(Photo Credit: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Leon Lifschutz | Follow me @BruinsBreakdown

Torey Krug’s tenure wearing the spoked B has come to end. Late Friday night, the 29-year old Livonia, Michigan native signed with the St. Louis Blues. According to PuckPedia the deal is worth $45.5 million over seven years with an Average Annual Value (AAV) of $6,500,000. Krug’s base salary will fluctuate over the course of the contract and he also receives significant trade protection as part of the pact. It does not include any signing or performance bonuses in line with typical practices of Blues GM Doug Armstrong, an issue that is rumored to be a sticking point in negotiations with Alex Pietrangelo. Krug’s signing brings serious doubt into whether St. Louis will re-sign their long time captain.

Krug’s ascension as one of the prizes of free agency is impressive. The undersized defenseman went undrafted and was signed as a college free agent by the Bruins after three strong seasons with Michigan State. Krug played his first NHL game with the Bruins in 2011-12 and became a regular in the lineup in 2013-14. With Boston, his only NHL team until now, he played 523 games and posted 337 points while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time a game. In his rookie season he finished fourth in Calder Trophy voting and twice cracked the top-20 in Norris Trophy voting. Krug quarterbacked an impressive Bruins powerplay the past few years. His departure leaves a gaping hole on the top powerplay unit and the second defensive pair. Krug, a former captain at Michigan State, was also lauded by teammates and coaches for his presence and leadership in the locker room.

Krug’s departure did not go without a little controversy. In a late night press conference after inking his deal with St. Louis, Krug shared his side of negotiations with Don Sweeney and the Bruins’ front office. According to Krug the two parties were not close to a deal and weren’t even communicating. According to the diminutive defender a legitimate extension offer had not been made in about a year.

Krug was at times a polarizing figure for the Bruins’ fan base. Known for his offense, fans were sometimes frustrated with what they felt was lesser ability and commitment to defense. Time will tell whether Sweeney and company were right to move on from Krug as he enters his 30s, a dangerous time to offer long term contracts as player performance typically declines. Regardless, Krug was a key component of some impressive Bruins teams. The smooth skating player and articulate human being will be missed in Boston. We wish him and his family the best of luck in the next stage of his career and their journey.