Krejci will go to Czech Republic if lengthy NHL lockout

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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 CSNNE.com 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.

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

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Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.