Krug’s team-friendly contract a major win for Bruins

Posted: 07/03/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

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Don Sweeney’s tenure as general manager of the Boston Bruins hasn’t exactly been well revered by the hockey community. But at least one of his moves has, and will continue to, pay major dividends for his club.

Right before last summer’s free agency period hit, Sweeney inked defenseman Torey Krug to a four-year, $21-million contract extension, a decision that’s gotten nothing but positive returns so far.

Krug, 25, is manufacturing a career season, and has emerged as the Bruins’ most reliable rearguard among an otherwise average platoon of defenders.

By notching two assists in Monday’s loss to the Senators, Krug matched his personal best of 44 points in just 66 games. Those 44 points slot the Michigan native fifth among all defensemen, tied with Dustin Byfuglien, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Justin Schultz, while trailing only Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, and Duncan Keith. Pretty exclusive company.

Save for Schultz’s and Shattenkirk’s impending July 1 pay raise, Krug’s $5.25-million cap hit is substantially smaller compared to the who’s who of all-stars he trails in production.

With only six goals to his name, Krug has staked his claim as a premier setup man – of his 38 assists, Krug’s recorded the primary helper on 24 of the tallies he’s had a hand in creating.

If Krug needed a new deal this summer instead of last, it’s safe to assume that after the season he’s put together, he’d fetch more money than his current contract. Instead, Sweeney can allocate the extra funds to improving his club as a whole, a task that starts with mapping a new contract for sniper David Pastrnak.

Krug’s evolved into a legitimate top-pairing defender, and beyond nearing a new career high in points, he’s averaging the most shifts per game (26.8) among all Boston’s blue-liners. He’s become an integral piece to the Bruins’ core, and for the next three seasons after this one, he’ll be doing so at a premium.

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