David Krejci’s break-up day media session was a bit odd. Even by David Krejci interview standards.
Speaking at the end of what was his 15th season with the Bruins (time flies when you’re sending saucer passes to a billion different linemates), Krejci sounded like a man who truly didn’t know what the future entailed.
A pending unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, Krejci repeatedly said “we’ll see” when talking about his Boston future, and kept saying that his next contract wasn’t going to be about the money. He also brought up his desire to play in his native Czech Republic before his career officially concludes, but for different reasons than he first cited years ago. That potential move back home’s new motivation comes with Krejci’s desire for his children to learn Czech so they can communicate with their grandparents, as Krejci noted that his kids only speak English and that his parents only speak Czech.
There’s simply a lot to unpack with Krejci, and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney knows it.
“In David’s case, it’s very unique in the fact that he would like to continue to play with the Bruins [but] he’s obviously expressed interest that he may return home at some point in time, whether that’s next year or down the road,” Sweeney said. “And the family dynamic is important to him. He’s asked to have a little bit of time in the coming days to allow him to, again, on his own, have conversations with his family and then we’re going to sit back down and have a real honest conversation.”
Beginning his year with yet another revolving door of linemates, Krejci was certainly revitalized with the Bruins’ acquisition of Taylor Hall, and finished the 2021 season with eight goals and 44 points in 51 games.
One of 275 NHLers to play at least 700 even-strength minutes this past season, Krejci remained one of the league’s most effective passers, as his 1.86 assists per 60 minutes ranked 10th in all of hockey, and was the fourth-best among all NHL centers, trailing only the Oilers’ Connor McDavid (2.65) and Leon Draisaitl (2.24), and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (2.16).
And with the Bruins’ other threats at second-line center failing to take that next step and show that they’re ready to jump into Krejci’s spot (namely Charlie Coyle and top prospect Jack Studnicka), that ‘honest conversation’ Sweeney talked about having with Krejci seems likely to be a pitch to keep No. 46 in Boston on a new deal.
Especially with a free agent market that seems noticeably short on high-impact centers and with the Bruins and Hall hoping for a connection that lasts beyond just this past stretch run.
“I do believe that David does want to continue to play, and he’s made it pretty clear — and we would like to make it clear, that this is a place he should continue to play should he continue to do so at the NHL level,” said Sweeney.
The 35-year-old Krejci ranks seventh on the Bruins’ all-time assist (515) and games played (962) leaderboard, while his 730 career points are the eighth-most in franchise history.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.