Someone will suit up in October as the Bruins’ No. 1 center. If it’s not Patrice Bergeron, could it be David Krejci?
General manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday he has kept in touch with the 36-year-old alumnus, who returned to Czechia to play this season. Sweeney has not spoken with him recently, but the door remains open if Krejci wants back in.
“I’m sure at some point in time if he decides he wants to return, then hopefully I get a call and we can have a conversation,” Sweeney said. “But I have not gone down that path for several months.”
Krejci had 20 goals and 46 points in 51 games with HC Olomouc. He went 2-3—5 in five playoff games.
“Still looks like he values playing the game and being highly competitive and was highly productive,” Sweeney said. “Seamlessly would probably fall back into knowing what our team is like and what we’re trying to accomplish. But again, it’s hypothetical for me at this point in time.”
Krejci’s pal David Pastrnak (along with Sweden’s Linus Ullmark and the US’ Jeremy Swayman) traveled to Finland to play in the World Championships. It’s possible Pastrnak could do some recruiting.
“Knowing how close they are,” Sweeney mused, “I’m sure there will be a conversation that maybe filters back to me.”
As for Bergeron, the wait continues. Sweeney called him “an iconic player” who is going to go into the Hall of Fame, and the GM doesn’t expect to have another No. 37 on hand anytime soon.
“You could look at Plans B and C and such, but let’s be honest, you don’t replace that type of player and what he means to our organization,” Sweeney said. “That might take years to replace that player in that sense.”
Sweeney offered clarity on Brad Marchand’s summer plans.
The No. 1 left wing is having one of his hips evaluated to determine whether surgery will fix ongoing adductor issues.
Marchand said during Monday’s break-up day that he was likely to have surgery this summer or next on an unspecified injury. He also disclosed that he injured the AC joint in his right shoulder on Jan. 20, when Washington’s Garnet Hathaway hit him from behind.
“He’s got some tests to go,” Sweeney said. “We’ve got several players doing some MRIs.”
Other than Matt Grzelcyk, who will have right shoulder surgery, Sweeney doesn’t believe other surgeries are imminent. Grzelcyk, who dealt with dislocation troubles after a Jan. 22 hit from Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois, expects to miss the start of next season.
Pastrnak on the agenda
Pastrnak is entering the final year of a contract that pays him a bargain $6.667 million a year. He is eligible to sign an extension July 13, when free agency opens.
“We’ll dive right into it the earliest possible time that we’re allowed to,” Sweeney said. “There’s never been an indication otherwise that this is where he wants to play. He wants to win. He’s obviously a great player and an important player for us.”
In a happier place
Unless the Bruins can find an acceptable trade return, it looks as though Jake DeBrusk will be sticking around. Management and coaches praised DeBrusk in exit meetings.
“I don’t think things have changed, other than he’s happier,” Sweeney said. “Because his life improved an awful lot. And he deserves a lot of credit for that. He went out and did perform. Maybe it’s a clearer head space that he defined. Not really thinking about things.”
DeBrusk, who signed a two-year, $8 million extension in March, reestablished himself as a top-six winger in the second half. He finished with 25 goals and 42 points in 77 games, after sitting 7-8—15 through the end of January.
“Now he might take some time to reevaluate and realize that I peeked over the neighbor’s yard and the grass is not necessarily greener,” Sweeney said. “My lawn is looking pretty damn good too.”
The right spot
Top prospect Fabian Lysell (22-40—62 in 53 games with WHL Vancouver) could come to Bruins camp after playing for Sweden in the summer World Juniors (Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton). The Bruins will keep the 5-foot-10-inch, 172-pound Lysell at right wing rather than try him in the middle. “We think that his offensive upside and scoring potential and creative mind-set, both on the power play and five on five, he’s being served well where he is,” Sweeney said . . . Sweeney does not have a contract for next season, but it sounds as if an extension is imminent. “I’m under contract for right now,” he said. “I’ve had a discussion earlier in the year in terms of the indication of where my path will be, and that will be determined in short order.” . . . Bruins president Cam Neely is slated to address the media Thursday.