NHL Rumor Mill – April 13, 2020
Some suggested destinations for Torey Krug in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHERE WILL KRUG GO?
Re-signing with the Bruins topped Larkin’s list. Krug wants to stay and the Bruins would love to keep him. They could have around $20 million in salary-cap space if the maximum remains at $81.5 million. Larkin pointed out there isn’t a player within the Bruins’ system to replace Krug.
If Krug can’t work out a deal with the Bruins, Larkin suggested the Michigan native could sign with the Detroit Red Wings. He’d be a perfect fit with the rebuilding Wings, who’ll also have plenty of cap room to pay him a big raise.
Krug could fill a long-term blueline need for the Vegas Golden Knights, but the cap-strapped club would have to shed salary to sign him. Larkin also suggested the Montreal Canadiens could be a fit if their management believes they can contend soon. The Florida Panthers could also use Krug if they decide to distribute their spending differently.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Bruins and Krug will work something out. He’s a valuable member of their defense corps and will help them remain a Stanley Cup contender over the next several years. He’s talked about a hometown discount, which I believe could come in between $6.5 million to $7 million annually. A sticking point could be the term, not dollars. Bruins management could balk at anything over five years.
It could take a big sell job by Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman to sell Krug on the Wings. They can easily afford Krug, but he might prefer joining a club with a shot at becoming a Stanley Cup contender within the next several years.
Cap Friendly indicates the Golden Knights have over $72.6 million invested in 14 players for 2020-21. All their core players are under contract, but they can’t afford Krug without dumping a big contract. Larkin suggested shopping recently-acquired Alec Martinez, who’s signed through next season with an annual average value of $4 million, but I don’t think that will free up sufficient cap room for Krug and still leave enough to fill out the rest of the roster.
The Canadiens desperately need help on the left side of their defense. Krug would help, but would he sign with the Bruins’ long-time rival? He could if the Habs offer up enough money, but they could seek a left-side top-four defenseman who can play more of a shutdown role.
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has a reputation for making bold moves. Signing Krug, however, could be challenging.
There’s speculation the Panthers could cut costs for next season. As Larkin suggested, that could mean allowing forwards Mike Hoffman and/or Evgenii Dadonov to depart via free agency and sinking the savings into someone like Krug.
However, the Panthers got burned by last summer’s expensive signings of Sergei Bobrovsky ($10.5 million annually) and Anton Stralman ($5.5 million). Ownership might not have the stomach for another big UFA addition this year.