The St. Louis Blues have signed free agent defenseman Torey Krug. Krug will sign a seven-year deal worth a total of $45.5MM ($6.5MM AAV), leaving the Boston Bruins after nearly a decade in the black and gold. Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest reports that Krug has a full no-movement clause in the first five years of the deal.
Krug will join a defense corps that already has Justin Faulk, Colton Parayko, and Marco Scandella making considerable money, which likely means this is the end of any Alex Pietrangelo negotiations. The Blues were trying to find a way to re-sign their captain, but after he made it to the open market today it obviously was going to be difficult. Instead of waiting around, the Blues went out and got themselves the second-best defenseman on the market in Krug, who is an elite powerplay quarterback and has been one of the most consistent offensive defensemen in the league for some time.
While Pietrangelo was offered a contract closer to $8MM per season by the Blues, Krug comes in at a considerably lower price. That doesn’t mean they are out of the woods financially though, as Krug’s deal still pushes the Blues over the salary cap. It also means they have six NHL defensemen under contract with Vince Dunn still to sign as a restricted free agent, meaning there is likely a trade coming somewhere on their roster. Vladimir Tarasenko’s $7.5MM could be on its way to long-term injured reserve, but this deal still makes the financial situation in St. Louis awfully tricky.
Still, St. Louis is getting a heck of a player. In the seven seasons since Krug entered the league, he trails only Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, John Carlson, Roman Josi, and Keith Yandle in points from a defenseman. That group has won the Norris Trophy five times, been named an NHL All-Star on 14 occasions and hoisted the Stanley Cup twice—not a bad bunch to be associated with.
Not only is Krug a dynamic puck-mover, he has also shown a willingness to engage physically in the postseason, even though he stands just 5’9″. With more bite than you might expect out of someone that skilled, he’ll fit in perfectly under St. Louis head coach Craig Berube.
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