Bruins center David Krejci spent the first three months of the hockey season playing in his native Czech Republic during the NHL lockout, but those days are over for now. Krejci confirmed to CSNNE.com in an email that his contract has run out with the HC Pardubice team he played on from October-December. Now hes simply watching and waiting to see what happens with the lockout just like everybody else.
Krejci will remain in the Czech Republic for the present time, and then make a decision once things resolved in the next few weeks. The 26-year-old playmaking pivot will obviously head to Boston if the NHL and NHLPA can hammer a new CBA out in the next two weeks prior to potential 2013 NHL regular season cancellation. It also remains a consideration that Krejci will remain playing in the Czech Republic if the entire NHL season is bagged.
My contract is done, but Im still in Czech for now, said Krejci to CSNNE.com. Im waiting for whats going to happen with the NHL in the next couple of weeks.
Krejci finished with 27 points (16 goals, 11 assists) in 24 games for Pardubice along with a plus-3 rating, and is one of 13 Bruins that traveled to Europe this season while attempting to stay sharp during the NHL lockout.
Krejci is entering the first year of a three-year contract extension that will pay him 5.25 million per season, and is coming off a career-high 23 goals scored for the Bruins last season. Patrice Bergeron is similarly finished with his contract playing for HC Lugano in the Swiss A League and will headed back to North America after participating in the European Spengler Cup tournament this week.
The Bruins will once again be taking things outdoors and participating in their third Winter Classic in franchise history, but for the first time they won’t be hosting the NHL’s centerpiece event. The B’s announced on Saturday afternoon that they’ll be facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic that will be played at iconic Notre Dame Stadium. Both the Bruins and Blackhawks aren’t exactly strangers to the outdoor showcase, and per usual the Black and Gold are happy to be part of a big deal event for the league.
“The Boston Bruins are excited to be playing in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic against another storied Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Bruins President Cam Neely, in a press release. “The rich history of Notre Dame Stadium is well documented, and our team looks forward to playing at such an iconic venue. We hope that by participating in these large scale and unique NHL events we can bring Bruins fans new hockey experiences, and that we can use these opportunities to help grow our great game and attract new fans.”
There will be some natural storylines for the game including the rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final participants, and a return to Notre Dame for Fighting Irish forward Anders Bjork after playing three seasons in South Bend. The Bruins/Blackhawks Winter Classic matchup was first reported by Barstool Sports almost two weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Saturday that any of the officials involved were ready to confirm the game.
The Bruins will be in their third Winter Classic after hosting the Jan. 1 outdoor game at Fenway Park in 2010 in an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and at Gillette Stadium in 2016 in a blowout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. It is a league-most fourth Winter Classic appearance for the Blackhawks, who hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009, took on the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park in 2015, and most recently played the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium in 2017.
You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?
At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid."
“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”
The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.
"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."