Torey Krug probably thought he was safe.
His employer, the Boston Bruins, were an Eastern Conference team. His childhood idols, the Detroit Red Wings, were a Western Conference team. The only time that odd collision of NHL career and hockey fandom would occur was in the Stanley Cup Final.
And then realignment happened.
And then the Red Wings finished in the last wild card slot, and the Bruins finished with the conference’s best record, and the Livonia native and Michigan State product was suddenly preparing for a playoff date with the Red Wings.
He was familiar with them, of course, having carried a broom around town as a kid when the Red Wings were on the verge of a sweep.
“My favorite on ice memory was Steve Yzerman’s overtime goal against St. Louis in 1996. That was a pretty special moment. Just how it brought the city together, the community,” recalled Krug to the Detroit News, which is pretty impressive considering he was around five years old at the time.
He was an Yzerman guy and a Lidstrom guy when he was younger. Before he had to expunge such admirations from his mind, he was a Pavel Datsyuk fan.
"It's just his creativity. He makes himself special; obviously when you watch him on the ice, he's a special player," Krug told Mass Live in January. "They say he's magic out there; he can do a lot of things with the puck that no one else can do. I think it's the creativity side that gets me excited about it. You try to always open your eyes to something new in the hockey world, and he's a guy who does that."
But love of the Winged Wheel takes a back seat to dedication to the Spoked-‘B’ these days for Krug.
“It’s exciting to play in that building (Joe Louis Arena) during the playoffs, and you understand the tradition that’s going on, but I’m focused on the Boston Bruins organization and excited about the opportunity,” Krug told the Detroit News.
Sure, whatever you say, sleeper agent. You know, the H.Y.D.R.A. logo is an octopus, too …