BOSTON – David Krejci did not have any hassle discovering his method round Warrior Ice Arena, however with so many new faces round since he final roamed the hallways in the spring of 2021, the veteran centerman nonetheless had lots to get used to when he arrived in Brighton on Monday morning.
“Pretty cool,” Krejci mentioned with a beaming smile. “I used to be actually excited simply assembly all the blokes and clearly a variety of new faces, not simply the gamers however the teaching employees and the group as properly. So, it was very nice…it was a great first day.”
A primary day in contrast to some other for the 36-year-old, who’s returning to the Bruins after a season of enjoying for Olomouc HC in his native Czechia. Nearly a calendar 12 months after departing the one NHL workforce he has ever identified, Krejci opted to come again to the Black & Gold for a 16th season when he signed a one-year contract with Boston early final month.
“I all the time put the very best expectations on myself and this 12 months is not any totally different,” mentioned Krejci. “I labored very onerous in the summer season. I in all probability had the longest summer season I had in a very long time, and I used to be skating fairly a bit as properly. So, I really feel good now. We’ll see how that goes.”
While considering whether or not to return, Krejci had a lot of conversations with Patrice Bergeron – his longtime operating mate down the center of the ice, who made his personal determination to return this season – as the 2 imagined what it may be like to run it again for yet one more season collectively.
“I talked to Bergy just a few instances earlier than we began engaged on the cope with my agent and Don [Sweeney],” mentioned Krejci. “It’s good when a participant like Bergy calls you and tells you all concerning the expectations and what he is considering and stuff like that, that is good. That’s what you need. If any individual needs you, that is what you need, that is what you need to hear.
“And the identical with Don and Cam [Neely]. And once they referred to as me, I felt that they thought I might make a distinction and so they actually needed me on this workforce and it was mutual so it wasn’t a really onerous determination. And then I obtained my agent concerned after which we obtained the factor executed. I’m so tremendous excited, tremendous completely satisfied to be again right here.”
Video: Krejci talks for the primary time as he re-joins the Bruins
Krejci additionally noticed loads of alternatives forward.
“If you have a look at this entire season, there are such a lot of thrilling alternatives, Winter Classic [at Fenway], clearly 1,000 video games for the Bruins,” mentioned Krejci, who enters the season having performed 962 profession video games. “Lots of men that I grew up with in the dressing room are nonetheless right here. There’s simply so many issues that I obtained enthusiastic about coming again. Playing with Pasta is one among them as properly.”
Krejci had the possibility to skate alongside Pastrnak through the 2022 IIHF World Championship again in May, because the duo teamed up to assist Czechia seize a bronze medal. Despite usually enjoying on separate traces throughout Krejci’s first stint with the Bruins, the chemistry between the 2 was evident on the world stage.
“It appeared like I performed with him the entire season,” mentioned Krejci. “We simply have a great chemistry and we do not want to observe a lot collectively. We simply go on the market and do our factor.”
That rapport is probably going to be repeated in Black & Gold with new head coach Jim Montgomery hinting over the summer season that Krejci might have Pastrnak and Taylor Hall on his wings to start the 2022-23 marketing campaign.
“That could be clearly superior,” mentioned Krejci. “Two of the very best gamers in the league and if I get an opportunity to play with them or at the very least one among them, then that’d be nice. We’ll attempt to clearly speak loads, however I performed with each in the previous.
“The chemistry should not be an issue, simply form of stand up to pace and speak loads in the room and on the ice however I feel I’ll be high-quality.”
Krejci is assured in his personal recreation and the way it stacks up in opposition to NHL competitors given how he fared each on the World Championship and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“I felt good the entire 12 months and I felt superb on the Olympics,” mentioned Krejci. “We misplaced to Switzerland, sadly, however I felt good. I felt like I used to be one of many higher gamers in the event or in the entire season final 12 months after which the World Championship as properly. So that was form of a reminder that I nonetheless have it.
“I really feel nice. I really like the sport. And yeah, when Pasta got here, we might play some good hockey and form of that was possibly the purpose that I began fascinated with possibly I’ll make a comeback. And then when the Bruins referred to as , it simply form of went from there.”
And the place does he go from right here? That’s a dialogue for down the street.
For now, Krejci is simply delighted to be again in the Spoked-B.
