Kruger was an integral part of two Stanley Cup runs with the Chicago Blackhawks, serving as a defensive center tasked with shutting down some of the offensive stars opposite him. That didn’t lead to much scoring of his own over the years, but it did let him raise the trophy over his head and garnered him Selke votes on two different occasions. After a short stint in Carolina during the 2017-18 season (and even shorter one in Arizona), he was back with the Blackhawks last season where he recorded 12 points in 74 games. With the team moving on to a younger center group there was unlikely to be room for him to return.
It is interesting though that he will leave North America entirely. The fifth-round pick has been playing in the NHL since 2011, spending only a handful of games in the minor leagues and mostly suiting up on a regular basis. He even has 87 games of playoff experience, something that’s not easy to come by in a player under 30. His age may indicate there is potential for a return, though it’s hard to imagine anything he does in Switzerland would impress an NHL team more than his professional career to this point.
If he doesn’t return, he would finish his NHL career with 123 points in 520 regular season games.