Krejci gets big extension, now he has to play big for Bruins

Krejci/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — David Krejci has never shied away from pressure.

If anything, as his postseason performance last season during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup championship proved, he thrives when the stakes are highest.

So now that he’ll be making $5.25 million annually starting next season, he’s not too worried about meeting the expectations that come with being his team’s second-highest-paid player. Krejci signed a three-year extension with Boston Wednesday and the deal was announced by the club today.

“I’m not really worried about that. I’m going to go out there and do my best and help the team to win,” said Krejci during the press conference at the TD Garden. “I know what I can do, people know what I can do. So I’m just going to stay away from reading good or bad things and just focus on my game. I think that’s the only thing I can control.”

You can read my whole story about Krejci’s contract extension at NHL.com.

General manager Peter Chiarelli was asked about the preponderance of centers on his roster, which doesn’t seem like it’ll dissipate any time soon now that Krejci has joined Patrice Bergeron as pivots who are under contract long-term. As he has in the past, Chiarelli stressed his philosophy about building his team from the back end out and down the middle. When you have that type of philosophy, you have to retain quality centers — especially considering the dearth of talent on the free-agent market with most teams resigning their best players.

The Bruins might have overpaid a bit, but such is life when you win the Cup and a player like Krejci nearly wins the Conn Smythe with a near point-per-game performance. Krejci would’ve been a popular restricted free agent next summer depending on how teams react to the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Bruins have done their part and now Krejci has to take care of his end. So far, he’s overcome every hurdle to establish himself as a No. 1 center in the NHL. There’s no reason to believe he won’t continue to flourish on the Bruins’ roster and in their system.

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