BOSTON (CBS) — Contrary to a report earlier in the week, David Krejci will not be returning to the Boston Bruins. The 35-year-old is instead returning home to the Czech Republic.
Krejci made the announce via the Bruins on Friday afternoon.
“Since the end of the season, as I have thought about my future, it has become clear that I need to make a difficult decision for my family and I. At this point in my career and life I need to return to the Czech Republic and play in front of my family who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my NHL dreams,” Krejci said. “I want to play in front of my parents, brother and friends. I want my children to live where I grew up, spend time with so many Czech family members who love them and create lifelong memories.”
Krejci continued: “So for now, I want to thank all the Bruins fans for the support they have shown my family and I over the last 14 years. I will forever be thankful. This is not goodbye, I will not be a stranger. I will be a Bruin forever. I will see you at the TD Garden soon, and I will always bleed Black and Gold.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 30, 2021
Krejci spent his entire NHL career with the Bruins, who drafted him in the second round of the 2004 draft. He played in 963 regular-season games with 730 points (215-515-730) and 156 playoff games with 124 points (42-82-124).
Last year, in 51 games, he scored eight goals and recorded 36 assists in the regular season. He posted 2-7-9 totals in 11 playoff games.
An emotional Krejci spoke to the media days after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the Islanders in June. He said at the time that he did have plans to play in the Czech Republic at some point.
“I would, at one point, like to finish my career in Czech, but for different reasons. My kids don’t speak my language, so I would like them to learn the language,” he said in June. “But again, when that is going to happen or if that is going to happen, we’ll see.
Krejci ranks seventh in Bruins history in games played and assists, while ranking eighth in Bruins history in points. He twice led the entire NHL in playoff scoring — in 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, and again in 2013, when the Bruins lost in the Cup Final to Chicago.
Last year marked the final season of the six-year, $43.5 million deal that Krejci signed in 2014, one that came with an annual cap hit of $7.25 million.