NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2019
An update on Torey Krug and the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.
KRUG HOPING FOR CONTRACT EXTENSION
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney expects to have contract extension talks with Torey Krug. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Krug has said there have been no contract talks yet but indicated he’s willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Boston.
Krug told Haggerty he assumed the reason why there have been no contract discussions was that the Bruins were focused on re-signing young blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. He said he’s eagerly looking forward to those talks.
Haggerty suggests Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon as a reasonable comparison. The Wild recently re-signed Spurgeon to a seven-year, $53.025-million contract with an annual average value of $7.575 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins hoping for another run at the Stanley Cup this season, don’t expect them to shop Krug if unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. Sweeney could take a wait-and-see approach this season before opening contract talks. How much of a hometown discount Krug’s willing to take will also be a factor.
Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins have over $56 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. Of their pending free agents, Krug would be the most expensive to re-sign. If he’s willing to accept under $7 million per season on a five-year deal, Sweeney could go for it. Things could get dicey, however, if the rearguard seeks much more than that for seven or eight years.
OILERS NEED A THIRD-LINE CENTER
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers still haven’t found a suitable third-line center. “Riley Sheahan could get the 3C but really he’s a solid No. 4. Same as Colby Cave, with good camp but hasn’t shown much puck creativity.”
Kurt Leavins notes the Oilers had a scout in attendance at Saturday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens and wondered if he was looking for a third-line center. Senators centers Chris Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are slated to become UFAs next July. A dip in the latter’s production last season could lower the asking price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are rebuilding with youth. Tierney, 25, has a career-high 48 points last season. Pageau missed over half of last season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Tierney’s cap hit is just over $2.9 million while Pageau’s is $3.1 million.
One or both could hit the trade block at some point this season, especially if the Sens are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. However, it remains to be seen if they’re willing to move either guy right now.