Following Patrice Bergeron’s retirement announcement just the week before, it seemed imminent that fellow Boston Bruins’ centerman David Krejci would follow suit. After playing with the Bruins for one final season for the Bruins, Boston Hockey Now has reported that Krejci’s retirement is now imminent and an official announcement from the team, as well as from Krejci’s camp, should be expected in the next few days.
He is expected to make a smaller scale announcement than Bergeron’s, given that he “has already left the Bruins, and the NHL once.” The report does not come as much of a surprise, as they expected once Bergeron retired, Krejci would also hang up his skates.
There was some speculation that he would go back to playing in the Czech Republic following Bergeron’s retirement, but that was quickly squashed by BHN’s sources, who told Jimmy Murphy of BHN that they expect he may come back to play for the national team, but that will be it.
With Krejci’s career effectively coming to a close, he finishes his hockey career with 1,032 games played, where he was able to score 231 goals, and notch 555 assists.
He also won one Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins, before coming close again in 2013 and, again, in 2019. Krejci won The Golden Stick Award, awarded for the best ice hockey player in the Czech Republic in 2013, and was awarded the plus-minus award twice in the NHL (once in 2009, once in 2014).
Unfortunately for Krejci, despite being able to put up 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games of International Play, he was never able to achieve any higher than a Bronze Medal, and was never able to medal at any of the Olympic games he played in. In fact, he never finished any higher than sixth place, but was able to play in three Olympic games throughout his career.
Krejci was also awarded numerous awards within the organization as well.
Who takes the top two center spots?
With Krejci’s departure from the Bruins, along with Bergeron’s retirement, this leaves the top two center spots in Boston up for grabs with no immediate front-runners. Boston has three true centers on the team in Trent Frederic, who was recently inked to a two-year deal, Charlie Coyle, and Morgan Geekie who was signed in free agency.
All three have played center full time, but the most experienced ones are Coyle, and Geekie. Barring any late offseason moves, look for those two to fill Bergeron and Krejci’s holes at the top of the lineup, but where they will fit may be a juggling act – as neither has played on the top of the rotation, except in desperate times.
The Bruins have other players who have split some time at center, and as a wing, but it remains to be seen who the fourth center will be – whether it is someone permanent, or a platoon-style system.
Krejci will leave a lasting legacy in Boston, and, much like Bergeron, we should expect to see his jersey lifted to the rafters at the TD Garden at some point in the near future.