Krejci will go to Czech Republic if lengthy NHL lockout


Krejci will go to Czech Republic if lengthy NHL lockout

WILMINGTON, Mass. David Krejci is still hoping things will be worked out with the NHL, but hes also made his mind up that hes going home if theres no season.

The Bruins center indicated to on Wednesday that hes got offers from at least two Czech Republic teams, and hell be following up on them if the NHL is headed for a lengthy lockout. Krejci wouldnt say which teams have expressed interest, but theres no hometown team hed play for. None of the top-tier teams are closer than a 90-minute drive away from his hometown of Sternbrek.

The Bs center never played in the highest Czech Republic league before leaving his home country for a tour of duty with Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior League, and he had always dreamed of playing in front of his friends and family.

He just didnt think the opportunity would come this quickly.

It will be nice, but not at this time. I always thought Id go back to Czech to end my career. I never thought it would be when I was 26 years old," Krejci said. "A few teams have already contacted me from the Czech Republic. I would definitely go there. I wouldnt go to any other countries. If theyre going to say theres a lockout on Saturday, Im not going to leave on Sunday or Monday. I havent given any Czech teams my word yet. My first priority is here, but then Ill start making some decisions after that. There are so many things that go into picking a team.

The Czech Republic hockey season does begin this week, so Krejci could decide to leave Boston over the next few weeks if theres little progress being made between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Ill make a decision thats best for me and my career. Im not going to rush. Im going to take my time. I still believe that theres time for a new deal on a CBA, said Krejci. Some guys from Czech havent even come to the US or Canada and theyre waiting to see if theres going to be a lockout.

Krejci, who finished with 23 goals and 62 points last season in an up-and-down year for the Bruins, said his No. 1 wish was to be playing in Boston for the Bruins as soon as possible. He also indicated he wouldnt be making any decisions based on what where his Czech friends might decide to play this season. Instead it will be about realizing something he always hoped would happen when he left home as a teenager nearly 10 years ago. Krejci got a taste ofplaying in his home countrywhen the Bruins visited Prague to open the NHL season in 2010-11, and he may be getting much more than that this time around.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today: