Perhaps when it comes to David Krejci and the Boston Bruins, it isn't "goodbye." It's "see you later."
The longtime Bruins center announced last week he's leaving the team to play in his native Czech Republic. He didn't retire from the NHL, however, which leaves room for an eventual return to Boston.
B's general manager Don Sweeney certainly isn't ruling it out.
"Ultimately, with David [Krejci] making his decision, we're wondering whether or not he may return at some point in time, but that's an open-ended [situation]," he told reporters Friday.
So you're saying there's a chance?
For now at least, Charlie Coyle is expected to step up and assume Krejci's role as Boston's second-line center. Forwards Erik Haula, Nick Foligno, and Tomas Nosek were signed in free agency for additional depth, but should we expect more roster changes before the regular season begins Oct. 16?
"We're constantly exploring options and conversations," Sweeney said. "You know the trade situations sort of die down a little bit after free agency and everyone sort of reevaluates where they're at, but there has been some ongoing prior to that that we'll continue to explore.
"If we can improve our roster, we're going to. We certainly addressed some of the needs, and we have some younger players that want to continue to vie for spots and opportunity. I don't think any team thinks they're a finished product sitting here in August."
Coyle -- or whoever ends up taking Krejci's place -- will have some big shoes to fill. During his 15-year career in Boston, Krejci totaled 730 points (215 goals, 515 assists) in 962 career games. The 35-year-old also was one of the best players in Bruins playoff history. In 156 postseason games, Krejci tallied 124 points (42 goal, 82 assists), the fifth-most of any player since 2006-07.
That's a player you leave the door open for.