STRATHAM, N.H. – While David Krejci is now the richest Bruins player in terms of his contract's average annual value, with an average of $7.25 million per season through 2021, there are a few caveats to that proclamation. First, the playmaking center’s deal is for six years, so the actual money ($43.5 million) falls just short of Tuukka Rask ($56 million), Patrice Bergeron ($52 million) and Zdeno Chara ($45.5 million) in terms of overall dollars.
In terms of actual salary, Bergeron will top $8 million over the next few years before Krejci passes No. 37 in real salary dollars in the 2018-19 season.
Second and perhaps more important, the intricate salary structure specifics aren’t all that important to the people’s opinion that matters most: the players. Some might have wondered if Bergeron would perhaps be envious of Krejci now that the Czech center is the highest-paid, but those people don’t know the two-time Selke Trophy winner very well.
Certainly, Krejci is considered the top-line center skating with better offensive players, logging more ice time and routinely leading the team in points, but Bergeron is a 1A center playing against tougher competition when the game is on the line.
Both Krejci and Bergeron have sacrificed gaudy offensive statistics to be responsible centers in a Claude Julien system that asks quite a bit of them. That team-over-ego mantra extends over to their paychecks as well.
“I think it’s great and I’m really happy for him. It’s well-deserved. I’m just happy we’re going to be teammates for a while,” Bergeron said while taking part in the Ray Bourque "Celebrities for Charity" tournament at the Golf Club of New England. “[GM] Peter [Chiarelli] has always done a great job of keeping the core together. I think it speaks to us wanting to get better, to be better, to win and to get some more [Stanley Cups].”
Is there any problem with Krejci being viewed as a higher-paid player than Bergeron within the team salary structure?
“I don’t think about [the money], to be honest with you. When you look at the deals signed around the league this summer, I think [the Krejci extension] is a fair deal. I’m happy for him,” said Bergeron. “I don’t stop and think about money. It’s about knowing that Krejci will be here for a while and that I’ll be here for a while. I’m happy about that. At the end of the day, it’s about being a team and finding ways to win.”
Locking down their top two frontline centers as well as their defensive stalwart and ace goaltender is a good place to start when it comes to winning for the Black and Gold, and that’s what they have done with the Krejci extension.