BOSTON (CBS) — When Andrew Ference departed Boston via free agency this summer, it left one vacant alternate captain that needed to be replaced. On Tuesday, two days before the season begins, the Bruins announced that David Krejci would be the one to wear that “A.”

The Bruins’ captain, of course, is Zdeno Chara, with Patrice Bergeron serving as alternate captain for all games. In the past, Ference split the other alternate captain duties with Chris Kelly, who will continue to wear the “A” in half of the games. (The two split duties on home and road games, swapping midseason.)

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Krejci is 27 years old, but he’s been a full-time member of the Bruins since 2007. He averaged 62 points per season from the 2008-09 season through the 2011-12 season, and he tallied 33 points in 47 games last season. He led the NHL in playoff scoring during the 2011 Stanley Cup run, when he posted 12-11-23 totals in 25 games, and he led the NHL in postseason assists last year, when he led the team in postseason points while posting 9-17-26 totals in 22 games.

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Ference’s departure certainly leaves a leadership void, as evidenced by the Oilers naming him team captain this week before he’s even skated in a regular-season game for the team.

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It’s no coincidence that three of the Bruins’ four letter-wearers — Chara, Bergeron and Krejci — are also three of the players with the highest ice-time totals. Chara led the team with nearly 25 minutes per game last year, while Bergeron was tops among forwards (19:18) with Krejci (18:30) not far behind.