CHICAGO — Torey Krug says there have been no talks with the Boston Bruins on a new contract with one season left to unrestricted free agency.
Despite a breakout playoff performance that helped the Bruins get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, Krug is stuck in neutral while the front office focuses on signing restricted free agents Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy. Neither of those players has a deal with training camp set to start next week.
”Maybe a little surprise nothing has been talked about, but I realize that our team is in a different situation,” Krug said Thursday at the annual NHL/NHLPA preseason media tour.
”I understand that we have two guys that need to be signed and that can have big effects on our cap situation moving forward and our boss has to deal with that. Of course I wish there was dialogue and I wish there was some sort of call or something like that, but it’s just nonexistent.”
Krug’s 16 assists in the playoffs tied for the most among all players. Only 11 defensemen in the NHL had more points during the regular season.
The 28-year-old was quick to say he doesn’t feel disrespected by the lack of contract talks, but he doesn’t lack confidence in what he has shown on the ice.
”I put together a resume that I’m very, very comfortable with and happy about,” Krug said. ”You’ve just got to be patient and try to do your part, be a solider. You don’t get these opportunities too often. You just try to take advantage of it.”
With the Bruins in a salary-cap crunch, Krug could be headed toward a significant payday if he hits the free agent market. Since he became a full-time NHL player in 2013-14, his 286 points are just eight shy of P.K. Subban‘s total over that time, and Subban is entering the sixth season of a $72 million, eight-year contract.
Krug doesn’t have the Norris Trophy on his resume like Subban, though his postseason raised the bar on how he’s seen by teammates and around the league.
”He brings it all,” Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said. ”He skates, he battles hard, hits, shoots. He can play power play, penalty kill. Not a whole lot more you can ask for.”
Krug’s signature moment of the playoffs came during Game 1 of the Cup Final when he got up from a tussle helmetless and raced down the ice to hit St. Louis forward Robert Thomas with a crushing open-ice blow.
”He’s a very big competitor,” Rask said. ”He doesn’t shy away from that.”
Don’t expect Krug to shy away from physicality in a contract year, which he believes won’t be any kind of distraction.
”It’s nothing that will affect me personally in how I play,” Krug said. ”If anything, it’s just added fuel to the fire.”