were defeated in five games by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Second Round after winning their first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes in five games and going 0-3-0 in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Krug has played 523 games over nine seasons with the Bruins, scoring 337 points (67 goals, 270 assists). He has scored 52 points (11 goals, 41 assists) in 75 playoff games, helping the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2019 (lost in seven games to the St. Louis Blues) and 2013 (lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks).

Zdeno Chara can also become an unrestricted free agent Oct. 9 and Sweeney said talks are ongoing between the Bruins and their captain. 

“I’ve met with Zdeno, had conversations, going to continue to have conversations,” Sweeney said. “You have to be on the same page as we move forward. We’ve conveyed where we are with that. We’re going to continue to have communications with he and (agent) Matt Keator.”

Sweeney would not comment on whether those discussions have centered around Chara’s role for the 2020-21 season. 

“We’ve just had really broad-based discussions on everything,” he said. 

The 43-year-old, the oldest player in the NHL this season, scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) and averaged 21:01 ice time per game. The defenseman’s role has diminished in recent seasons, though he remains a force on the penalty kill. Sweeney called him “a very important part, leader, of our hockey club.”

While goalie Tuukka Rask is signed for the upcoming season, the last of his eight-year, $56 million contract signed July 10, 2013, there have been rumors of a possible trade. Sweeney declined to comment on whether Rask has no-trade or no-movement protection but said that the goalie is in the team’s plans for next season. Rask finished second in voting for the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL, with a 26-8-6 record, League-best 2.12 goals against average and .929 save percentage. 

“No. No. As a matter of fact, our staff has communicated with Tuukka,” Sweeney said. “As I said before, [he] remains a big part of our roster planning going forward because I think, by my knowledge, he was second in the Vezina balloting and we should look very, very comfortable the way our goaltending’s at.”

Rask opted out of the playoffs on Aug. 15 during the first round and Jaroslav Halak started the final eight games for the Bruins. 

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