NHL free agents: Bruins GM gives Taylor Hall, David Krejci updates

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Bruins GM gives free agency updates on Taylor Hall, David Krejci originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins have several players able to become unrestricted free agents this summer, and two of the most important are Taylor Hall and David Krejci.

They both play key roles in the Bruins' offense by making up two thirds of the second line. This duo was excellent together over the final 17 games of the regular season after the Bruins acquired Hall from the Buffalo Sabres before the April 12 trade deadline.

Hall has expressed an interest in remaining with the Bruins beyond this year ever since he arrived in Boston. He reiterated that stance last week after the team's second-round playoff exit against the New York Islanders. Krejci said last week that he can't see himself playing for another NHL team. He's also 35 years old and has expressed a desire to potentially play in his native Czech Republic at some point.

Cassidy assesses Taylor Hall's Bruins tenure, hopes he returns

What's the latest on Hall's and Krejci's free agency? Bruins general manager Don Sweeney provided an update on both players during his season-ending media availability Tuesday morning.

"In talking with both players at the end of the year, and even when Taylor got here, he's expressed interest -- mutual interest to have him back. We had an early conversation with his representatives and obviously we'll have to see where all the pieces fit together," Sweeney explained.

"In David's case, it's very unique in the fact he would like to continue to play with the Bruins and he's expressed interest that he might return (to play at) home at some point in time, whether that's next year or down the road. The family dynamic is important to him. He's asked to have a little bit of time over the coming days to allow him to have conversations with his family and then we'll sit back down and have a real honest conversation.

"I do believe David does want to continue to play. He's been pretty clear and we would like to make it clear this is the place he should continue to play should he choose to be at the NHL level."

The need to bring back both Krejci and Hall is a huge one for the Bruins, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the team doesn't have any good internal options to replace either player. There isn't another true No. 2 center on this B's roster. Charlie Coyle could potentially move into that role if Krejci didn't come back, but he's more of a third-line center.

There's a similar scenario at left wing. If Hall leaves, Brad Marchand would be the only legit top-six left winger on the roster. One of the reasons why the Bruins acquired Hall was to gain some much-needed scoring depth on the wing. Letting him leave would make scoring depth an even bigger weakness than it currently is right now.

The Bruins have other key players set for free agency this offseason, but a case could be made that the two most important ones are Krejci and Hall. The B's need these players back in 2021-22 if they want to be true contenders for the Stanley Cup.