When Bruins’ center David Krejci spoke to the media for the first time after inking his one-year, $1 million contract on Monday, he cleared up a lot of questions, including what influenced him to rejoin the team, when he had made his choice, and if he would now be playing out the rest of his career in the NHL.
According to Krejci, 36, his decision was made months ago. He said that he had already determined he wanted to rejoin his teammates on the Bruins in the period shortly after playing in the 2022 IIHF World Championship in May and sometime prior to the organization's replacement of Bruce Cassidy with Jim Montgomery on July 1. Krejci said that the firing of Cassidy was not a factor in his decision.
“My decision was made before they hired the new coach, so the firing of Butchy had nothing to do with my decision coming back,” he said.
“I know we signed, me, and Bergy and Zacha, we signed yesterday, but the decision was made a few weeks before that,” Krejci said.
Once his choice was made, Krejci directed his agent to “do what you've gotta do, let's just get it done, I want to be a Boston Bruin next season.”
Krejci did not pursue any offers that may have come from other teams and said that his agent and Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney met “over the last few weeks a bunch of times” in order to get the deal done.
“That’s the team I want to play for, that's the only team I want to play for,” Krejci said about the Bruins.
The tipping point for Krejci’s decision came when talking to Bruins’ teammates Patrice Bergeron, who also signed a one-year contract with the Bruins on Monday, and fellow Czech forward David Pastrnak.
“The decision also I had to give credit to Bergy, him and Pasta, we had so many communications in the last few months about coming back or not. They’re the reason why I want to go back,” he said.
“Who wouldn't want to play with one of the best players in the world,” Krejci said, talking about Pastrnak. “I was lucky enough that I got to play with him on the same line at the World Championship and that was kind of the turning point in my decision.”
As for whether Krejci wants to finish out the remainder of his career in the NHL or would potentially go back to the Czech league, Krejci said, “That was always one of my dreams, I got to do that last year…‘never say never’ but right now that’s not what’s on my mind.”