Czech ice hockey centre David Krejci agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract (with an additional $2 million in performance bonuses) with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The 36-year-old played last season in his native after featuring for the Bruins for 15 seasons (2006-21).
Krejci amassed 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 51 regular-season games and five points (three goals, two assists) in five playoff games last season for Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga, the highest professional league in the country. The Sternberk native said the decision to return to the National Hockey League (NHL) was made after he played for Czechia at the 2022 IIHF World Championship but always wanted to play for the Bruins.
“When I decided to come back … I had to talk to [general manager Don Sweeney] and he let me know he wants me on the team,” Krejci said on Tuesday, as quoted by NHL.com. “And I told him that’s the team I want to play for, that’s the only team I want to play for.”
“We’re great friends and we go way back” – Bergeron
Apart from Krejci, Boston also signed Patrice Bergeron to a one-year, $2.5 million contract on Monday to return for his 19th season in the League. The 37-year-old centre reflected upon his friendship with Krejci and he’s glad for the opportunity to once again play together.
“Super excited that we could make it work,” Bergeron said about Krejci’s return. “He’s an amazing person, first and foremost, but also an amazing player. Obviously, we’re great friends and we go way back, so it was nice for him to take that time and make that decision.”
Krejci, who was the Bruins’ alternate captain for eight seasons, had 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 51 regular-season games in 2020-21 and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 11 playoff games.
“I’m glad we got it done, but the decision, I have to give credit to ‘Bergy’ and ‘Pasta,‘ Krejci said. “We had so many conversations the last few months about coming back or not and they’re the reason why I want to go back and play with those guys again.”