The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to add a piece by the March 1 trade deadline and bolster their chances at competing for another Stanley Cup championship.
Forward Marcus Kruger knows that, but he also knows this could be his last season with the Blackhawks.
Kruger could become a casualty of the expansion draft this June, as the Blackhawks have too many players to protect and he falls short of the list.
While the Chicago Sun-Times reports Kruger won't be moved by next Wednesday's 3pm trade deadline, there is a chance he could end up elsewhere this summer.
"I try not to worry about that," Kruger told the Sun-Times. "Obviously, you know stuff's going to happen in the summer. I mean, look at all the guys that came here the same time as me -- they're not here anymore. You know that's always something that could happen, but you can't really worry about it because then it's going to affect your game negatively. I'm here now."
Kruger, 26, has two-years left on his contract after this season. His salary cap hit is $3.083 million. Starting July 1, his modified no-trade clause kicks in, where he can list seven teams he will not accept a move to.
His two-way game has attracted a lot of interest, and the Vegas Golden Knights could certainly benefit from selecting him in the expansion draft. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could try to persuade Knights GM George McPhee not to select Kruger by dealing him prospects and/or draft picks, but Vegas wants to build a competitive roster right off of the bat and players like Kruger aren't always readily available.
For now, though, Kruger's focus is on this season with the Blackhawks.
"I've never been a guy that has really paid much attention to stuff like (trade speculation)," Kruger said. "That's just how I am. If you have Twitter, you probably see a lot of rumors and stuff like that. I'm pretty protected from that. I just focus on myself, and whatever happens, happens."