Normally I would wait to write an article about this until right before the season starts, but there’s some outrage on Twitter amongst fans over this move. I hate to break it to you, Blues fans; this is one of the best things Doug Armstrong has ever done as Blues GM.
It’s just fascinating to me. Ever since my debut article (where I practically called for Doug Armstrong’s head on a platter) he has suddenly decided to start running this hockey team again. I don’t agree with the handling of the whole Alex Pietrangelo situation, but from a management standpoint, there is very little to complain about this offseason.
Alas, I feel that a lot of Blues fans need convincing. This article is for you. Below are some well thought out, eloquent reasons why I love this move.
Reason 1: It’s Freaking Torey Krug.
One thing’s for certain: Torey Krug was the second-best defenseman available on the market behind Alex Pietrangelo, and we all knew Petro was out of the question. The media can paint it however they want, but offering Krug a contract in the midst of supposed “talks” with Petro and his camp was the right thing to do. Petro wanted to test out the market, and we didn’t have time to wait for his decision. I’m not defending Army here, just stating the facts.
Torey Krug is a valuable playmaking defenseman, and the point totals of him and Pietrangelo are comparable. Just last season, Krug posted 9 goals and 40 assists (49 points) in 61 games (a 12 goal, 54 assists [66 points] pace over the course of 82 games). Pietrangelo posted 16 goals and 36 assists (52 points) in 70 games (a 19 goal, 42 assists [61 points] pace over the course of 82 games). If last season wasn’t cut short by this wonderful pandemic, Krug would have finished with 5 more points than Pietrangelo.
Another thing to compare is their TOI. Pietrangelo is a workhorse. Blues fans regularly found him on the ice up to 25 minutes a night, and often more. I hate to spoil the fun, but Krug can’t even compare to those numbers. Don’t get me wrong, Krug can play valuable top 4 minutes, but don’t expect that to go above 21 minutes very often. Still, Colton Parayko can easily pick up the slack.
Reason 2: We need special teams help. Bad.
With Marc Savard departing the organization, the Blues will need all the help they can get on special teams. Torey Krug can be that glimmer of hope.
This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but Krug will NOT replace the goal-scoring touch that Alex Pietrangelo brought to the team. That’s just not what his role is, nor what he’s known for.
What is Krug known for? His playmaking ability. The way that he can make impossible passes and use his speed to weave through gaps in the defense. These abilities make him a valuable power-play asset. His 5 straight seasons with 40+ assists should attest to that.
Imagine a pp line of Schwartz-Schenn-Perron with Parayko-Krug on the Blueline. You should be going at LEAST 35% on the pp with that line out there.
Reason 3: Improved team chemistry (aka Justin Faulk might stop sucking).
Watching Blues fans collectively pool their hope into Justin Faulk being selected by Seattle in the upcoming expansion draft is almost humorous to me. I’d hate to spoil the fun, but there’s no way in a million years that Seattle is picking him.
However, not all hope is lost for Faulker. Torey Krug just might be able to slap some hockey sense into him.
Krug and Faulk have a history… not just as divisional rivals, but as teammates. They were the prominent second pairing on the backend for Team USA during the 2015 World Championship, where they combined for 2 goals and 6 assists (8 points) and a +6 rating in 10 games.
We saw a glimmer of what Faulk is capable of during the Bubble. If the Blues go with a Krug-Faulk pairing next year, that has the potential to be something dangerous.
The #1 thing Blues fans remember about him is his no-helmet hit on Robert Thomas during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It appears the 2 have reached a nice cordiality on Twitter, though.
At 5’9 186lbs, he certainly isn’t a big guy on the back end, but Krug has a tendency to play up to his opponents. You would never know his small stature with the way he throws his body around.
Another upside about this acquisition is the contract itself. Torey Krug was signed for identical terms as Faulk (7 year/$45.5 million), where the NTC turns to a modified NTC (Player submits 15 team no-trade list) during the final 2 years of the contract. I think we have yet to see the best Torey Krug can offer.
Be excited for the future, Blues fans. I know I am.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for exclusive Blues-related content > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ6OyM278IeNN37UCEPDQnw
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports!