Has Torey Krug played his final game in Black and Gold?
It’s one of the biggest storylines surrounding the Bruins’ offseason, and team president Cam Neely explained Thursday during his year-end press conference that Krug has earned the right to test free agency even though Boston loves what the defenseman has provided since joining the organization in 2012.
“I understand the player’s side. Being a player, you certainly understand where the players’ heads are at times,” Neely said. “I don’t begrudge Torey if we can’t work something out that makes sense for him and his family. I do not begrudge him for looking to see if he can get a better deal elsewhere.
“We love Torey. We love what he’s brought to the organization both on and off the ice. He’s turned into a fabulous leader for us. But at the end of the day, both sides have to do what they feel is right — us for the organization and Torey for him and his family.”
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney — who, like Neely, played hockey at the highest level — expressed similar sentiments Wednesday during his own year-end press conference.
Krug’s production along Boston’s blue line has been impressive, particularly on the power play, and he’s been an all-around perfect fit for Boston since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State eight years ago.
The 29-year-old figures to be one of the top free agents available this offseason, however, and it’s unclear how far the Bruins are willing to stretch financially to secure his services for the foreseeable future.
Whatever ends up happening, it’s clear there’s a great deal of mutual respect between Krug and the franchise with which he’s spent his entire nine-year NHL career to this point.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images