It's the end of an era in Bean Town.
For the first time in 15 years, the Boston Bruins will kick off a regular season without David Krejci holding down the middle of their lineup.
The 35-year-old free agent officially confirmed his departure via a statement on Friday afternoon, announcing that he will indeed be leaving the Bruins and returning to his home country of the Czech Republic next season to play in front of family and friends.
Krejci did not specify which Czech team he will be signing with, only that he will be leaving the only team he's ever known.
With this decision to move back home, Krejci caps off a truly fantastic career in Boston that spanned 15 seasons. The talented center played 962 total games in a Bruins uniform, putting up an impressive 730 points in the process while capturing a Stanley Cup in 2011 and making an appearance in the 2015 Final, as well.
Despite his advanced age, Krejci was productive right up until the end. Even in a pandemic-shortened 2021 season, he kept on scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace, racking up 44 points in 51 games for the Bruins while winning 54% of his draws and averaging over 17 minutes per night.
Simply put, he gave the team everything he had.
If Krejci had ultimately decided to stay in North America for 2021 and beyond, there would have assuredly been a deep market for his services.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. And while the Bruins lose one of their most loyal and productive players in recent memory, it's unlikely he won't return to the organization in some capacity someday soon.