Red Wings Rumors: Torey Krug Trade, Niklas Kronwall's Future and More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug carries the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, May 2, 2019. The Bruins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

After three straight losing seasons, the Detroit Red Wings are nearing the first season to expect reasonable improvement and doing so with a new general manager in Steve Yzerman.

The franchise legend and former Tampa Bay Lightning executive is tasked with continuing a rebuild in a critical moment. With the right additions, the Wings have a fighting chance at a playoff spot. Upgrading the defense is of utmost importance this offseason.

Detroit recently chose 11 players in the NHL draft, and the next priority is some house-cleaning with restricted free agents.

Ansar Khan of MLive reported the Wings extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Joe Hicketts, Patrik Rybar and Dominic Turgeon to retain their rights. However, they didn't qualify Martin Frk, Dylan Sadowy, Libor Sulak or Axel Holmstrom.

That, so far, is settled. The rumor mill is where uncertainty begins.


Hockeytown Homecoming for Krug?

Torey Krug had a superb year for the Stanley Cup runner-up Boston Bruins, totaling eight goals and 63 assists in 88 combined regular-season and playoff appearances.

His future is unsettled, though.

Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now says the Wingsand Vancouver Canuckshave expressed considerable interest in Krug.

Now, the connection to Detroit makes sense because of his position, the need to upgrade defensively and his relationship with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. Plus, Krug is a native of nearby Livonia and a well-documented fan of the franchise.

But it's also reasonable to raise an eyebrow.

Krug will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020. Unless the Wings are able to unload a bad contract on Bostonand that's unlikelya trade probably won't materialize. There's little sense in parting with draft capital during a rebuild for an impending free agent.

Besides, the Bruins aren't desperate to trade the 28-year-old.

"It would take a pretty unique opportunity for us to part with Torey," said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, per Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston.

At this point of Detroit's rebuild, the organization isn't in a position to provide that "unique opportunity."


Kronwall Mulling Retirement

After 15 years and 953 gamesall with the Red Wings—Niklas Kronwall is nearing the end of a successful career.

But it might not be finished quite yet.

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Yzerman said if the 38-year-old decides to return, he'll be a member of the Red Wings.

"We're going to go about our business," Yzerman said before the NHL draft. "Nothing really changes. If Nik wants to come back and play, he'll have a spot on the team. I don't anticipate giving you anything really until the end of the summer."

An unrestricted free agent, Kronwall is likely headed for a one-year contract worth $2 million or so. That would protect the Red Wings against future cap hits and is a reasonable price for someone they expect to hold a nightly role.

Last season, the Swede provided three goals and 24 assists while trailing only Dylan Larkin for ice time among skaters.

Yes, promoting a promising young player in Dennis Cholowski is appealing. But that, per Yzerman, won't be at Kronwall's expense.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.