(Photo credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Kevin O’Keefe | Follow me on Twitter @Kevin_OKeefe89

In what has been a wild off-season for the Bruins, the idea that long-time Boston center, David Krejci, would return to the Bruins later this season has finally been addressed. While doing an interview for his new team, HC Olomouc, Krejci extinguished the flames on a return to the Bruins this season. According to Google translate of this Czech article for HC Olomouc, Krejci said, “I will stay in Olomouc all season; I signed a one-year contract. I’m not dealing with what’s next at all at the moment but returning to Boston in the spring is definitely not in the game.”

I’m sure this is heartbreaking for many Bruins fans who believed he would be returning for a playoff run this season, but it seemed highly unlikely with the obstacles that would have occurred with a Krejci return. Krejci also had great things to say about former teammates and his time in Boston. “I will only remember all my teammates in a good way. I have great experiences, for example, with Milan Lucic, whom I met a few years ago in Boston. Of course, I will also miss David Pastrňák, but it’s different with him. He is Czech, so of course, he also likes to return to the Czech Republic. I expect to be in constant contact with him. “

Krejci is leaving behind an illustrious career in Boston with 730 points in 962 games played as the Bruins’ first and second-line center. He went to the Stanley cup finals three times with his former club while winning one cup and leading the playoffs in points twice. His approach to the game is widely respected around the league, as is his ability to slow down the game and dazzle with his creative playmaking skills. He will forever be one of the most underrated players in Bruins history and the NHL itself. The way he plays the game allows him to continue to play at a high level well into his final years in his hockey career. 

Now that the door Bruins general manager, Don Sweeney, left open for a Krejci return is finally shut, he will have to make do with his next option. Sweeney has consistently mentioned a “center by committee” approach to address the hole at the second-line center position. Still, if the likes of Charlie Coyle, Erik Haula, and Nick Foligno can’t get it done, he will have to turn to the trade market at some point this season for an upgrade. 

The Bruins have been connected to Arizona’s second-line center, Christian Dvorak, throughout the off-season. It’s possible that Sweeney could revisit that scenario if need be. Other names that could possibly fill that role for the Bruins are the Calgary Flames center, Sean Monahan, San Jose Sharks center, Tomáš Hertl. For Bruins fans, Charlie Coyle taking a big step forward in his career to handle the second-line center position should be the best-case scenario. Time will tell what tricks Don Sweeney may have up his sleeve to address an important role for this team moving forward.