By: Jack Gotsell | Follow me on Twitter @jackgotsell
Bruins fans have long clamored for Krejci to be dealt. “He’s overpaid” and “he can’t work with any linemate” are the common phrases used in Boston. However, this is far from the truth. Krejci is a critical part of the Bruins past and part of the future for at least the next year.
David Krejci, being overpaid is a myth like those of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. The truth of the matter is that Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pasternak are criminally underpaid. Bergeron 6.875 million, Marchand 6.125 million, and David Pastrnak 6.666 million that’s the salaries of our top line in Boston.
It equals out to just over 19.666 million compared to Toronto’s top three forwards that ring out at a whopping 33.527 million. Krejci is paid 3.642 million less than the least paid top three forwards of Toronto, Mitchell Marner. Krejci comes in with a cap hit of 7.250 million, which is a bargain for “playoff Krejci” which is the next myth I’ll tackle.
Kevin Hayes’ cap hit is just above 7.142 million, and he is not quite the player Krejci is at this point in time. Krejci had 43 points to Hayes’s 34 in nine fewer games and 12 points to Hayes’s 13 in three fewer games. Krejci is a superior player to Hayes in both the postseason and the regular season.
Still, people want to see Krejci moved because the front office has been unable to find Krejci a wing on his right side to compliment him and Jake DeBrusk. Time is running out as Krejci enters into the final year of his contract. We know the narrative of “Playoff Krejci.” Once again, that is just another myth.
The 34-year old Krejci averaged .79 points per game in his playoff career and .75 points per game in the regular season in his career. He doesn’t come out of nowhere in the playoffs. Krejci is a critical part of how the Bruins can grab a high seed and get into the playoffs to begin with. Krejci has been an essential part of the Bruins core since the 2008-2009 season, where he put up a career-high 73 points and never looked back. This man has aged like a fine wine. He matched that same point total again in the 2018-2019 season.
Ondrej Kase looked good on Krejci’s right side even though he wasn’t able to finish. Maybe it’s time to look at the left side as the problem because the problem is not Krejci, the playmaking center who has racked up 141 assists in his last four seasons. Jake DeBrusk’s contract is up, and there are possibly wings available on the trade market.
Brock Boeser right-wing and Nikolaj Ehlers left-wing are two players I would target to maximize what could be our last year of Krejci. Vancouver is looking to clear cap space with Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson, both needing new deals in the near future. To land Boeser, it would take a package like Debrusk, their choice of Jeremy Lauzon, Connor Clifton, or Urho Vaakanainen, and a second-round draft pick. Mike Cratty wrote a great piece that included what it would take to get Ehlers.
The Boston Bruins owe it to David Krejci, who was the best Bruins player this playoff season, some help to create secondary scoring; and, possibly one final shot at the cup in a Bruins sweater. Next season Chara will almost certainly hang up the skates. Tuukka Rask could be following him out the door soon after that. Boston owes it to Krejci, one of the best playoff performers in Bruins history; Chara, the greatest leader in Bruins history; and Rask, the greatest goaltender in Bruins history. The Bruins need to kick it into win-now mode next season.