The Boston Bruins have been searching for a No. 2 center replacement for David Krejci all season while he’s been lighting it up in the Czech Republic playing for his HC Olomouc Team this season. Erik Haula has done a solid job this month centering Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors from swirling that somebody like Claude Giroux or JT Miller could be the target ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
Interestingly enough, Krejci himself hasn’t ruled out potentially coming back to the NHL and the Boston Bruins this season once his Czech League seasons runs its course in March. The 35-year-old Krejci has 17 goals and 36 points in 42 games for Olomouc this season while still showing all of the creative playmaking abilities he also featured in Boston.
“Obviously if I had one year left on my deal, I would be in NHL now,” Krejci told The Associated Press this week while taking part in the Olympics in Beijing for Team Czech Republic. “It just kind of happened to work out that way. Things happen for a reason, I believe, so I’m here now. I’ll try to take the most out of this opportunity and what comes after this, we’ll see.
“I’m here now. I’m going to focus on this tournament. I don’t know myself yet what’s going to happen, so I’m just going to play it out.”
The Czech Republic regular season ends March 9, and Krejci’s HC Olomouc is tracking for a playoff series to get into the postseason. If Krejci’s Czech adventure is done before the March 21 deadline for players to be eligible for the NHL playoffs, Krejci could potentially sign with the Boston Bruins and be available for the postseason.
Interestingly, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said on Thursday morning that the Bruins haven’t had any conversations with Krejci or his camp since before the New Year. So there’s no grand plan in place right now for Krejci to return to the Bruins just ahead of the playoffs this spring.
“I haven’t had, since the first of the year, any discussions with David [Krejci] in terms of what his plans were,” said Don Sweeney to the collected media on Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena. “He made an indication around the holidays as to what he’s doing. I haven’t had any contact with him since.
“I know he’s been asked questions, so he’s answered them. With that regard if the opportunity presents itself, I’m sure there are several teams that would have the same conversation we would. But I haven’t had any.”
There’s no doubt that “Big Game Krejci” would add much to Boston’s playoff chances given his proven ability to dominate in big games, and how dangerous a Hall/Pastrnak combo could be with No. 46 playing in the middle.
The rub is that Krejci would have to pass through waivers to get to the Boston Bruins in the first place after playing in Europe this season, and there is little chance other Eastern Conference rivals are going to allow the playmaking center to just pass through waivers. The Bruins could theoretically engineer some kind of deal to have a team like the Arizona Coyotes make the waivers claim and then send him to Boston for draft considerations.
All of this is unlikely to happen with Krejci, of course, but at least we’re saying there’s a chance Dumb and Dumber-style.