After Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara made it clear on Sunday night that he has no plans of retiring after this season, teammate David Krejci did the same when asked what his plans are when his contract with the Bruins runs out after next season. Krejci turns 34 years-old on Tuesday and he plans to play past the age of 35.
“I’m not planning on retiring, that’s for sure,” the Bruins center said in a Zoom meeting with the media Monday. “I want to play after that, how long or what’s going to happen I don’t know. I guess we’ll see what happens after next year. But definitely not planning on going into the next season with it being my last.”
Krejci is in the penultimate season of a six-year contract that carried a cap hit of $7.2 million. Despite his usual rotation of wingers surrounding him on the second line, Krejci is having another solid season with 13 goals and 30 assists in 61 games this season. The veteran pivot had three assists in his last five games before the NHL paused the 2019-20 season on March 12. On Monday, Krejci lamented the fact that the Bruins were the best team in the NHL when the Coronavirus stopped the season and the world and that if the NHL can’t solve a way to salvage this season, that could’ve been his last chance at second Stanley Cup for the 2011 Cup core of him, Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Tuukka Rask.
“I watch YouTube highlights or things like that pretty much every single day,” Krejci acknowledged. “We were in a really good position with ten games left, maybe 12, with a pretty good lead. We were obviously looking good. The way we went so far last year in the playoffs and the way we were doing so far this year, we were obviously feeling pretty good about ourselves.”
While that stings, Krejci isn’t dwelling on it too much because as he pointed out, we are all being reminded that there’s more important things in life.
“So that’s a little frustrating but at the same time, if you turn on the TV or CNN, you’re going to see the bigger picture,” he said. “You get perspective that there’s actually bigger things than the game of hockey.”
Krejci set a career-high in assists with 53 helpers last season and tied his career-best in points with 73. He had four goals and 12 assists in 24 playoff games last spring as the Bruins advanced to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.