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Krejci locked up with three-year extension

Center’s deal is worth a total of $15.75 million

By Jake Seiner
Globe Correspondent / December 2, 2011
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In the aftermath of Wednesday night’s 6-3 win in Toronto, Bruins center David Krejci stood before reporters and answered questions about speculation that he might be traded for Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan. Krejci said simply that he wanted to remain in Boston.

Krejci didn’t let on, but his future in Black and Gold was already more secure than the speculators knew. In fact, he had signed a three-year contract extension earlier in the day.

The Bruins formally announced the deal, worth a total of $15.75 million, yesterday at TD Garden.

“I’m really happy I’ll be a Bruin,’’ Krejci said. “I love this city. I love the team. I love the players. I’m really happy for signing this deal.’’

Krejci’s $5.25 million cap hit will be second only to captain Zdeno Chara’s $6.9 million, and just ahead of the $5 million of Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas.

“David is a special player,’’ said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “In today’s hockey world, hockey economy, he might have been able to go somewhere else for more money and he might have been able to ask for more money, but he didn’t.’’

For Krejci, reupping was a simple decision.

“We won the Cup last year, and I feel this team can do it again and I want to be part of it,’’ said the 25-year-old pivot. “It was a great experience, and I hope that I’ll win it one more time. I feel like I have a really good chance here with this team. That was the biggest reason.

“It’s great to play in front of these fans. They can get pretty loud. They are our seventh player on the ice. Last year, they showed it in the playoffs. They were outstanding. It was so much fun to play for them.’’

With Krejci under contract, the Bruins project to carry over about $52.8 million in salary for the 2012-13 season. Only six teams are on the hook for more, although Marc Savard’s $4 million hit is included in that figure.

With Tuukka Rask a restricted free agent at the end of this season, and Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Jordan Caron, and Steve Kampfer hitting RFA status after 2012-13, money for extensions just became tighter.

But Chiarelli doesn’t think Krejci’s deal will hinder the Bruins in future negotiations with players.

“I consider David an important RFA,’’ Chiarelli said. “One piece at a time. When we make these decisions, we look at the big picture. I haven’t lost sight of the big picture.

“I would anticipate the players we want to re-sign, we’ll try to re-sign them. But David’s a big piece of this puzzle, so that’s how we look at that.’’

Thomas top star

Thomas was named the NHL’s First Star for November. He had a record of 9-0-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .941 save percentage . . . Kampfer and Caron were sent down to Providence, and will likely suit up tonight against Connecticut.

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