Fans of any professional team tend to have certain feelings and interpretations that lead their opinions of certain players. Some always get the positive end of this gravitational pull. Others are never given the benefit of the doubt.
The perception of a player is often affected by simple factors and situations like production, attitude, or missed time on the ice. This is why it’s puzzling to see Bruins fans constantly trash David Krejci over the years. He is easily a top-end talent with consistent production but is often one of the first blamed as the problem.
Where is the Support for Krejci?
It really doesn’t make sense why so many Bruins fans are so negative when it comes to David Krejci. https://t.co/t3fhw8GJDD
— Stanley Cup of Chowder (@cupofchowdah) June 6, 2017
Anyone who has closely followed the Bruins recently is well aware of Krejci’s talent. He’s the ideal player to put in between two skilled, fast forwards. Great ability to create time and space in the offensive zone. His professional patience on the puck makes him stand out amongst the crowd. Krejci’s ability to pass is also undeniable. This type of player needs a solid supporting cast to be fully appreciated.
Bruins fans have seen Krejci at his best and it’s always with talented linemates around him. In recent seasons, management and staff have surrounded him with a revolving door of sub-par talent. Not only have his linemates struggled, but they haven’t been around long enough to develop chemistry. He developed well alongside Nathan Horton, but Horton would depart a year later (2011-12). Chiarelli went on to sign veteran forward Jarome Iginla (2012-13). He spent much of his time with Krejci but departed after one year. Loui Eriksson was acquired and expected to deliver with Krejci (2013). Meanwhile, fan favorite Milan Lucic was sent to LA after spending seven seasons in Boston (2015). Eriksson’s production wasn’t tremendous in his first two seasons, but he totaled 63 points in his third campaign. He left as a free agent in the next offseason (2016).
In recent seasons Krejci has moved back and forth between the first and second lines. It’s had a lot to do with the constant change. David Backes was acquired prior to last season, expected to play alongside Krejci. The two have yet to develop a special relationship on the ice. Drew Stafford played with Krejci late in the year, but it was only for a short time.
After the season concluded, Krejci stated, “There’s lots of good players here that I could play with. But I just didn’t play with any of those for more than a couple games in a row. And it’s kind of hard to create chemistry. So it was something I kind of had to battle through.” That’s a nightmare scenario for a playmaker.
There’s also the myth that Krejci is always hurt. If fans look closely at DK’s career, they will be surprised. Factoring out his first two years, Krejci has played 70-plus games seven of nine seasons. Within these seven seasons, he averaged 62 points. He didn’t miss a single game this past season.
Krejci, at $7.5 million, is the second-highest-paid player on the roster behind Patrice Bergeron ($8.5 million). Is he overpaid? In recent years it would be easy to answer yes. There is no easy answer when one factors in the team’s shortcomings, but it’s difficult to consider Krejci as one of the major issues with the team.
Trading Krejci is the Wrong Move
If a team cannot find a way to build the roster and support its core, you don’t blame the players. You blame management. Krejci remains a valuable asset to a team when surrounded with proper talent. He’s one of the most disrespected and misunderstood players in a long time.
What is the best answer for the Bruins? Not a Krejci trade. Surround the guy with talented forwards consistently. Commit fully to surrounding DK with as much skill as possible. David Pastrnak is from the same country and is one of the youngest, most skilled forwards they’ve had in years. Matching these two players together would be a fantastic start.