Marcus Kruger‘s stay in Las Vegas was a short one.
Just one day after he was acquired by the Golden Knights from Chicago, Kruger was on the move again Tuesday as the Carolina Hurricanes acquired him from Vegas for a fifth-round pick at next year’s draft.
“We were determined to bring in experienced players with winning pedigrees and Marcus is another addition who fits that mold,” ‘Canes GM Ron Francis said in a release. “He’s a solid, two-way center who has achieved success both in the NHL and internationally.”
A good defensive forward that will provide solid depth to Carolina’s bottom six, Kruger will be surrounded by familiar faces. Former Blackhawks teammates Teuvo Teravainen, Scott Darling, Klas Dahlbeck and Trevor van Riemsdyk are there, as are Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask and Joakim Nordstrom — Kruger’s teammates from the Swedish squad that captured the 2017 World Hockey Championship.
(Nordstrom is also a former Blackhawk too, for what it’s worth).
A two-time Stanley Cup winner, Kruger will add some veteran experience and know-how to a young ‘Canes group. That was one of Francis’ objectives this offseason, and a big reason why the club also brought back Justin Williams in free agency.
The Blackhawks would’ve liked to have kept Kruger. They valued his defensive play so much that they gave him a three-year contract worth more than $9 million. But for as good as he is on the defensive side of things, Kruger just became too expensive for the Blackhawks to fit under the cap — especially with all the money needed to retain their star forwards.