Bruins: This is an important date if Krejci wants to return

Fans of the Boston Bruins knew that the departure of David Krejci was going to hurt the team this season.

Charlie Coyle has been better than expected filling in a second-line center role, but he’s no Krejci, who is ripping it up back home with HC Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga.

While Krejci is – brace yourself for this one – averaging over a point per game in his home country, the lack of secondary scoring continues to hurt the Bruins.

While we know a Krejci return to Boston would be beneficial, will it happen?

If Krejci does return to Boston, it likely needs to be before Dec. 21

Before we get into the specific timeline, there is no guarantee Krejci returns. Management has certainly kept the door open, with both Bruce Cassidy and Don Sweeney saying he would be welcomed back. However, Krejci shut down that rumor in August, saying he would play the entire season with HC Olomouc.

But let’s have some fun and let’s say (and hope) Krejci does decide to return. It would likely have to come a lot quicker than people think.

I didn’t even realize this was the case, but according to Dominic Tiano of ohlwriters.me, it’s not as simple as giving Krejci a contract. This was in Tiano’s latest Bruins mailbag.

“If David Krejci signs before December 15, 2021, he’s all yours. But if he plays in one European League game on or after December 16, 2021 and then decides to re-sign with Boston, he will be required to clear waivers before he can play for the Bruins – and let me make this clear – he will not clear waivers.

“That said, Krejci’s Olomouc squad in the Czech Extraliga doesn’t play between December 12 and December 21, so the Bruins actually have until December 21, 2021 to sign him without the threat of waivers. But once he steps on the ice that night (morning for us here in North America) there will be zero chances of him returning to the Bruins this season.”

(Side note, Tiano is an excellent follow for Bruins insight, especially the prospects. Give him a follow on Twitter and his website.)

That’s an extremely important bit of information. And one that, in my opinion, closes off the option of a return for the Czech center.

He previously said he wouldn’t return anyway. Why would he leave in the middle of the Extraliga season? Right around the holidays no less. Leaving his entire family to come back to Boston just doesn’t make sense.

And Tiano is right. If he has to clear waivers, he’s not coming to Boston. Another team would gladly swoop in and claim him, especially if he’s going to be on a cheap deal. If the Bruins are that desperate, they could work a trade for him, but then you’re giving up assets for an aging veteran. Not a smart move.

It’s a complicated situation, but the writing has been on the wall for a while. And this is another wrench to throw in the equation.

I think it’s time that all Bruins fans finally let go of the idea of a Krejci return. It should have likely been let go when he said in August he wouldn’t return. Now, the idea literally has a ticker on it. Once December 21 hits, the idea of Krejci being a member of the Bruins is likely out the window.