WATERBURY, Vermont -- When Andrew Ference left town after last season, he left multiple holes on the Bruins. First, there was his spot on defense. Second, there was his spot as a leader of the team, as evidence by his position one of the team's alternate captains.
The Bruins chose David Krejci to take over Ference's vacated "A," which he'll split with Chris Kelly on home/road games as Ference did last season. Patrice Bergeron has the other "A" and Zdeno Chara wears the captain's "C."
"Unanimous," coach Claude Julien said.
Asked if it means a lot to Krejci, Julien said, "It does. He's been a good leader on the ice. And every year in the playoffs, he comes up big. I think it's important for him, same as [Milan Lucic] that he can step up and be more of a leader. I think it's time for him to show that for us, and after I talked to him, he seemed keen on wanting to be that guy."
Krejci was not on the ice at the Waterbury Ice Center this afternoon. He suffered back spasms on Friday in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and did not play in that night's game. Julien said the team was hopeful that Krejci would be back on the ice tomorrow, the day before the season opener. Julien said the team is "optimistic about that."
Carl Soderberg also did not skate today. The team is less hopeful about him. Julien said that Soderberg was "highly doubtful" for Thursday's game against the Lightning. Soderberg hit a rut on the ice in Saskatoon, and while it was initially deemed minor, his ankle got more swollen in the next couple of days. The Bruins will know more when the swelling goes down.