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Feb 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins refused to shut the door on a potential David Krejci return in 2021-22.

It started with Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, and continued with Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Neither was particularly shocked by Krejci’s move to the Czech Republic, too, so it was entirely plausible that they were operating with some sort of inside information that had yet to come to light. A potential Krejci return would have been complicated from a roster maneuvering standpoint with waivers and the NHL trade deadline involved, sure, but the fact that the door was open at all seemed encouraging from the Black and Gold’s point of view.

Krejci’s own statement also said that this was not goodbye and that you’d see him back at TD Garden soon enough.

But it was Krejci who shut the door on that idea in his introductory press conference with his new Czech team.

“I will stay in Olomouc all season,” Krejci told reporters (via Google Translate). “I signed a one-year contract. I’m not dealing with what’s next at all at the moment, but returning to Boston in the spring is definitely not in the game.”

Ah, well, nevertheless…

With Krejci officially out of the picture for 2021-22, the Bruins will need to find a solution in the middle of a second line projected to feature the freshly-extended Taylor Hall and shoot-first Craig Smith on the wings.

The Bruins have already pegged Charlie Coyle as the early favorite for the role, but the team has other options, including Erik Haula and Jack Studnicka. The Bruins could also find a potential solution on the trade market should the team’s internal candidates fail to get the job done.

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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.