This summer, everyone's eyes were on the pursuit of John Tavares and where he would end up signing as the most coveted free agent. Boston Bruins forward David Krejci's eyes were also fixed on the free agent, who as you all know ended up signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins were however among the finalists in the John Tavares sweepstakes earlier this summer, and it they had landed him, it would have meant bad news for Krejci. With just under $3 million in cap space available, the Bruins would have needed to shed salary to sign Tavares. And with Krejci set to earn $7.25 million a year for the next three seasons, he would have been the first one on the trade block.
The Bruins second-line centre had 17 goals and 44 points in 64 games last season, but he failed to hit the 70-point mark since the 2008-09 season. The pursuit of Tavares made him worried about his future in Boston.
"I had no idea what was going on. My agent didn’t tell my [anything] because he said he didn’t know anything. I didn’t get any phone calls from anyone from the Bruins,” Krejci told NBC Sports Boston. “So I was just getting those Instagam messages [telling me to request a trade] in my inbox. I know that I have a no-trade so they would have to call me [if they did end up signing Tavares].
Many fans may wonder what does this all mean as Krejci moves forward in Boston? He is a class-act professional, of course, and he holds nothing against his club's management for trying to sign Tavares.
"I understand that it's the hockey business that you have to do whatever you have to do to make the hockey team better," Krejci said.
Krejci is the Bruins' highest paid player and will need to focus on taking on a key role in the Bruins' success.
"Obviously I don’t want to go anywhere. But (Bruins GM) Donnie (Sweeney) has got to do what he's got to do. (Hockey is a business) is what I've learned over the years. I love being here and I've got three years left, so for me it was just about getting ready to be the best player I can be. I'm still young and I feel like I still have some of my best years in front of me. Maybe not 70 or 80 points production-wise, but maybe more of a complete player and helping out the young guys grow."
The Bruins were quite inactive on the free agent market this summer after missing out on Tavares and Ilya Kovalchuk. They also lost Rick Nash, who still ponders his future in the NHL. Boston did add defenseman John Moore and backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak, but most of the group of forwards has remained the same.