Thursday, September 4, 2014
David Krejci Isn't Going Anywhere For A While
With training camp only a few weeks away and players already returning to Boston for informal sessions, the Bruins have plenty of business to attend to before the regular season starts in a month. First up was re-signing top-line center David Krejci since his current deal expired after 2014-15. Boston signed him to a six-year extension worth $43.5 million which makes him the highest paid player on the team. It includes a no-movement clause through 2018-19 and a limited no-trade clause in the final two years.
Krejci is 28 and coming off maybe his best season (out of 7) with the B's: 19 goals, 50 assists (most points on the B's) and a league-leading +39. He struggled in the postseason with only four assists in 12 games with no goals and a plus/minus of -3. Take a number though as most Bruins didn't play up to their capabilities when they got bounced in the second round by Montreal.
The knock on him was that he coasts through the regular season and then turns it on the playoffs. He led the NHL with 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists) in 2013 as the B's reached the Stanley Cup Final and lost to the Blackhawks in six games. Also, he paced the Bruins with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) when they won the Cup in 2010-11 after beating Vancouver in seven games.
You can argue about if he should be the highest paid guy over Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask or Zdeno Chara but just remember: it's not our money. Krejci is a very solid player that every other club in the league would love to have. He was a perfect fit with Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla on Boston's top line last season. We'll see if he and Lucic can develop that same chemistry with whomever gets the promotion to the first line this season (please not Loui Eriksson).
Not many people say it but I think it's a legitimate concern with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli that he gets a little too attached to his own players thus overpaying them both in terms of years and money on a given contract. Again, I don't think that's the case here though since Krejci is a special player.
Now all that's really left to do is re-sign restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Boston has all the leverage with those young guys so that shouldn't be an issue getting them to come back. Looking ahead to 2014-15 (I know, I know) Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Carl Soderberg, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski are all unrestricted free agents. Then Dougie Hamilton is a restricted free agent as well so don't be surprised if one or more of them is moved at some point this season.
UPDATE 9/5: Forward Matt Fraser agreed to a one-year, two-way deal for this season. Right now, there are two open forward spots on the Bruins' roster so don't be shocked if he makes the roster on the third or fourth line. Additionally, veteran forward Ville Leino got a training camp invite where he will battle Simon Gagne to see who is more washed up.