5 takeaways from David Krejci’s retirement press convention with Bruins

Bruins

“I knew my physique could not take 82 video games anymore, and that was the choice.”

Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) pictured during pre game warmups. The Florida Panthers host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 28, 2023 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, FL.
David Krejci referred to as it a profession after 16 seasons with the Bruins. Barry Chin/Globe Workers

After saying his retirement from the NHL on Monday, former Bruins heart David Krejci spoke with the media on Tuesday about his choice to retire, his future plans, and rather more.

Listed below are a couple of takeaways from Krejci’s Zoom convention:

Late accidents contributed to Krejci’s choice to retire

Not like Patrice Bergeron, who acknowledged final month that he entered the 2022-23 season with the expectation that it’d be his final, Krejci stored an open thoughts in his return to the NHL ranks final season.

Regardless of a 12 months spent enjoying within the Czech Extraliga, Krejci largely didn’t miss a step in opposition to NHL competitors. In 70 video games again as Boston’s main second-line heart, the 37-year-old Krejci scored 16 objectives and posted 56 complete factors.

However he missed the ultimate six video games of the common season with a lingering ailment, after which was held out of three of Boston’s seven video games in opposition to the Panthers within the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Regardless of posting a three-game efficiency in Sport 7, Krejci and the Bruins fell to the Panthers in time beyond regulation en path to a crushing first-round exit.

Given the quantity of harm doled out in opposition to him within the spring, Krejci realized that he couldn’t endure one more 82-game slate in 2023-24.

“The choice was made I’d say when my accidents began to occur on the finish of the season, however I didn’t need to rush to my choice,” Krejci mentioned. “I actually needed to take my time and actually assume issues over, since you don’t need to make selections when the feelings are going by means of you.

“So I actually needed to take my time and look forward to the best second. I simply realized there’s by no means a proper time or proper second to retire from the NHL. However I felt prefer it was time. I knew my physique couldn’t take 82 video games anymore, and that was the choice.”

Krejci famous that if he did come again this season, he possible would have wanted to endure offseason surgical procedure as a way to right no matter harm plagued him over the ultimate weeks of the 2022-23 marketing campaign.

“I simply felt I gave it my all, performed by means of some accidents final 12 months,” Krejci mentioned. “And I left every little thing I had there on the finish. I do know if I got here again to the NHL, I’d undoubtedly not be the identical participant I used to be final 12 months.”

Nonetheless … Krejci could not utterly grasp up his skates

Though Krejci admitted that he possible can’t play by means of a full NHL season, he did word in his retirement letter that he was solely retiring from “the best league in the world.”

So might the Sternberk, Czech Republic product decide to play a shortened season again within the Czech Extraliga — or characterize his nation on the 2024 IIHF World Championships in Prague?

“Yeah, it’s,” Krejci mentioned when requested if the door stays open for enjoying again in Europe.

However Krejci additionally mentioned that he plans on taking the remainder of 2023 off to see how his physique responds earlier than doubtlessly pondering a return to the ice after the brand new 12 months.

“If sooner or later round Christmas, I really feel like, you already know, let’s prepare, play a few months someplace in Europe, prepare for the World Championship, that’s one thing I’m desirous about,” Krejci mentioned. “If I determine to maintain going then it will undoubtedly be after New Yr’s.”

Krejci isn’t spending a lot time desirous about 2023 collapse

For a lot of the previous 12 months, Krejci and Bergeron’s ultimate season in Boston was constructing in the direction of a storybook ending.

However after setting a brand new NHL report for wins (65) and factors (135) in a single season, Boston’s miraculous run got here to a crashing halt in opposition to the Panthers.

“I’ve misplaced some powerful years earlier than, however this one I’d put most likely proper subsequent to 2019,” Krejci mentioned in the course of the group’s breakup day on Could 2. “This one’s going to harm.”

However talking on Tuesday, Krejci opted to not harp an excessive amount of on his ultimate season in Boston, opting to focus extra on his whole profession.

