Boston Bruins: Closing Time for David Krejci


Boston Bruins: Closing Time for David Krejci Might Be The Smart Decision This Off-Season

To let go of something you’ve become incredibly accustomed to isn’t easy — especially when that something has led to mounds of success. But at some point, change is required.

And for the Boston Bruins, change is necessary. That change should be David Krejci.

Krejci has had an incredible career here in Boston, and one we will always remember. Who will ever forget his performances in the 2011 (23 points) and 2013 (26 points) playoffs to lead to two Stanley Cup appearances, one of course ending with a ring? Those were the glory days here on Causeway Street and unfortunately it seems as though that mini era has come to a close.

While key guys like Patrice Bergeron will always remain in black and gold even during the downtimes, Krejci is someone who must go.

Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s no secret that the Bruins need defenseman badly. Like really badly. As everyone points toward free agency to fix that, there’s no guarantee that someone like Keith Yandle is going to have Boston at the top of his “places I want to go” list. If the B’s miss out on Yandle, their next best options are Dan Hamhuis and Alex Goligoski. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not putting my trust in either of them being top 2 defenseman.

Also, the days of the bad salary cap, thanks to Peter Chiarelli, still haunt the Bruins. They were over the cap last year by $966,500. Though they should be under this year, freeing up some cap-space wouldn’t be the worst of ideas.

Trading Krejci away would benefit the Bruins a lot more than hurt them.

For one, trading away Krejci would also mean trading most, if not all, of his $7.25 million cap-hit. That frees up a ton of space for the B’s to be able to have some leverage with the moves they make. You can make the argument that other Bruins should be traded away to free up the cap-hit that they leave (cough cough Zdeno Chara, cough cough Dennis Seidenberg), but that’s another story for another day.

However, the biggest reason to trade Krejci would be the hefty sum that he would yield in-return for the Bruins.

If the B’s did trade Krejci away, it would not be for another forward: they don’t need that. Krejci is a formidable top-line or second-line center no matter what. His puck handling skills are arguably the best on the team and his 63 points last year were the second-most points he’s gathered in his career.

The Bruins would try to dangle Krejci for a top-two defenseman.

More from Bruins News

There are a couple of teams who would be perfect trade-partners for the Bruins.

The Nashville Predators are at the top of the list. The Preds could always use some more offense as they ranked seventh in the Western Conference last year with 2.21 goals per game. Having him possibly play alongside James Neal and Filip Forsberg would be something to watch due to his grade-A playmaking abilities.

The Preds also have a plethora of young, offensive defenseman. The main two are Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi. They did trade away Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen in the middle of last year, but don’t think that they won’t do that again. The Predators could give up just Josi or Ellis and possibly a draft pick or a left winger such as Colin Wilson.

Overall, that trade would leave a huge impact on the Bruins, as it would solidify the back-end in front of Tuukka Rask.

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The other team would be the St. Louis Blues. Back at the Trade Deadline of last year, it was rumored that they almost had a deal finalized that would’ve sent talented defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to Boston in exchange for Loui Eriksson. Krejci carries more value than Eriksson does, so I think it’s safe to say that the B’s could get even more than just Shattenkirk. Up-and-comer Robby Fabbri who had 37 points last season playing on the left wing could also be paired with Shattenkirk in the deal.

The Blues could use Krejci on the offensive side of things, especially with so many important forwards being free agents, most notably David Backes and Troy Brouwer.

More from Causeway Crowd

There are other teams such as the Winnipeg Jets who wouldn’t be bad suitors for a Krejci trade, but I just don’t see it happening. The Jets need a center, but they need to keep a youngster like Jacob Trouba more.

So what happens when Krejci leaves the Bruins? Who replaces him?

Well, I think it’s time to bring up some young guys from Providence and let them have at it. If Krejci goes and someone like Josi, Ellis, or Shattenkirk comes back in return, the back end is much, much stronger and arguably even solidified.

With the back-end as strong as it would be, the Bruins could replace internally if they had to. They wouldn’t have to worry about an offensive-minded rookie like Austin Czarnik, who had 61 points in the AHL last year, stepping in at center. Claude Julien and staff wouldn’t have to worry about his back-checking abilities or in-zone coverage as much as they had to last year and the year before because of the improved defense.

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The underlying problem for Julien with younger forwards is the depleted defense behind these future studs. The defense behind guys like Seth Griffith, Frank Vatrano, and David Pastrnak have hindered their development as players and their ice time.

The Bruins could also go the other direction in replacing Krejci, which would be through free agency. It seems as though Steven Stamkos is every team’s prime-target. But for the B’s, Stammer could slot in as the number 1 or 2 center and have an impact even greater than Krejci’s. Also, to be able to pay for a guy like Stamkos, tons of cap-space would have to be cleared. If Krejci was to be traded, that cap-space would then become open.

Next: Bruins Lose Many To KHL This Off-Season

It’s hard to imagine a Bruins team without Krejci. I’d miss the slick puck-manuevering skills and the beautiful assists. But for a team that’s in dire need of change, I’d be quite alright just accepting the fact that the Bruins are moving on from one era, and moving into another.