BOSTON -- David Krejci's return to the Bruins was announced Monday, but his decision to return to the NHL and Boston was made much earlier this summer. And in Krejci's mind, there really was no other option to continue his career in the NHL.
Krejci spoke with reporters over Zoom on Tuesday, and revealed that he made his decision to return weeks ago. If you were hoping for the juicy storyline that he was coming back because Bruce Cassidy was fired, you'll be disappointed. That was not at all the case.
"That would be a good story if I said yes," Krejci joked. "But no, my decision was made before they hired the new coach [Jim Montgomery.]"
"Obviously, Boston was my No. 1 option and pretty much my only option," he said. "I'm glad we got it done."
The Czech native left the Bruins last offseason to play overseas for HC Olomouc of the Czechia league. It gave him an opportunity to return home and bring his young family with him. The plan was to play a year at home, and then determine what was best for everyone.
When the season ended the Krejci clan returned stateside. After a few weeks away from hockey, they began to discuss his playing future. That future was going to be in the NHL -- and only for the Bruins.
"When I decided to come back I told my agent -- obviously I talked to [Don Sweeney] and he let me know he wanted me on the team. I told [my agent] that's the only team I want to play for," said Krejci. "I wasn't ready to retire and wanted to be back in the NHL, so I told my agent to get a deal done. I wanted to be on the Boston Bruins next season."
Krejci did admit that there was a Plan B, but that was really just a "break glass in case of emergency" option.
"I didn't want to go anywhere else and I'm more than happy to be a Bruin again," he said.
The Bruins signed both Patrice Bergeron and Krejci to one-year deals on Monday, bringing back two of the core players that helped get Boston to three Stanley Cup Finals over the last 12 years. They won just one of those cups -- back in 2011 -- so there is an element of unfinished business to both of their returns.
"I feel like I have a lot to offer, still. I know people talk about my age but it's just a number," said the 36-year-old Krejci. "I'm in good shape and I'm obviously coming back to try to go all the way. I know what it takes to make the playoffs and go all the way, so it's just one step at a time."
Krejci credited Bergeron and David Pastrnak for helping push him back to Boston. He's played a lot of hockey with both of them, and can't wait to get back on the ice with his Bruins teammates.
"We had so many conversations over the last few months about coming back or not. They're the reason why I want to go back and play with those guys again," he said of Bergeron and Pastrnak, while adding Marchand to the mix later in his chat.
Krejci and Bergeron talked a lot over the offseason, and in the end, they both decided to return to the Bruins. They both have one thing in mind: Win.
"We're coming back to try to make a push. I'm not sure how many years we have left, but we're coming back to do something because we believe in the team," said Krecji. "We'll see what happens."
Krejci enjoyed the experience of playing for the Czech Republic and being able to bring his family home for a year. But now he's back in Boston and ready to make things happen for the Bruins.
"I feel like I'm back where I belong," Krejci said Tuesday.
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