David Krejci has not fully decided what he will do this offseason, but the Bruins are not going to rush him.
The longtime Boston center is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, with free agency set to open this Wednesday. Krejci has point-blank said he can’t envision himself playing anywhere but Boston, but he also would like to one day move back to the Czech Republic.
It’s a lot to mull over, especially when you consider the Bruins season ended less than two months ago. And with six days to go until free agency, the Bruins have yet to get something concrete from Krejci.
“I have been in touch with David, and I?m going to respect all of his privacy and decisions in this point in time,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Thursday over Zoom. “Has not given further indication, as you referenced before he?s got some things he wants to address. Then he?ll let us know. But yes, I have been in regular communication with David, and there?s no timeline to make decisions.”
Despite that, Sweeney does not plan to force Krejci into a decision before free agency begins. Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle and Curtis Lazar all will be back next season, and the Bruins do have some center prospects in Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, Oskar Steen, Cameron Hughes and Curtis Hall that could compete for a vacated Krejci role in training camp.
So, there is a workaround for Boston if Krejci does continue to contemplate his future well past the start of free agency, only to elect not to return to the Bruins.
“No (it doesn’t put us in a bind),” Sweeney said. “We have guys that can step into roles. Obviously, we?ll address needs and throughout our lineup, certainly explore options to have. Address it as it comes. We certainly have to acknowledge that it would be a big hole if we had to fill it, but it?d be a real good opportunity for someone if we do go in that direction. We?re going to have to find a way to spread things around if David makes a decision otherwise, but that hasn?t been the indication. We?re hopeful that he?ll come back. We?ll see.”
Krejci has played in 962 regular season games with the Bruins, so if he returned and remained mostly healthy, he would hit the 1,000 game mark this upcoming season. He also has played 156 playoff games with Boston, so he has easily cleared the overall 1,000 game threshold.