No one expected the Bruins to trade Torey Krug before the NHL trade deadline Monday, but now that the deadline has passed the big off-ice storyline is going to be whether Boston can re-sign the defenseman before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
To that matter, general manager Don Sweeney didn’t have any news.
“I don’t have an update in terms of a timeline,” Sweeney said during a press conference to talk about the trade deadline. “We’ve continued to stay in communication with Torey. Whether or not we find one at an appropriate time between now and the end of the year, I don’t know yet. We’ll have talks, they’ve been very cordial, both sides sort of understand where they are. And whether or not we can bridge something along those lines is to be determined.”
A couple potential UFAs put pen to paper on new extensions Monday. Chris Kreider stayed with the New York Rangers for seven years at an average annual value of $6.5 million. J-G Pageau was traded from Ottawa to the New York Islanders and then he signed a six-year extension with a $5 million AAV. Although they’re both forwards and don’t compare directly to Krug, at least we know the going rate for some similarly-aged UFAs, especially ones that want to stay with a particular team without breaking their budget.
Could be Miller time
Kevan Miller hasn’t played all season after suffering two kneecap breaks, but Sweeney hasn’t ruled out the defenseman’s return.
“He’s on a progression that we’re going to not deviate from,” Sweeney said. “And where Kevan continues to make strides we’ll have to evaluate week to week. As far as staying on IR, he doesn’t need to stay on IR, but that’s where he will remain until he’s ready to play.”
Miller has been on Long Term Injured Reserve this season, helping the Bruins navigate under the salary cap and make their trades for Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie. Even with a roster that’s now at 25 players, Sweeney said the Bruins have the cap space to activate Miller when and if the player’s ready.
“No, there’s no cap issues,” the GM said. “That was part of the exercise here to make sure … when you do want to bring your player off of long-term injury, that you have the flexibility to do that. We wanted to make sure that we were cognizant of that and having the ability … and there are some roster moves associated, if we didn’t do these deals, it would’ve been tight. We were still able to do it at any point and time without doing any deals, but we aware of it and making sure that we want to try to give that some runway for that … to happen.”
Warm wishes for Danton
Sweeney obviously struggled with the decision to trade Heinen to Anaheim for Ritchie. The GM wasn’t afraid to express how much his relationship with the Bruins’ fourth-round pick in 2014.
“I only wished him the best in that sense. His production’s been down a little bit, he’s been hard on himself, but just a tremendous person and a really, really good hockey player. So I hope he goes and flourishes there. Whether that’s a reflection I made a bad trade I don’t care, because I only wish the best for him,” Sweeney said.