David Krejci explains why he returned to Bruins, NHL after year in Czech Republic


David Krejci warming up before a Bruins game in May 2021. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

After a year-long stint in his native Czech Republic, longtime Bruins center David Krejci is set to return to Boston.

Krejci signed a one-year contract with the Bruins on Monday.

He took a few weeks off from hockey after the IHF World Championships in June to clear his mind and discuss career options with his family. It was then that he decided to return to Boston.

“Boston was my No. 1 option and pretty much my only option,” Krejci said. “I’m glad we made it. But I also have to give credit to [Patrice Bergeron] and [David Pastrnak]. We’ve had so many conversations over the past few months about whether or not to come back. They’re the reason I want to go back, play with those guys again.

Krejci, who will be entering his 16th season with the Bruins, told his agent Boston was the only team he wanted to sign with.

“I wasn’t ready to retire yet. I wanted to come back to the NHL,” Krejci said. “I told my agent to make a deal. Do what you have to do, let’s do it. I want to be a Boston Bruin next season. Obviously there was a plan B, but I didn’t I never wanted it to be like this. I never wanted to play anywhere else. I’m more than happy to be a Bruin again.

Krejci said the Bruins’ coaching change hasn’t affected his comeback. The Bruins hired Jim Montgomery last month to replace Butch Cassidy. Krejci said his decision was made before then.

One of the main factors in Krejci’s decision was to team up with Pastrnak again.

“Who wouldn’t want to play with one of the best players in the world? said Krejci. “I was like that enough to play with him on the same line at the world championship. It was a bit of a turning point in my decision to come back to the NHL. Just play with him and see what we could do together. It was pretty cool.

It’s been more than a decade since Krejci and Bergeron led the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup. Krejci said he would return to make another playoff push.

“I talked to [Bergeron] a lot this summer,” Krejci said. “I’m sure he can speak for himself. But we come back to try to make a push. We don’t know how many years we have left. But we come back to do something because we believe in the team. So we’ll see what happens.


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