Doug Armstrong didn’t think Torey Krug would leave the Bruins after spending his first nine NHL seasons in Boston.
But once it became clear Alex Pietrangelo wouldn’t return to the St. Louis Blues, the general manager knew he had to make Krug their top target.
“Our focus was always trying to get Pietrangelo signed if we could,” Armstrong told “Sportsnet Hockey Central” host Justin Bourne on Wednesday. “As each day crept closer and closer to free agency it looked less and less like we were going to get something done. Both Alex and we made a strong effort on Thursday to get something done.”
It all worked out for Armstrong and St. Louis, as Krug signed a seven-year deal with the club.
“When 11 o’clock central rolled around that day, he was our first call,” Armstrong said. “… I had a call with him and then I arranged a call with him and (head coach) Craig (Berube). At that point you’re not talking finances, you’re talking more fit on the team, what we’re trying to accomplish. …
“We got it done because we’re a big-time organization,” he added. “I think the players understand the business part of it but they also want to be part of a team. So obviously no one was excited when Alex decided not to stay in St. Louis. But I think our players felt comfortable that as an ownership group and a management group, that we were going to respond to that decision and bringing in Krug and (Kyle) Clifford, I think made them feel that they’re losing a good friend but we’re still going to be a competitive hockey team.”