Bruins Could Find Motivation In One Last Run With Core Group

This could be the last run with Bergeron and Krejci


Oct 12, 2022

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Even with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci coming back to the Boston Bruins this season on one-year deals, their futures with the club remain very unclear.

It’s no secret that the two aging core members of the Bruins are at the tail end of their playing careers with Bergeron even contemplating retirement following last season.

But as Boston gets set to open its 2022-23 season Wednesday on the road against the Washington Capitals, there is an air of finality surrounding the team — something Bruins president Cam Neely sensed as well — that this could be the last go-around with Bergeron and Krejci firmly situated in the lineup.

“I think it’s very fair. We talked about earlier with (Bergeron) — it’s really up to him, and I think with Krejci the same way. These guys have had long, successful careers,” Neely said Monday at the Bruins’ media day. “Like I said, I think this group in the locker room feels like something special can happen this year. It’s a close team, and when I say team, it’s a real team. I think their teammates look at this and say this might be the last year we have the ability to play with these guys, so let’s take as much advantage as we can. That’s the feeling I get inside the locker room.”

Bergeron and Krejci have combined to play 2,178 regular-season games during their NHL careers, all of which have come with the Bruins. Even with Krejci playing last year in his native Czech Republic, the duo is engrained in the team’s identity, which makes trying to picture them no longer suiting up for Boston a difficult task.

Like Bergeron, Krejci isn’t ready to look into the crystal ball and discuss the future, trying to keep his focus on spearheading a Czech line that blossomed during the preseason.

“We’ll see what happens after the season,” Krejci said. “Going into the season, obviously play the best hockey you can. Have a good start, missing a couple good players. That happens to every team throughout the season. Have a good start, have some fun and not really thinking about next year, so we’ll see what happens.”

The narrative of this being the last run with members of the core still intact isn’t new for the Bruins. Brad Marchand has been around, maybe not as long as Bergeron and Krejci, but long enough to see some of his longtime teammates that were integral pieces of the puzzle move on. First, it was Zdeno Chara, who left the Bruins following the 2019-20 season, and then last year goalie Tuukka Rask walked away during the middle of the season.

While Marchand understands the reality of the situation currently facing the Bruins when it comes to Bergeron and Krejci, he’s holding out hope that Bergeron and Krejci have more left in the tank to consider playing beyond this season.

“I think we’ve kind of heard a little bit about that the last couple of years just different guys kind of leaving — with (Chara) and then with (Rask),” Marchand said. “I feel like with guys that do leave, there’s just more opportunity arises for other guys. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s our last kind of run, but potentially with certain guys. I mean, guys leave every single year and there’s always a transition when guys leave and new guys come in and figuring out where everybody fits.

“Obviously, with (Krejci) and Bergy, they’re incredible players, and you’re already seeing the difference (Krejci) makes when he’s in the lineup. He’s just gross. And Bergy obviously the best two-way player to ever play the game. You can’t replace guys like that. … But hopefully again it’s not for another two or three years.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith
Previous Article

Padres Vs. Dodgers Live Stream: Watch NLDS Game 2 Online, On TV

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Next Article

Cardinals' James Conner Misses Practice Wednesday

Picked For You