CAMBRIDGE David Krejci was a full member of Bostons first lockout practice at Harvards Bright Arena on Monday morning, but he might not be in Boston much longer. After revealing to CSNNE.com last week that he was speaking with a pair of Czech League teams, a Czech news outlet called iDnes reported today that the Bruins center is close to a deal with HC Pardubice to play in his native country.
"I always thought Id go back to Czech to end my career. I never thought it would be when I was 26 years old," said Krejci to CSNNE.com last week while discussing his plans in the face of a long lockout. "A few teams have already contacted me from the Czech Republic. I would definitely go there. I wouldnt go to any other countries. There are so many things that go into picking a team."
Krejci said he was hoping to play relatively close to his hometown of Sternbrek, so his choice came down to Pardubice and Trinec in the Czech Extra League. According to Pardubice general manager Peter Hemsky, the Czech is simply working out the insurance policy for Bostons playmaking center.
Hemsky is expecting to recruit his son, Ales, while he is out of work with the Edmonton Oilers. The team is also expected to sign defenseman Michal Roszival along with Krejci and Hemsky as more NHL players begin flocking to Europe for paying gigs while the NHL and NHLPA hammer out a new deal.
Krejci, who finished with 23 goals and 62 points last season in an up-and-down year for the Bruins, indicated last week that his No. 1 wish was to be playing in Boston for the Bruins as soon as possible. But to play in the Czech Republic would be to realize something he always hoped would happen when he left home for the Quebec Major Junior League as a teenager nearly 10 years ago.
Krejci got a taste of playing in his home country when the Bruins visited Prague to open the NHL season in 2010-11, and he may be getting much more than that this time around.