By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
David Krejci has rarely been mentioned as part of actual trade rumors over the course of his career. He's simultaneously been a lightning rod for many who have longed to see the Bruins move on from him as his tenure has progressed.
Well, it sounds like those who want Krejci gone have a chance to get their wish. TSN's Darren Dreger told Buffalo's WGR Sports Radio 550 on Friday that teams are calling the Bruins on a potential Krejci trade. However, Dreger added that the Bruins are "a little reluctant to consider" moving Krejci, and that they "would like" to trade David Backes instead.
The comments came amid questions about the possibility of the Bruins or Buffalo Sabres signing free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk, but the Krejci/Backes reports are the true eye-openers here. Despite the B's apparently being reluctant to trade Krejci, it's interesting enough that they're taking calls to see what teams are willing to offer.
Perhaps most important is how Krejci himself feels about being traded. He has a full no-movement clause for the 2018-19 season, before it becomes a modified no-trade clause in the following two seasons. So he'd have to approve any potential deal, anyway. Krejci is on the books for $7.25 million for each of the next three years.
The veteran centerman is still capable of scoring at a 50-60 point pace when healthy, scoring 44 points in 64 games last season (56 points over a full season). Concerning, however, is the health part at this stage. Coming off knee surgery in the 2017 offseason, he missed a month with a back injury in October and another two weeks with an upper-body injury in December.
Arguably the biggest concern is Krejci's drop-off in playoff production. Since his Conn Smythe-caliber 2013 playoff run, Krejci has scored 14 points in his last 27 games. He did score 10 points in 12 games in the 2018 playoffs, but rarely stood out as a game-changing factor in those contests.
Considering Sweeney's reluctance to move on from Krejci, it may remain highly unlikely that he'd actually be able to move him. The Bruins aren't going to get a substantial package for a 32-year-old who was never an explosive skater to begin with and would cost you $7.25 million against the cap for three more years.
Still, if you still feel it's best to move on from Krejci, then it's a promising sign that other teams are interested in him in the first place.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].