Krejci announced Friday that he would head back to his native Czech Republic to play, ending his NHL career. Krejci was selected by the Bruins in the second round of the 2004 NHL Draft and went on to play in 962 regular-season games for the club over his 15-year NHL career in which he tallied 215 goals and 515 assists. The 35-year-old center logged another 156 playoff contests, lifting Lord Stanley's Cup in 2011. Krejci didn't say where in the Czech Republic he might play, though he did suit up for Pardubice HC during the 2012-13 lockout.
GM Don Sweeney relays that discussions between Krejci and the Bruins are ongoing, Eric Russo of the team's official site reports. The veteran center continues to contemplate his future as he approaches free agency, but Krejci is a player the Bruins would like to retain, under the right contract parameters. Per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, the 35-year-old has indicated that he's narrowed his choices to staying with the franchise that drafted him in 2004 or finishing his career in the Czech Republic, where he's from. If Krejci ends up re-signing with the Bruins, he'd be in line to remain the team's No. 2 center and would presumably benefit from playing with talented winger Taylor Hall -- who's expected to re-up with Boston -- in 2021-22.
Krejci was left off the protected list released Sunday in advance of Wednesday's Expansion Draft. Like teammate Taylor Hall -- who was also left unprotected -- Krejci will become an unrestricted free agent this week, so the Bruins chose not to use one of their protection slots on him. Krejci has spent the entirety of his 15-year career in Boston, putting up 730 points in 962 regular-season games, as well as another 124 in 156 postseason contests.
Krejci collected two assists and one shot on goal in Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Islanders in Game 6. He also had a minus-3 rating. Krejci set up both of Brad Marchand's power-play tallies, which represented the extent of Boston's offense in the series finale. The 35-year-old Krejci produced two goals and seven helpers in 11 postseason contests, generating 32 shots on goal.
Krejci scored a goal on two shots and added three hits Monday in a 5-4 loss to the Islanders in Game 5. Krejci brought the Bruins to within 5-4 with 5:17 left in the third period, tucking home a Mike Reilly rebound on his backhand. It was Krejci's second straight game with a goal after going his first eight playoff tilts without one.
Last 7 Games
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