While the St. Louis Blues will take the ice on Wednesday to open the NHL 2019-20 regular season against Washington, the team they defeated in the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Final is caught up in the rumor mill.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic Division, the 2013 third overall pick has an even more uncertain future in Montreal.
Below is a deeper look at both rumors.
Charlie Coyle and Torey Krug's Futures Remain Unclear
The Boston Bruins have yet to commit long-term to Torey Krug and Charlie Coyle, and according to Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy, the two players "had still not heard from team management on a potential contract extension" as of Sept. 27.
Coyle and Krug are both entering the final season of their current contracts. The Bruins acquired Coyle in a trade with the Minnesota Wild in February, while Krug has been in Boston his entire NHL career.
"I've liked his camp," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said recently, per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. "He's done a good job and the numbers back that up on the scoresheet, but also just watching him every day in practice, he’s dialed in and ready to go.
"Maybe being here now from the beginning will give him more confidence. I think the playoffs gave him confidence. He was a big part of our success, he scored goals. It looks like he’s taking off. He might just be that guy who needs a little time to settle in."
Earlier this month, on Sept. 15, the Bruins re-signed restricted free agent Charlie McAvoy to a three-year, $14.7 million contract. Following that, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney addressed the question of whether Krug's extension was the team's next priority (h/t Boston Hockey Now):
"Everybody has their place on our hockey club. Torey is an important part of our hockey club. We have some forecasting to do. We have some conversations that have to take place and they will. I have indicated to each of our players that we will have those [contract discussions]. Once I have the ability to forecast a little more accurately, then I will have those conversations accordingly."
Krug has told ESPN's Emily Kaplan that taking less in order to stay with Boston is "something I'm interested in."
Coyle, meanwhile, told WEEI's Matt Kalman last week: "Yeah, well, I mean I'm under contract now, I'm playing, we're getting going here, so that's my main focus. And that stuff will take care of itself whenever it happens, whenever we decide to talk and all that."
It seems Boston isn't in a hurry regarding both Krug and Coyle, as the only deadline that truly matters is July 1 when both would become eligible to explore other options as unrestricted free agents.
Jonathan Drouin Could Be Headed for Third Team in Six Seasons
There are conflicting reports on whether Jonathan Drouin is part of the Montreal Canadiens' future.
On Sept. 25, SportsNet's Eric Engels reported that an anonymous Eastern Conference executive had texted him that the 24-year-old winger's "name is definitely out there." However, the following day, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin dismissed any trade chatter surrounding Drouin:
Bergevin's joke doesn't mean that Drouin won't be dealt, but Montreal would ideally want to garner quite the return for a player they signed to a six-year, $33 million contract extension once acquiring him from Tampa Bay in June 2017. The question is two-fold: is the appropriate market is there and, if not, can Drouin play well enough moving forward to justify the Canadiens keeping him?
Last season, Drouin scored 18 goals and assisted 35—fifth and third on the team respectively. "But the 24-year-old closed out the 2018-19 season with just six points over his last 26 games and four of them came in an 8-1 laugher against the hapless Detroit Red Wings," Engels wrote, to give proper context as to why Montreal may be frustrated.
Through two seasons in Montreal, Drouin has 31 goals and 68 assists (99 points) across 158 games.