Krug continues longstanding support of youth who need it
Krug’s Krew, an initiative from St. Louis Blues defenceman Torey Krug, supports Big Brothers Big Sisters Missouri and Friends of Kids with Cancer.
Feature photo: Getty Images
The foundation for Torey Krug’s latest charitable initiative was established well before he played in his first NHL game.
Inspired by their stories, helping young people is certainly nothing new for the 32-year-old St. Louis Blues defenceman, who played his first NHL game in 2012.
His affinity for supporting those less fortunate and aligning himself with impactful causes dates back 14 years to when he was patrolling the blue line for Michigan State University.
“When I was in college, I was a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program,” said Krug, of the nonprofit organization which creates one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers and children aged five to young adulthood.
“I had a great time being a Big and really believe in the importance of having a mentor for kids or young adults. I was lucky enough to have many relationships that I believe played a role in shaping who I am today. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have these mentorships and Big Brothers Big Sisters can help provide that.”
Krug’s belief in helping make a difference in the lives of young people is reflected in his Krug’s Krew initiative.
Families from Big Brothers Big Sisters Missouri and Friends of Kids with Cancer can attend a select number of Blues home games throughout the season courtesy of Krug.
Along with the opportunity to attend the game, groups receive all-inclusive tickets, a fan pack and a meet-and-greet with Krug.
“We want Krug’s Krew to create a fun experience for Bigs and Littles, something that I hope they can remember and talk about forever.”
Signed by Boston as an undrafted free agent in 2012 – where he would play until Oct. 2020 – Krug wants the same for those who are associated with Friends of Kids with Cancer.
Founded in 1992, Friends of Kids with Cancer is a regional organization based in St. Louis, which is devoted to enriching the lives of children undergoing treatment for, and survivors of, cancer and blood-related diseases.
“Everyone who comes, we want to put a smile on their face and make sure they have an enjoyable night,” said Krug. “You can’t imagine what these kids or their families are going through. You just want to let them know you care and are thinking about them.”
It is something Krug became known for during his time with the Bruins. It was during his time with the Original Six club when he and his former Boston teammates first met Liam Fitzgerald, a youngster who would become known as “Fist Bump Kid.”
In November 2014, a video of Fitzgerald fist-bumping Bruins players went viral.
Fitzgerald, a cancer survivor with Down syndrome, became fast friends with Krug.
When Krug signed as a free agent with St. Louis in October 2020, Fitzgerald took to Twitter to share his disappointment at his favourite player changing jerseys.
The defenceman responded with a heartfelt letter, one that made the rounds on social media and news sites.
At the end of the letter, Krug wrote: So before I go, I just wanted to say: I LOVE YOU, DUDE!
That sentiment is indicative of the Michigan native’s big heart and longstanding commitment to making a difference beyond the arena.
The proud father – he and his wife, Melanie, are parents to three young children – is appreciative of the latest opportunity to contribute to the community through Krug’s Krew.
During a recent home game, Krug was reminded of the importance of giving back.
“It’s been a blast to chat with these kids on the bench during warm-ups. I can tell they love seeing the game up close. When people enjoy unique experiences together, it can draw them closer and have a more meaningful relationship. If Krug’s Krew can provide any sort of bonding experience for these kids, then I consider it a success.”