David Krejci reveals how playing with David Pastrnak impacted decision to return

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Krejci reveals how playing with Pastrnak impacted decision to return to Bruins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

David Krejci is back with the Boston Bruins, and two of his teammates -- Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak -- played a huge part in the veteran center deciding to return to the NHL.

"We signed (Monday), but the decision was made a few weeks before that," Krejci told reporters on a Zoom call Tuesday. "I think my last game was sometime in early June at the World Championships, and then I went to the U.S. and got away from hockey and just cleared my head. After a few weeks I talked to my family about the future and we decided to go back to Boston and the NHL. Boston was my No. 1 option and pretty much my only option. I'm glad we got it done.

"I have to give credit to Bergy. Him and Pasta, we had so many conversations the last few months about coming back or not. They're the reason I want to go back and play with those guys again."

Playing with Pastrnak, in particular, is an exciting scenario for Krejci.

They didn't play much together at even strength from 2014-15 through 2020-21. Pastrnak often played with Brad Marchand and Bergeron, and given that line's extraordinary success, there was no reason to break them up for any significant length of time.

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Krejci expects to see more time playing alongside Pastrnak next season.

"Who wouldn't want to play with one of the best players in the world?" Krejci said. "I was lucky enough that I got to play with him on the same line at the World Championships. That was kind of the turning point in my decision to come back to the NHL, just playing with him and seeing what we can do together. That's pretty cool. It would be nice to play with him. I'm sure I'll get a chance to play with him this year.

"But that's not the only reason I'm coming back. I want to be on the same team with him, but I talked a lot with Bergy this summer, and we're coming back to make a push. I'm not sure how many years we have left, but we're coming back to do something because we believe in the team. We'll see what happens."

A trio of Krejci, Pastrnak and Taylor Hall has the potential to be one of the league's best second lines. Krejci, as a top-tier playmaker, is the perfect center for goal-scoring wingers such as Pastrnak and Hall. It's one of many reasons why Krejci's return is such a profound upgrade for a Bruins team that ranked 15th in goals scored last season.