BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 26: David Craigie #46 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden on January 26, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
In an offseason filled with departures, last week came with one of the most predictable outings of the 2023 Bruins offseason so far, as a B center David Krejci He announced his retirement from the NHL after 16 years with Boston.
Returning to Boston in what always felt like a one-off event, Craigie’s 37-year-old retirement comes on the heels of what was a 16-goal, 56-point average in the middle of Boston’s second line. And with Craigie’s retirement confirmed just weeks after Patrice Bergeron’s decision to leave, it really does look like the Bruins are officially entering a new era of hockey.
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But what prompted Krejci to decide he had had enough of NHL hockey?
“I retired from the NHL because I know my body couldn’t take the entire season,” Krejci admitted on Zoom after retiring with the media. “I have things to get done that might include surgeries. And at my age, I’m just not ready to do that. I don’t want to do that anymore.”
Krejci, of course, finished the year with less than a 100 percent, and that “surgery” note only confirms.
Dealing with a lower body injury, Craigie missed the last six games of the regular season, and skated in the first two games of Boston’s first-round series with the Panthers before the injury put him back on the shelf. Krejci will return for Games 6 and 7, and factor in all three of Boston’s goals in Game 7, but even that took too much, as one source told 98.5 The Sports Hub that Krejci required an injection to return to action in that series.
Krejci, for what it’s worth, chose not to reveal the nature of his injuries on the day of the breakup or during his Zoom retirement. But they admitted that they were enough to make Craigsey’s decision (relatively) easy.
“Well, the decision (to retire from the NHL) was made, I would say, when my injuries started at the end of the season,” Krejci said. “But I didn’t want to rush my decision (either). I really wanted to take my time and really think things through, because you don’t want to make decisions when feelings are running through you. So I really wanted to take my time and wait for the right moment.
“I just realized that there is never the right time or moment to retire from the NHL, but I felt like it was the time. I knew my body couldn’t take 82 games anymore.”
One important thing to note, of course, is that Krejci has retired from the NHL. He has made it clear that it indicates that NHL is no longer something his body can handle. But he He is He left the door to a return to the Czech Republic and the international stage on the table, especially with the 2024 World Championship scheduled to be held in Prague.
“If sometime around Christmas, ‘Let’s get ready, let’s play a couple of months somewhere in Europe, get ready for the World Series,'” Krejci said, “that’s something I’m thinking about.” “If I decide to continue, it will definitely be after New Year’s Day.”
Krejci spent the 2021-22 season with his hometown HC Olomouc, scoring 20 goals and 46 points in 51 games. Krejci also played for the Czech Republic at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and played for the Czech Republic at the 2022 World Championships.
As for his NHL career, Krejci will retire from the Bruins as one of only seven skaters to play at least 1,000 games for the Bruins, as his 1,032 games in the Boston jacket rank fifth on the club’s all-time list. Meanwhile, his 231 goals rank thirteenth on the franchise leaderboard, while his 786 points are the ninth most by any player in the club’s century-long history.