Krejci and Chiarelli discuss the center's three-year deal

June 03, 2009 - 1:42 pm
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One day after the Bruins released information about resigning 23-year-old center David Krejci to a three-year deal, the player -- on the eve of his first major surgery as a professional athlete -- and General Manager Peter Chiarelli held an afternoon conference call to discuss the pact. The Bruins GM knew that he had something good in the offensively gifted pivot when he sent him down to Providence during the 2007-08 season to work on some specific things -- after making the big club out of camp -- and saw him improve into a better two-way asset for the NHL team. There was little sulking or complaining from Krejci, and he instead kept working at the things that served as his ticket to the NHL. Krejci's hard work paid off this winter with a 73-point season, an NHL-best +36 and now a guaranteed $11.25 million contract that will take care of the center and his family forever. The three-year deal also leaves the door open for an even bigger pay day at 26 years old should he continue to refine his elite-level hockey skills and make the jump to superstar. "The contract was done with great pleasure. During my time here in Boston -- and even before that when I saw him play in Gatineau -- I saw a very skilled player," said Chiarelli. "What impressed me the most about him was that he was always willing to work on the areas of his game, and he continues to work on the areas of his game and feels like he could always be a better player. "He had a breakout year statistically, but also in other areas of the ice. David will be the first tell you that he still feels he can get better and take his game to another level. We're very happy to have him under contract. He's a very good person, and I'm very impressed with the way he's improved and his very professional work ethic." The Czech Republic native was understandably excited to get the deal done, and had the enthusiasm you would expect upon learning that you're a multi-millionaire at 23 years-old. "It was a great year for me. I had so much fun with the guys," said Krejci. "So many good people with me during the season, and I'm so happy to be a Bruin for the next few years. I just wanted to thank the organization and Peter for getting a deal done. "I just turned 23 and I believe the best age of hockey is close to 30. I believe as I get older I'll be getting better in very area of my game: shot, skating, getting stronger. Every year I'm getting bigger, stronger and faster and becoming a better player." --Bruins center David Krejci confirmed that he will undergo surgery on his bothersome right hip Thursday, and will then spend the next 4-6 months recovering from the labrum surgery. Krejci signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract with the Black and Gold on Tuesday afternoon, and is hopeful that he won't miss too much time at the beginning of next year's NHL season. Six months would obviously put him out into the beginning of December -- a significant chunk of the Bruins schedule for next season. "The surgery is (Thursday). The recovery time is 4-6 months, so it could happen that I'll be ready for the first game, or I could miss the first month," said Krejci. --Chiarelli was hesitant to color in many details about the negotiations with Krejci's fellow RFAs (Phil Kessel, Matt Hunwick, Byron Bitz) that still remained unsigned, and said that the organization wasn't hell-bent on getting things done before a July 1 deadline when RFAs can begin collecting offer sheets from other teams. Chiarelli continues to stand ready to match an offer sheet should an important member of the team get a potential offer sheet from another team. "Every negotiation is different and every person's family has different needs," said Chiarelli. "We'll see how the rest of the negotiations unfold. (Kessel and Krejci) are both very valued members of our team. (Getting all three signed by July 1) isn't insignificant, but it's just one of the factors involved here. "It's something where you have to gauge the negotiations as they are, and if someone wants to lead the negotations until July 1 then we're prepared to do that. We're going to match (any offer sheets). It's one of the factors. There are other tools that we have as a team. We can elect arbitration on certain players. I don't want to be rushed or hurried by the July 1 (deadline). I recognize that there's a threat of offer sheets. While there may be some I'm prepared to match in our cases, we're prepared beyond matching to do the maneuvers that we have to do." When asked about calls from club interested in trading for Krejci or Kessel, Chiarelli had this to say: "I've made it clear over time as to how I value those players, so the frequency of calls isn't that high. (Other GMs) are aware of how highly I value (Krejci and Kessel)." --Phil Kessel is starting his rehab from shoulder surgery on Friday, and Chiarelli said he talked with him on the phone about some amatuer players that he's played against in anticipation of the NHL draft at the end of the month in Montreal. Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is also still "on the fence" about surgery for his groin and hernia, and Chiarelli is expecting an update in the next couple of days.