“Proper now, to be sincere, I put that behind me,” Krejci mentioned, including: “I’m making an attempt to look again at my complete profession, making an attempt to know all these issues that I achieved and the way exhausting it was to do this. … The sacrifices all people made for me to have the ability to chase my desires — I’m making an attempt to essentially type of go down reminiscence lane and recognize all these little issues.

“Not likely desirous about the final 12 months. The final 12 months is at all times gonna be there. … It’s a missed alternative. Proper subsequent to 2019 and 2013. However I believe the NHL is the toughest trophy to win … I actually don’t take with no consideration that I’ve the ring on my finger from 2011.”

Serving to Boston seize its first Stanley Cup in 39 years was an apparent selection for Krejci when rattling off his favourite recollections after 16 seasons with the Bruins.

However Krejci acknowledged that even the day-to-day grind of an NHL season was one thing that he tried to not take with no consideration.

“I’m gonna miss loads of issues. I’ve talked about how I’m gonna miss my teammates, that’s for certain,” Krejci mentioned. “But in addition as a child, watching it on TV or studying about it within the papers, you need to make the NHL not simply because it’s the very best league on the planet, it’s additionally the very best stadiums on the planet, the way in which they’ve it arrange with the stadiums, the followers, the type of complete bundle.

“I don’t love to do interviews as a lot, however it’s a part of that. And for those who do interviews, which means you might be doing one thing proper, you made it someplace. So the entire bundle that the NHL has to supply each day, I’m undoubtedly going to overlook that. However I’ve to hearken to my physique. My physique is just not able to play the entire season, particularly on the velocity and stage of the NHL.”

Krejci was by no means jealous of his function on the Bruins

Krejci was a main architect of a Bruins rivalry window that lasted near 20 years.

However on rosters additionally anchored by stars like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak, and Tim Thomas, Krejci was usually missed — and under-appreciated — in his function as a part of Boston’s 1-2 punch down the center.

Though Krejci’s prime seasons noticed him anchor Boston’s prime ahead line subsequent to wingers like Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, he was ultimately leapfrogged on the depth chart after Bergeron began to mesh with each Marchand and Pastrnak.

However no matter his function in Boston’s lineup, Krejci mentioned he didn’t spend a lot time worrying about the place precisely he slotted in.

“I by no means actually cared about being No. 1, No. 2 [centerman]. So long as I wasn’t No. 3,” Krejci joked.

Krejci later added: “If in case you have good linemates, in case you have prime two strains it is best to have good wings. And I’ve had that. And that provides you the very best probability to assist the group. And I used to be in that place. We had such an excellent, wholesome relationship, wholesome competitors. …However I can’t say I used to be ever jealous of [Bergeron]. “I don’t assume he was ever jealous of me.

“We simply type of did what we did. I used to be making an attempt to be the very best model of myself, he was making an attempt to be the very best model of himself. And we simply type of pushed one another to be higher in a wholesome manner.”

Krejci has excessive hopes for the Bruins’ subsequent wave of expertise, particularly David Pastrnak 

The 2023-24 Bruins might need some powerful sledding forward following the departures of Bergeron, Krejci, and plenty of different key contributors. 

However very like Bergeron, Krejci believes that the Bruins shall be in good arms with the remaining leaders nonetheless current within the dressing room.

“You continue to have Marshy — who is aware of how lengthy Marshy goes to be round. However you’ve got Marshy. He’s been there for a very long time,” Krejci mentioned. “Then you’ve got [Charlie] McAvoy, Pasta, Charlie Coyle. There are such a lot of good gamers, so many good leaders within the dressing room. So I’m not apprehensive in regards to the management within the room in any respect.”

Specifically, Krejci believes that his shut good friend David Pastrnak will possible proceed to paved the way up entrance for the Bruins.

“When he first confirmed up at 18 years outdated, we knew he’s bought expertise,” Krejci mentioned of Pastrnak. “He’s an excellent participant, however you may’t predict the profession he’s had. I’m actually pleased for him. He’s come a good distance. He’s been by means of some powerful occasions. I want him all the very best. There’s one factor he’s lacking, the Stanley Cup. And I believe he has an excellent probability with the Bruins. Hopefully, they’ll get it executed quickly.”


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