Krejci told CSNNE.com that he will return to the Czech Republic and play hockey there if the NHL is headed for a lengthy lockout — something that seems more and more likely each day.
"It will be nice, but not at this time. I always thought I'd go back [to Czech] to end my career. I never thought it would be when I was 26 [years old]," Krejci told CSNNE.com. "A few teams have already contacted me from the Czech Republic. I would definitely go there. I wouldn't go to any other countries. If they're going to say there's a lockout on Saturday, I'm not going to leave on Sunday or Monday. I haven't given any [Czech] teams my word yet. My first priority is here, but then I'll start making some decisions after that. There are so many things that go into picking a team."
Krejci remains optimistic that the NHL and NHLPA can still hash out a deal for a new collective bargaining agreement. The Sept. 15 deadline is fast approaching, though, which has many NHL players exploring other options in case the labor talks don't progress.
"I'll make a decision that's best for me and my career. I'm not going to rush. I'm going to take my time. I still believe that there's time [for a new deal on a CBA]," Krejci reportedly said. "Some guys from Czech haven't even come to the U.S. or Canada and they're waiting to see if there's going to be a lockout."
Krejci will make $5.25 million each of the next three seasons, according to CapGeek.com, before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2015. The talented forward scored a career-high 23 goals last season while totaling 62 points. Krejci's career high for points came in 2008-09, when he accumulated 22-51-73 totals while playing all 82 regular season games. He was, of course, also instrumental in the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011, putting up 12-11-23 totals in 25 playoff games.
The decision to play elsewhere in the event of a lockout is a path many NHL players will likely take. Hopefully that path leads right back to the NHL before long, because a winter without the league would be a long one.
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