David Krejci, an all-time Boston Bruins great, is done with the Black and Gold.
“Since the end of the season, as I have thought about my future, it has become clear that I need to make a difficult decision for my family and I. At this point in my career and life I need to return to the Czech Republic and play in front of my family who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my NHL dreams.
“I want to play in front of my parents, brother and friends. I want my children to live where I grew up, spend time so many Czech family members who love them and create lifelong memories.”
The longtime second-line center added: “So for now, I want to thank all the Bruins fans for the support they have shown my family and I over the last 14 years. I will forever be thankful.
“This is not goodbye, I will not be a stranger. I will be a Bruin forever. I will see you at the TD Garden soon, and I will always bleed Black and Gold.”
Krejci, simply put, was one of the best centers in Bruins history. Boston drafted him in the second round of the 2004 NHL Draft, and he really started to catch on a few seasons later when he put up 22-51-73 totals with a league-leading plus/minus in his first full season, 2008-09. Just six players in Bruins history have more career assists, and he ranks eighth in franchise history in points.
But the thing Krejci should be remembered for most — perhaps aside from his remarkable consistency — are his playoff performances. He totaled 124 points in 156 career postseason contests for the Black and Gold. Only Hall of Famer Ray Bourque has more career playoff points than Krejci.
He was an instrumental member of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team, centering Boston’s best line. He led the NHL that spring with 12 playoff goals, and his 23 points also were most among any playoff teams. He once again led the league in playoff points in 2013 when Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks.