Why the Bruins could be facing a difficult decision with David Krejci in 2021

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

For a player that’s logged 13 full seasons in a black and gold sweater, David Krejci rarely gets the credit he deserves when assessing his place among the most impactful forwards in the Bruins’ 96-year history. 

He may not have hands like Rick Middleton, Phil Esposito’s touch around the net, Cam Neely’s size or Patrice Bergeron’s two-way mastery, but Krejci’s ability to steadily drive a top-six unit has made him a key cog in the stretch of success that the Bruins have reaped for over a decade now. 

A patient, playmaking pivot with the ability to both dictate the pace in the O-zone and capitalize on rush opportunities, Krejci has often served as an offensive conduit for many memorable playoff runs for the B’s. During the three times in Krejci’s career in which Boston advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, the veteran has tallied 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 71 postseason games.

While the first half of Krejci’s career saw him rack up points with regular linemates such as Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, the past few seasons have often seen the Czech product tasked with anchoring a line with a carousel of wingers to his right. 

And yet, despite finding himself in the middle of 14 different lineup combinations that logged at least 15 minutes of 5v5 ice time last season, Krejci still managed to surpass the 70-point mark for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign (when he was just 22 years old). 

This year, that production has dipped some for Krejci, who was on pace for 51 points before the season came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Granted, Krejci has continued to be plagued with a lack of consistent linemates, logging at least 15 minutes of ice time with 13 different Bruins forwards this season.

Still, given his track record as a clutch playoff performer and equipped with a skillset that shouldn’t erode sharply over time, the case could be made that Krejci can continue to contribute as an impact center beyond the term of the six-year, $43.5-million contract he inked with Boston back in 2014. 

But such a reunion might be easier said than done when it comes to charting out Krejci’s future in Boston.