“The older you get…you simply form of play it out, see how you are feeling, see if individuals nonetheless need you or not,” mentioned Krejci. “But that is possibly the fantastic thing about it as a result of you do not know what is going on to occur subsequent 12 months, so that you’re attempting to take essentially the most out of the chance you’ve gotten in entrance of you. And no matter occurs after it occurs, you recognize It’s out of your fingers.
“You’re simply specializing in having a extremely good 12 months and attempting to have enjoyable as properly as a result of I did miss it after I was in Europe – though I had enjoyable, however it was totally different.”
Talks Continue with Pastrnak
Speaking from Buffalo forward of the finale of the Prospects Challenge on Monday morning, Bruins basic supervisor Don Sweeney mentioned that whereas he stays in communication with Pastrnak’s camp – mainly agent JP Barry – concerning a contract extension, there isn’t a timetable but on a possible decision .
“I feel Pasta was fairly clear in what was happening for him this summer season and the place issues had been at and we had been additionally indicating that we wish to discover the widespread floor,” mentioned Sweeney. “JP and I are gonna work onerous to try to try this. There’s by no means been a timetable. I do know different individuals have type of tried to put one on there, that is simply not the way it works.
“I admit I’d like to have issues all the time buttoned up earlier than we even fear about getting into a final 12 months. But typically it is just a bit extra of an natural course of and we’ll proceed to work on it and talk. JP and I’ve a great relationship that method. Happy to see Pasta again and prepared to go.”
Right on Target
Matt Grzelcyk, Brad Marchandand Charlie McAvoy skated individually from the principle group at Captains’ Practice on Monday at Warrior Ice Arena and, per Sweeney, proceed to be inside their authentic timelines for a return to motion.
“All the blokes are on the ice, progressing comfortably inside the timeline that was initially laid out,” mentioned Sweeney. “Other than that, we’re simply gonna cross our fingers that it continues that method. You all the time hope that guys are again earlier, however that is not how we work. We make the very best determination for the participant and what the coaching employees, medical employees finally makes the ultimate determination on.
“Grzelcyk is forward of the place each Charlie and Brad are, however good to see all of them on the ice and dealing their method again to hopefully full well being and again as quickly as attainable. But once more, the timeline has been laid out and the rehab and the medical employees dictates. Right now, they’re proper heading in the right direction.”
Wait, There’s More
- Sweeney mentioned he expects to have round “58 gamers or so” at coaching camp when it opens later this week. “We’ve obtained a fairly good concept of what that group’s gonna seem like popping out of as we speak,” mentioned Sweeney. “We’re gonna permit a variety of children to graduate in order that [Jim Montgomery’s] obtained actually 5 traces and ideally 16 or 18 defensemen to mix in so he can run three days, 4 days earlier than we’ve these first couple exhibition video games of getting two full teams and having a great observe however not having too many guys.”
- Sweeney mentioned that the gamers at Rookie Camp on an invite foundation (James Hardie, Ryan Humphrey, Keltie Jeri-Leon, and Brayden Schuurman) will return to their junior groups. “Some of the groups are enjoying this weekend. Some of them had been enjoying main in, that is why [Brett] Harrison wasn’t right here; he sadly obtained injured,” mentioned Sweeney.
- When it comes to the place former first-round decide Fabian Lysell performs this season – Boston, Providence, or Vancouver (WHL -, Sweeney indicated that the winger, who impressed on the Prospects Challenge, will decide that by his efficiency throughout coaching camp. “It hasn’t been decided the place he is gonna play,” mentioned Sweeney. “It seems to be like he is prepared to play on the professional degree. But let’s examine how camp is, how exhibition season is, and see how he holds up. We ideally would love to see him play professional this 12 months, however once more, there’s nothing set in stone that it has to be that method.”
- Sweeney mentioned that there was doubtlessly one participant nonetheless in the marketplace that the workforce is contemplating bringing into camp on a PTO (Professional Tryout Agreement): “We’ve obtained a ultimate determination to make. I do not know proper now,” mentioned Sweeney. “There’s one which’s pending. We’ve talked to a number of totally different guys and a few have made a alternative to go elsewhere for one other alternative. Right now, I’m not. But there’s one which’s hanging on the market.”