David Krejci Excited to Get Chance to Play Against Friend, Former Teammate Kris Versteeg


October 27, 2010

WILMINGTON, Mass. — David Krejci won't be chomping down a steak or chewing any bagels any time soon, but he also won't be missing any games.

The Bruins center had his wisdom teeth taken out on Monday, forcing him to miss practice that day. But he returned to the ice on Tuesday, skated again on Wednesday and declared himself fine for Thursday's showdown with the Maple Leafs.

"I skated yesterday and felt pretty good," said Krejci after Wednesday's practice. "Today I felt even better and tomorrow I should be all set.

"It is what it is, it had to come out eventually so I just did it Monday," added Krejci of the dental procedure. "It doesn't feel that bad actually. I feel pretty good."

As for his limited menu, it's not so much what Krejci can't eat for now, but rather the time involved in eating anything too substantial.

"It's a little difficult," said Krejci. "I can eat basically anything, it just takes a little longer to chew the food, but it's alright."

While Krejci will have to watch his mouth on the ice on Thursday, he will get a chance to chat with an old friend. New Toronto forward Kris Versteeg played on a line with Krejci in Providence in their first pro season in 2006-07 before being traded to Chicago that February for Brandon Bochenski.

"We played together our first year pro and spent lots of time together," said Krejci. "We got pretty close. He got traded, but he's not my first friend to get traded. That's how it is. You meet people and they get traded and you've got to move on. It's the same thing with him. Tomorrow he's going to be my enemy and I'm going to play as hard as all the other guys."

The Versteeg deal was one of the few major missteps Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made. While Bochenski managed just 11 goals in 51 games with Boston and has since played in three other organization, mostly in the AHL, before signing in the KHL this season, Versteeg put up back-to-back 20-goal seasons in Chicago, winning a Stanley Cup with 14 points in 22 playoff games last spring.

He was traded to Toronto this offseason as part of the Blackhawks post-championship salary cap purge and is now helping the Leafs get off to a surprising start this season. Krejci wasn't surprised to see his old teammate find such success in the NHL after leaving the Bruins' organization.

"When we played together, he was a great hockey player," said Krejci. "He's smart. He has great hands. He thinks the game very well and he adapted himself to the NHL very well. I wasn't surprised at all to see him do well, especially last year when he won the Stanley Cup."

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