Bruins

Here’s the latest on Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci ahead of the NHL Draft

"I’m starting to feel a little bit more confident that he’s leaning in the direction we want him to lean into."

David Pastrnak Patrice Bergeron
David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron celebrate a Bruins goal in April, 2022. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Prior to the start of the NHL Draft (which begins on Thursday evening and continues Friday), Bruins executives Don Sweeney and Cam Neely spoke with reporters about the current state of the team.

One of the obvious questions surrounds the status of team captain Patrice Bergeron, and whether or not the 36-year-old will return next season. Bergeron, currently a free agent, underwent surgery in late May to repair a tendon in his left elbow. Though he’s currently on track to recover in time for training camp, his status with the team remains uncertain.

Neely, the team president, sounded optimistic about Bergeron’s return, though he added that the decision remains with the player.

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“I’m starting to feel a little bit more confident that he’s leaning in the direction we want him to lean into,” Neely told reporters. “As I told him a while ago, ‘Once it’s over, it’s over.’ Believe me. You want to play again at some point. But I also said that not many athletes get to choose when they hang them up. There’s something to be said for that.

“You know, if he didn’t have the year he had last year, I might feel differently. The year he had, I don’t see any reason you want to pack it in.”

Bergeron finished the 2021-2022 season with 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 73 games. In addition, he won a record-breaking fifth Selke Trophy.

Of Boston’s other lingering questions, Neely noted that Sweeney, the team’s general manager, will speak with the agent of David Pastrnak, J.P. Barry, during the next two days in Montreal.

“I believe Don’s meeting with his agent here in Montreal,” said Neely. “I feel very positive about it.”

Pastrnak, 26, is one of the Bruins’ brightest stars, notching 77 points (40 goals, 37 assists) in the most recent season. He’s entering the final year of his current contract.

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And on the subject of former Bruins center David Krejci, Sweeney left the door open for a possible return. Krejci left Boston in 2021 to return to his native Czech Republic, where he played the past season for HC Olomouc.

“I’ve been in touch with David,” Sweeney explained. “[He] spent a lot of time with his family deciding what he’d like to do. The conversations have gone well. It’s just a matter of when David decides, ultimately, and if we’re going to be the place that he chooses.”

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