David Krejci ‘Would Definitely’ Play in Czech Republic If NHL Experiences Lengthy Lockout


David Krejci 'Would Definitely' Play in Czech Republic If NHL Experiences Lengthy LockoutDavid Krejci
always envisioned playing in his native country again some day. He just never thought the time would come while he's still in the midst of his prime.

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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