With the news Monday that Bruins center David Krejci will be having hip surgery within the next two weeks (his second such surgery in the last seven years), combined with the fact that he carries a $7.2 million cap hit for the next five seasons, could that mean Krejci won’t be part of any potential roster overhaul in the upcoming offseason?
“I’m going to need surgery on my hip,” Krejci told the assembled reporters. “It’s been bothering me for 20 or so games. But we have a good medical staff here and they got me through games, so I still felt like I was in decent shape to play games and there’s been games where I thought I felt pretty good. So I was able to finish the season and I was even ready to play the playoffs.”
Krejci said this was all thanks to an injury suffered prior to the 2014-15 season which limited him to just 47 games last season.
Earlier Monday morning, before Krecji divulged this news, fellow puck scribe Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com said on the Toucher & Rich Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub that he could definitely see Krejci being dealt if Bruins management decides some impact moves are in order. After the Krejci surgery news broke on Monday afternoon, a high-ranking NHL management source told DirtyWaterSports that it wouldn’t be the first time the Bruins at least entertained the thought of dealing away their prolific Czech pivot.
“Last summer and in the summer of 2010, there were talks between a Western Conference team and the Bruins regarding Krejci, I know this for a fact,” the source said. “The Bruins by no means were shopping Krejci but they were listening as any club should with their players, but this was really listening.”
But how does news of this hip surgery impact any future trade talks?
“Well we’ll see how the surgery goes right?” the source answered rhetorically. “But I know if I’m a GM exploring the idea of acquiring a 30 year-old center who has now already had two hip surgeries, I want to obviously see the reports after the surgery and get second opinions. But he obviously came back fine from his first one just fine as we saw with his playoffs in 2011 and 2013. So not really unless he has setbacks right away.”
“I think the cap hit is something I’d want repaired though,” the source jokingly added. “Not that Krejci is a bad player but he’s going to be on the wrong side of 30 for the majority of that contract. Still though, centers like him are at a premium.”
Krejci seemed very confident he will be 100 percent by not just the 2016-17 pre-season, but for the World Cup in September where he plans to represent his native Czech Republic.
“I’m looking at it kind of two ways: one is that yeah it was kind of a nagging injury from last year, I missed almost half the season and this year I felt maybe the best I felt my first 50 games,” Krejci said. “Then I missed some games from my shoulder injury and after I came back it was never the same and the nagging injury kind of kept coming back and it got to the point where we’ve been talking surgery for a while now so it was frustrating. But at the same time I had this surgery about six years ago on my other leg and never felt better after, you know. So at the same time I’m actually looking forward to getting it done next week or two and you know be the player that I can be with nothing holding me back.”
With defense clearly their achilles heel this past season and the team openly saying as much on more than one occasion publicly, Bruins brass could look at Krejci — who finished this past season with 17 goals and 46 assists for 63 points in 72 games — as a valuable trade chip should the surgery go well and were Boston to find a team willing to swallow his salary or if it was a salary-for-salary type deal and straight up hockey trade. With Patrice Bergeron not going anywhere and Ryan Spooner having his best season yet at the NHL level, as well as prospects on the way, center is a position of strength for the Bruins and improving their putrid defense would lessen the blow of losing a top six NHL center.
When asked about the potential of the Bruins trading him this offseason, Krejci made it clear it wouldn’t be because he wanted out.
“I love Boston. This is my home. So that’s where I would like to be,” Krejci said. “I mean I signed here for a reason, not that I want to go somewhere else. So I signed six years and I want to stay here the six years. So obviously there are some things you can’t control but if you ask me if I want to stay or go, I’m going to stay.”
It’s worth noting that Krejci has a full no-movement clause until May 31, 2019 and then a modified one from June 1, 2019 to June 30,2021.
Here’s hoping for a quick recovery regardless of what happens and that this injury news doesn’t become Tragically Hip.