BOSTON (WHDH) - Bruins star forward David Krejci is leaving Boston to play hockey in the Czech Republic next season, the Stanley Cup champion announced Friday.

“At this point in my career and life I need to return to the Czech Republic and play in front of my family who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my NHL dreams,” Krejci said in a statement.

Krejci, whose contract expired at the end of the 2020-21 season, said the decision to leave Boston was a “difficult” thing for him to do.

“I want to play in front of my parents, brother and friends. I want my children to live where I grew up,” Krejci added.

The 35-year-old spent all 15 years of his NHL career in Boston, helping the Bruins capture a long-waited championship in 2011.

“I want to thank all the Bruins fans for the support they have shown my family and I,” Krejci said.

Krejci scored 215 goals and tallied 515 assists in 962 regular season games with Boston.

“This is not goodbye, I will not be a stranger. I will be a Bruin forever,” Krejci stated. “I will always bleed Black and Gold.”

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