Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Reactions and thoughts to Krug's seven year, $45.5 million dollar deal with the Blues.
I was fine with Torey Krug leaving the Bruins, I really was. It has been my belief for a while now that he is not quite as good as people think he is.
Krug is not good defensively. That is just a fact. Now I get it, he was eighth among all defenseman in points last year, and that is impressive. But let's realize the context of that a little: Of Krug's 49 points, 28 were on the power play.
Yes, Krug is good on the power play, but don't forget that he is playing with the best line in hockey on that power play. David Pastrnak is one of the best goal scorers in the game, and Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are both excellent creating plays, especially on the power play. Statistics have shown that when Matt Grzelcyk was leading the first power play, they were practically as good as when Krug did.
Krug finished the 2019-20 year with a -4 plus/minus, despite the Bruins winning the Presidents Trophy, and having the best plus/minus in the NHL. He also had a negative plus/minus in the playoffs, and was also a negative plus/minus in the 2018-19 season.
His five on five game is at the level of a second pair defenseman. $6.5 million for seven years seems like quite a lot for a second pair defenseman. Honestly, were it not for Brandon Carlo's strong defensive play, Krug would have a worse plus/minus, and his stock would probably be lower.
As far as going to the St. Louis Blues, that just makes me sick. I cannot imagine leaving for a team that literally took the ring right off of Krug and the Bruins finger. I said earlier that I was fine with Krug leaving, and I really am, but I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't a little ticked off that he went to St. Louis of all teams.
Another somewhat disturbing thing is that the Bruins offered him the same amount of money per year on a contract just a year shorter. Krug claimed that the Bruins withdrew that offer, and that is most likely the case, but it was on the table for some time. He did chose not to take that deal.
Bruins fans seem to really want Boston to make a move for a defenseman, but I really think they should be focusing on the forward position. They gave up the least amount of goals in the NHL last year, and that might improve without Krug. Yes, they will miss his offense from the position, but guys like Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, and Connor Clifton can collectively replace some of that.
The Bruins have a lot of young defenseman, and I think you've got to just let them earn their spots on the team.
You can see the Bruins current defense group from Daily Faceoff to the right. I don't really agree with the pairings here, but that is besides the point. In addition, that doesn't even include Zdeno Chara. It also doesn't have Kevan Miller, who yes, is a complete question mark after being hurt for almost two years, but when healthy is a very solid player. They also have youngsters like Urho Vaakaneinen and Jakub Zboril
Personally, I am hoping the Bruins find a way to move John Moore and his 2.75 annual cap hit.
And for St. Louis, I don't know what they are thinking trying to replace Alex Pietrangelo with Krug. I get that Pietrangelo will cost a few million more, but they are going to miss him a lot more than they think. It should especially sting after they signed Justin Faulk to an identical contract to Krug's a year ago.
The bottom line, yes, losing Torey Krug is not great, but the Bruins will be just fine. He had a lot of flaws defensively. He did make up for a lot of that with offensive contributions. It will be interesting to see how well he does in St. Louis, especially on a power play much less skilled than Boston's.