Gorman: Bruins' Krug has roots in Western Pa.
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Friday, May 31, 2013
Torey Krug's family won't just be traveling from Livonia, Mich., to watch him play against the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final.
They will be taking a trip down memory lane.
The Boston Bruins rookie defenseman, who set an NHL record by scoring four goals in his first five Stanley Cup playoff games, has roots in Western Pennsylvania.
“I just remember being down at the Igloo. It was a pretty neat place. It was relatively new at the time,” said Kyle Krug, Torey's father. “The transformation of that town is just absolutely incredible from when I was there in the late 1970s to now.”
The family moved from Detroit to Westmoreland County in 1977, when Krug's paternal grandfather left his job at a Chevrolet plant for one with Volkswagen. The Krugs moved to a house on White School Road, near the Greensburg and Latrobe border, across from the old Mountain View Inn. It was about a mile from St. Vincent College, where Torey's parents, Kyle and Cheryl, were married in August 1980 in the shadow of Steelers training camp.
The Krugs got to rub elbows with Penguins coaches and players through their friendship with Matt Sciarrino, a North Versailles native whose father owned the Irwin Chrysler-Plymouth auto dealership in North Huntington.
Sciarrino's father loaned cars to then-Penguins coach Johnny Wilson and left winger Brian “Spinner” Spencer, allowing the kids to get to know their heroes. Sciarrino remembers Krug's uncle, Carey, as “an exceptional hockey player.”
“I looked up to the Krug family,” said Sciarrino, who lives in Dallas. “Not only was Carey really, really good, but he had two older brothers that we would watch play, and they played at a higher level than the kids they played against. They were legit, man. You could tell they were a true hockey family.”
Carey and Mike Krug even wore the Penguins' old uniforms while playing for their midget teams.
“For a kid my age — I idolized those guys — it was kind of neat,” said Carey Krug, who scored 10 goals in a game at Monroeville Mall. “Hockey was so brand new at that point. It was in its infancy. Everything was about the Steelers. We came in, and I remember being at a game, and I don't know if it's the right terminology — this was a 10-year-old mind — but Gordie Howe was skating, and people were saying, ‘Get this old guy off the ice!' We like to say we had a hand in making hockey better there.”
The passion for hockey was passed down to Kyle's sons after the Krug brothers were passed over by the NHL, presumably because of their height.
Kyle and Carey are cofounders of and skill instructors for Next Level Player Development. Adam coaches in the USHL, and Matt, who played at Robert Morris, is still in the minor leagues.
Torey is a different story.
Generously listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, he has made an amazing impact on the Bruins. Three of his goals came on the power play, results of his wicked slap shot. The other came on a dazzling display of skating and stick-handling, catching the puck on his blade between his legs and wrapping it around his left skate before beating New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a snapshot.
“It was pretty emotional,” Kyle Krug said. “It was overwhelming, actually, to see that he was able to compete against players that caliber. That whole series was pretty special. All I could say was, ‘Wow.' ”
It was years in the making.
“It's finally about time we got a Krug to go where we all wanted to go,” Carey said. “He takes a little bit of everything from everyone in the family.”
A family that has long considered itself “real hockey people,” one that preaches playing the geometry, or angles, of the game.
“It's kind of ironic, in a certain way, that me and my brothers played for the Junior Penguins,” Carey Krug said. “We spent five years of our lives there, and now we're going to be coming into town to watch them Saturday and Monday. It's going to be fun. Of course, we want Boston to win. We want Torey to win.”
To those who remember the Krugs and their impact on youth hockey in Western Pennsylvania three decades ago, he already has.
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Second-period short-handed goal gives Blue Jackets momentum
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- Penguins notebook: Stars taking their turns with No. 1 power play
- Blue Jackets score a franchise first with playoff victory
- Penguins say playoff series against Columbus could fuel rivalry
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Penguins notebook: Vokoun remains behind Zatkoff on goalie depth chart
- Penguins coach Bylsma’s system will be put to test in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Penguins’ Bylsma and Blue Jackets’ Richards know each other well