“Especially being in my contract situation, I want to see what rumors are out there,” Krug says. “So I’ll search frequently.”
Krug, 28, becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, and is poised to be one of the top defensemen available on the open market. As one of the premier offensive defensemen in the league, Krug is due for a raise from the $5.25 million he will make this season. Krug told ESPN his preference is to stay with the Bruins, and he would consider doing what many Boston athletes — most famously Tom Brady — have done over the years: take less money to remain with his team.
“I love the situation I’m in,” Krug says. “I’m pretty sure my teammates would love me to come back. My coach [Bruce Cassidy] I know for a fact loves the way I play. This last playoffs was big for me and my development and my growth. I feel like I’m just hitting my prime.”
The Michigan native went undrafted, and signed with Boston as a college free agent in 2012 after a standout career at Michigan State. He has been a regular in the Bruins’ lineup since the 2013-14 season.
“Would I take less to stay in Boston?” Krug says. “It’s something that I’ve talked about with my family and my agent. It’s something I’m interested in. How much less — that’s a question that will be answered at a certain time. I think something that’s fair will be able to be worked out both ways. As long as they want me, I think something could be done, realistically. Everyone does it. How much they do it, is kind of their own opinion and [dependent] on their own circumstances.”
Boston, which lost to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, has a roster filled with team-friendly deals. Krug points to teammate Brad Marchand, who finished fifth in league scoring last season at 100 points, but is only making $6.125 million per year on a contract that expires in 2025.
“Marchy is way too low, because he signed one year too early,” Krug says.
Boston has another terrific bargain in Marchand’s linemate David Pastrnak, who finished top-15 in goal-scoring with 38 goals last season, but will earn only $6.66 million through 2023.
“Pasta had no [arbitration] rights, so he had to take a little bit less out of pure nature,” Krug says.
The third member of the top line, Patrice Bergeron — who has won four of the last eight Selke Awards as the league’s best two-way forward — is also making less than $7 million per season. He inked that eight-year extension back in summer 2013.
“Bergeron’s deal is just so old, and that’s why it seems low,” Krug says. “So everyone’s situation is a little bit different, everyone took less at some point, but it’s just a matter of circumstance.”
Krug says he won’t let his own contract situation weigh on him this season.
“I’ve been through it so much,” Krug says. “My first three deals were all one-year deals. I’m used to it. I’m used to having to prove myself. That’s been my thing ever since I came into the league, that I’ve had to prove people wrong instead of proving people right. So I’m used to it.”
Now that he’s had the summer to reflect, Krug says the biggest reason the Bruins fell short in the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues was a series of “momentum swings.”
“They were able to stop momentum swings a little bit quicker than we were,” Krug says. “I don’t even remember any of the final scores, but I know we won one game really big [the Bruins won Game 3, 7-2]. And entering the next game we felt like we were in those guys’ heads. We’re just going to keep the momentum, but they were able to stop it on a dime, end it, and move on the other way. We never won consecutive games. They did.”