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.