The St. Louis Blues seemed poised to let the first day of free agency go by with no movement. Late in the day, they made a shocking move.
Nobody can ever accuse Doug Armstrong of taking fan sentiment into account. While it seemed like the St. Louis Blues were going to be patient, let the first day of free agency slide by and see how things played out, Armstrong told someone to hold his beer and went to work.
The Blues have now signed Torey Krug away from the Boston Bruins. It was a stunning move that likely cements the Blues roster without a name that many fans were desperate to keep.
Krug’s deal is for seven years. It is worth a yearly cap hit of $6.5 million, for a total of $45.5 million over the course of the contract.
From an offensive standpoint, this is a good pickup. Krug has scored 40-plus points in six of the last seven years. He has had 50-plus points in three of those years, coming up just one point shy in 2019-20 with 49 points in a pandemic shortened year.
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Actually, through the first nine points of their careers, Krug is ahead of Alex Pietrangelo. That is not to say Krug is a better scorer, but the numbers are in his favor.
The big difference is the size. If you’re comparing him to Pietrangelo, who might be on the way out, Krug is only 5’9, 186 lbs.
Size is not everything in sports and Krug actually has similar hit numbers to Pietrangelo, but it is still difficult to contain forwards at a smaller size. Krug has the talent to be a top-two defender, but it’s just not the same.
The shocking part of the deal is the fact the Blues did not wait. Perhaps they have information that they need not wait on Pietrangelo, but as far as the public knows, this was a preemptive strike by Armstrong.
The Blues gave Krug the same amount of years as Pietrangelo would have wanted. The money was the big difference, if we believe what has been reported recently with the captain asking for between $8-9 million.
However, we may never know what Pietrangelo was offered by the Blues and may never know what he asked for in comparison. The only thing we can judge by is the eventual total he signs for with whichever team.
Now, normally I stay away from fanciful rumors, but there a lot of tweets going out saying Armstrong might not be done. Does that mean he is fully out of the Pietrangelo sweepstakes? Nobody knows except Armstrong and Pietrangelo.
If you thought it would be hard to afford Pietrangelo before, it’ll be even more difficult to move enough pieces to afford by he and Krug. Fans have their theories on who would go, but there is a consensus pick that I don’t feel has been treated very fairly by Blues fandom, but this is business not friend time.
We will see how the rest of it pans out. For now, it’s Krug as your top-pairing left handed defender unless more craziness happens.