As first reported by Aaron Ward, Boston has reportedly re-signed defenseman Torey Krug to a four-year contract worth $21 million, or $5.25 million per season. The undersized Michigan State alum has been a key member of the B's blueline and this was an important move for the Bruins.
Boston is shockingly coming off two straight years of missing the playoffs and with Dennis Seidenberg in the process of getting bought out, the team is in need of more blueliners. This is a tricky transition period for the franchise. With Seidenberg going and Zdeno Chara slowing down, a player such as Krug was a must to lock down long-term.
At 5-foot-9 and 186 pounds, Krug may not be the traditional picture of an NHL defenseman, but in the modern game he's gold. His mobility and play with the puck are key assets, as demonstrated by his positive possession numbers on a team that ranked in the bottom half of that metric. He was also lightning on the power play, with nearly half his points coming on the man advantage (19 of 44).
Krug also logged the second-most ice time among Boston players, behind Chara. But given how the legendary Slovakian tower is aging, the Bruins can't expect Chara to keep that up much longer. Seidenberg was third among D-men in ice time, so with him gone, things get even dicier.
GM Don Sweeney gets points for locking down Krug to a fair market value deal, but now the hard work comes. The Bruins 'D' corps already looked threadbare this past season and the market for a free agent is going to be boiling hot. Would recent college adds Rob O'Gara or Matt Grzelcyk be options? Perhaps on a bottom pairing to begin with – otherwise it's a big ask. Joe Morrow and Colin Miller need new RFA contracts, but their impact will only go so far.
Things aren't looking too promising in Boston right now, though the summer has just begun. And with Krug in the fold, at least one chore can be stricken from the list. Is he the first positive domino to fall, or will the pressure continue to mount on Sweeney?