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Dec 3, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins center David Krejci, a fixture of the B’s center depth since grabbing hold of a full-time role with the club in 2007-08, has decided to leave the NHL and return to play in his native Czech Republic.

Krejci made the announcement via a statement put out by the Bruins.

“Dear Bruins fans:

In January of 2007 when I pulled the Black and Gold sweater on for the first time I was 20 years and was almost 4,000 miles away from home.

Since then, you have embraced me as a Bostonian. I have given everything that I have had to you and the Bruins, and over time, Boston has become a second home to me. I met my amazing wife Naomi here, and our two beautiful children call Boston home. This City and your support are so special to me.

The Bruins organization has always treated me with the utmost respect. I am so thankful for my teammates, the trainers and support staff, coaches and management who have allowed me to be a part of so many great teams. Obviously the 2011, 2013, and 2019 teams stick out, bur truthfully I have loved every Bruins team I have been part of.

Since the end of the season, as I have thought about my future, it has become clear that I need to make a difficult decision for my family and I. At this point in my career and life I need to return to the Czech Republic and play in front of my family who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my NHL dreams. I want to play in front of my parents, brother and friends. I want my children to live where I grew up, spend time with so many Czech family members who love them and create lifelong memories.

So for now, I want to thank all the Bruins fans for the support they have shown my family and I over the last 14 years. I will forever be thankful.

This is not goodbye, I will not be a stranger. I will be a Bruin forever. I will see you at the TD Garden soon, and I will always bleed Black and Gold.

With gratitude,

David.”

A native of Sternberk, Czech Republic, the 35-year-old Krejci departs the Bruins ranked 16th on the club’s all-time goals list (215), seventh on the franchise’s assists leaderboard (515), and eighth on their all-time points list (730). Krejci, who twice led the postseason in scoring (2011 and 2013), goes down as the second-most productive playoff producer in franchise history, with his 124 career playoff points second only to Ray Bourque and his franchise-best 161 postseason points.

Krejci’s departure also opens a gigantic hole on the Bruins’ roster, with the B’s in need of a second-line center to ride with Taylor Hall and Craig Smith. The Bruins did what they could to address that on the first day of free agency, too, signing Erik Haula, Nick Foligno, and Tomas Nosek. The Bruins are also hoping a healthy Charlie Coyle can have a bounce-back season, while top prospect Jack Studnicka remains an option for the Black and Gold entering the 2021-22 season.


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.