Update 7/4/17 11:00 a.m.: It’s official: the Canes have picked up Kruger from Vegas in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2018. Our original story from yesterday is below, followed by the release from the team.
Marcus Kruger may have just unpacked his bag in Las Vegas after being acquired by the Vegas Golden Knights from the Chicago Blackhawks for “future” (really past, expansion draft-related) considerations. But it looks like he may be on the move again.
Brian Hedger was the first to report the possibility of Kruger being moved again:
I'm now fully expecting Marcus Kruger to be dealt by VGK, possibly within hours, but source not 100% sure of destination.#Blackhawks— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) July 3, 2017
The Athletic’s Craig Custance followed up the report with a string of tweets listing the Carolina Hurricanes as a possibility for Kruger’s services:
Wouldn't be surprised if Carolina is the destination here. https://t.co/KPoYk7DNgW— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) July 3, 2017
Marcus Kruger to Carolina isn't done yet but talks pretty far along on this front. @BrianHedger first to report Vegas flipping Kruger.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) July 3, 2017
The former Blackhawk had an underwhelming 2016-17 season, potting 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 70 games. Kruger is historically a bottom-six center who can be used on the penalty kill. According to CapFriendly.com, the 27-year old forward has two years remaining on a deal that will pay him $3.083 million a year. If the Hurricanes acquire Kruger, they would have five players on their roster that had previously played for the Blackhawks.
CANES ACQUIRE MARCUS KRUGER FROM VEGAS
Forward won Stanley Cup with Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired forward Marcus Kruger from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.
“We were determined to bring in experienced players with winning pedigrees and Marcus is another addition who fits that mold,” said Francis. “He’s a solid, two-way center who has achieved success both in the NHL and internationally.”
Kruger, 27, registered five goals, 12 assists (17 points) and a plus-7 rating in 70 games for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2016-17 season. The Stockholm native led all Blackhawks forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game (2:13) and was second on the team in faceoff percentage (minimum 100 face-offs), winning 52.3 percent of his even-strength draws. Following the season, Kruger joined Sweden for the 2017 IIHF World Championship, where he won the gold medal along with fellow Hurricanes Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask and Joakim Nordstrom.
Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the fifth round, 149th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Kruger has totaled 33 goals and 72 assists (105 points) in 398 career NHL games with Chicago. He has totaled 16 points (6g, 10a) in 87 career playoff games, winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015. Along with his gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, Kruger also won a bronze with Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, a silver at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, silver at the 2011 IIHF World Championship and bronze at the 2010 World Junior Championship.