David Krejci has one year left on his contract and he turns 34 on Tuesday. Add in a long break from hockey due to the coronavirus pandemic and it's only natural to wonder if the longtime Bruins center has thought about his future.
On a Zoom call with the media Monday, Krejci said he has indeed had some time to think about his future and that while he isn't sure exactly what will happen when his current deal ends after the 2020-21 season, one thing he does know is that he currently has no plans to retire at that time.
"We'll see. I'm not planning on retiring, that's for sure," Krejci said. "I want to play after that. How long or what's going to happen, I don't know. I guess we'll see what happens after that next year. Definitely not planning on going into the next season as it being my last."
Krejci, who was drafted by the Bruins in 2004 and made his NHL debut in 2007, has the highest cap hit on the team for this season and next season at $7.25 million.
As we get closer to the expiration of that contract, it will be fascinating to see what kind of deal Krejci is looking for and what the Bruins are willing to give him. While he's obviously been overshadowed by the three members of the Bruins' top line -- Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak -- Krejci is still the team's fifth-leading scorer this season despite missing nine games due to injury, and he tied a career high with 73 points just last season.
He would have to take a pay cut to stay, especially given his age and the fact that Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak all make less than him, but it's not hard to envision a scenario where he takes third-line center money and shifts into that kind of role for his twilight years while, say, Charlie Coyle moves ahead of him on the depth chart.
It's also easy to imagine the Bruins simply deciding to move on from Krejci if top prospects Jack Studnicka and/or John Beecher (both centers) are ready to run with a second- or third-line role by then.