The Boston center was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy as the player who “best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” It’s a fitting honor for a player who has grown up in the Bruins organization and is now one the club’s biggest leaders.
That’s obviously something Bergeron’s head coach, Claude Julien, doesn’t take for granted, especially as Bergeron tries to lead the Bruins to a second Stanley Cup title in three years.
“I think it’s a great honor for him to win it, well deserved,” Julien told the Bruins’ team website after the award was announced Friday. “When you look at this player, how he conducts himself off the ice, he’s the ultimate professional. Takes good care of himself, and once he’s in the dressing room and on the ice, he’s a great leader. He leads by example, he’s also a guy that’s vocal when need be, but without a doubt this guy is the ultimate leader on our team. I’m so proud of him earning this prestigious award.”
Julien didn’t stop there, though. He was asked about Bergeron again Saturday following the club’s morning skate, and he commented on Bergeron’s growth as a player and as a leader over his time in Boston.
“He still does the same things,” Julien said. “He keeps doing them better and better every year. That’s what experience does to you. He learns a lot from little mistakes here and there. He doesn’t like making mistakes. Any little mistake he makes, next day he’s watching himself on the computer, watching where he could have done something better.
“A lot of it is on his own. He’s not a guy that we have to pull into the video room to show him this and that. He basically does it on his own. He’ll look for it, ask about it. As I said, he’s such a dedicated athlete. He’s 100 percent involved in his job when he’s at the rink. He does everything he can to be the best player out there.”