There were 12 games left in the Bruins’ regular season when the NHL hit “pause” last month. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were scheduled to begin Wednesday and Boston was prepared for another deep run.
One player the Bruins would be relying on is Torey Krug, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the soon-to-be 29-year-old defenseman said there have been no contract talks with the Bruins since the season was postponed.
Krug was on pace to hit 50 points for a fourth straight season and will command a decent sum north of the $5.25 million cap hit he pulled in when he signed his current deal in 2016.
No one knows what will happen with the rest of the 2019-20 NHL season and Krug is hoping that he’ll be able to wear the black and gold again.
“I think for anyone that’s been through this, and obviously we’re all in a relatively similar situation, there’s so many unknowns, and you only can control so much of that,” Krug said. “And for me personally I really hope I did not play my last game as a Boston Bruin. It’s been a special place for me and my family to grow, and my love for the game and playing in front of these fans, it’s been very special for me.
“But [the NHL pause] hasn’t given any clarity, if anything I think it’s made me wonder about this process a little bit more because I was just in the moment and playing games to help my team win, and hopefully push us in the right direction to win a championship. And now with this season paused I’ve definitely wondered about what’s going to happen, but in terms of clarity there pretty much has been none. From a business perspective I would assume — well, I mean I can’t put any assumption on it — I can only guess that things are going to look a little bit different from the salary cap perspective next year and team structures as well are going to be affected by that, but I really have no clarity.”
That last part will be key for not only Krug but other free agents this summer. How much will next season’s salary cap, which had an early projection of capping off between $84 million and $88.2 million, be affected by a potential decrease in revenues if a full regular season and playoffs cannot be played? That’s among the numerous questions that will have to be answered when the NHL is given a green light to resume play.
According to Cap Friendly, the Bruins currently have a little over $61 million tied up for next season. Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, Matt Grzcelcyk, Jaroslav Halak, and captain Zdeno Chara are among the names eligible to become UFA or restricted free agents this summer.