A report on RDS.ca, the web site of the French-language Canadian sports network, reported late Thursday night that Bergeron, whose current deal expires after this season, had agreed to a new three-year deal worth $15 million. The Bruins confirmed the report early Friday morning, but per club policy, did not release financial details of the deal.
If the original report of $15 million is accurate, it would put Bergeron's cap hit at $5 million for the 2011-12 through 2013-14 seasons, a slight bump up from his current hit of $4.75 million, but a decrease from his actually salary of $5.75 million for the upcoming season. That comes from the five-year, $23.75-million deal Bergeron signed in 2006.
Bergeron just celebrated his 25th birthday in July, but has already played six seasons in the NHL and another season in the AHL during the 2004-05 owners' lockout. He initially made the leap directly to the NHL from the junior ranks as an 18-year-old in 2003 after being drafted in the second round (45th overall) that year.
Bergeron posted a career-high 31 goals and 73 points in 2005-06 and added another 79-point campaign in 2006-07. But he nearly had his career ended when he suffered a severe concussion early in the 2007-08 season.
He was limited to just 10 games that year and 64 the following season, managing just eight goals and 39 points. He was back to his old self last year, however, leading the Bruins with 52 points, and he looks poised for even better numbers this year after a very strong camp. He finished the preseason in style with a five-point night against Czech club Liberec on Tuesday.
The Bruins will still face plenty of tough decisions before next year, as captain Zdeno Chara is among the other players whose contracts expire after this season. The club has already opened negotiations with Chara this summer and general manager Peter Chiarelli has stated numerous times this offseason that he hopes to sign Chara to a new deal.
The Bruins will have some additional cap space next year with both Michael Ryder ($4 million) and Marco Sturm ($3.5 million) coming off the books. But they also have to re-sign restricted free agents Blake Wheeler, Matt Hunwick and Brad Marchand and unrestricted free agents Mark Stuart and possibly Mark Recchi, though Recchi, 42, may opt for retirement after the season.
Chiarelli, along with coach Claude Julien and Chara, has a previously scheduled conference call from Prague planned for Friday at noon.
Here is the original link in French.