Even if the writing has been on the wall regarding Torey Krug leaving the only NHL team he has ever known, particularly since his comments after the Bruins got bounced, the team will soon make it official when it trades the skilled and ballsy defenseman and his negotiating rights. Krug is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on October 9th but some team, likely one of the four above, will happily part with a future asset (a 5th rounder perhaps?) in order to get exclusive negotiating rights until free agency opens.
The highly competitive offensive defenseman just finished a 4-year/$21M deal ($5.25M cap hit/annual average value) that he earned every cent of and he'll be looking at a significant pay raise---a raise that the 29-year-old player and the Bruins were apparently way off on. And I sure as hell won't begrudge a player for getting what the market deems him worthy of.
After choosing the Bruins as an undrafted free agent, Krug went straight from Michigan State to the NHL late in the 2012 season, in part, to burn the first year of his 3-year entry level contract . He spent most of the '12-'13 season in Providence then played one regular season game with the Bruins before announcing his presence to the league when he posted four goals and an assist in a five-game playoff series vs. the Rangers en route to a trip to the Cup Final. In his official rookie year ('13-'14), he finished fourth in Calder voting behind MacKinnon, Palat, and Johnson. Though he was listed at 5'9", he played like he was 6'9".
Krug bet on himself and signed consecutive team-friendly 1-year deals for $1.4M then $3.4M before inking the 4-year-deal that brings him to unrestricted free agency. While he did say that the idea of a hometown discount was "something (he) was interested in" back in September, he made it clear after the Bs bubble burst that there was minimal chatter between the two parties. It certainly appears that each side is prepared to move on with seemingly no hard feelings.
As a Boston fan, I can't thank Krug enough for his contributions over nine seasons here as he was a quintessential Bruin. The kid played balls-out and with tons of heart. Gave us tons of great moments as fans. Wasn't afraid to mix it up with guys who were 6" taller. One of the first times I interviewed him, I recall how he just oozed confidence. Not in a cocky way. Not false bravado. Just a kid who knew he was a great player on a great team and whose only aim was winning a Cup and doing whatever it took to make it happen. A few years later, he would become the first-ever Spittin' Chiclets player interview that we did in person at my old pad. Unfortunately, winning a Cup didn't happen for Torey Krug here in Boston as he was on the shit end of the Bs last two Cup runs, depsite his incredible performance last post-season. Now, he'll get his well-deserved and well-earned bag and he'll try to win the Stanley Cup with somebody else (so don't expect said bag to come from Detroit regardless of where he grew up). Wherever he ends up next, I'll be pulling for him.