Bergeron is a four-time Selke Trophy winner, a Stanley Cup champion, a two-time All-Star, a really good hockey player and even better person.
Gemel Smith didn’t have a long tenure with the Boston Bruins, but the impact Bergeron on him will last a lifetime. Smith was claimed off waivers by Boston last December. The forward appeared in just three games before being placed back on waivers.
And while the experiment didn’t go the way the Bruins had hoped, Smith still walked away with a friend in Bergeron. One that had a life-changing impact on the 25-year-old.
Smith recently opened up to The Athletic’s Joe Smith about his struggles with depression, and said he “felt very alone.”
“I made myself go to a sunken place,” Gemel told The Athletic. “I couldn’t sleep for a month. I felt very alone. I isolated myself from everyone because I’m a guy that keeps to myself.
“That’s where I went wrong — why I should have talked to somebody (who could) help me through it.”
That somebody was Bergeron, who offered up some advice to Gemel. Check out this excerpt from Joe’s article:
Smith eventually did seek help, and that’s probably what saved his career,” Joe wrote. “It’s why Smith is here now, as the relentless puck-hound is making a strong case to crack the Lightning’s opening-night roster. Before he got sent down by the Bruins on Dec. 18, Smith got a tip from star Patrice Bergeron, who suggested he reach out to renowned sports psychologist Max Offenberger. Offenberger, the Bruins’ team psychologist, has worked with athletes from many sports, including the Maple Leafs’ Jason Spezza and the late Ray Emery.
Sometimes it just takes one person to point you in the right direction and help get you back on track. For Gemel, that person was Bergeron.