If anyone knows the trials and tribulations of trying to break into the NHL as a youngster, it’s Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron was just 18 years old when he stuck with the Bruins out of training camp in 2003.
Now a grizzled veteran and a backbone member of Boston’s core, the pivot makes sure to make himself available to the younger players in the organization, even the ones who don’t make the roster to start the season.
Bergeron told The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont that he makes sure prospects have his number and encourages them to reach out during the year if they need to, noting that he understands how difficult it must be to not make the cut out of camp.
“Always something I try to do (for them), to be there, you know,” Bergeron said. “Iâve always said, they have my cell phone, they can reach me any time.”
Bergeron noted it’s not an easy process breaking into the league and players “go through the process of being up and down,” between the NHL and the minors.
“And having to develop and grow as a player and as a person,” he added. “Having all the guys that have been there is always useful … thatâs what weâre here for.”
And that’s why he wears a letter, as if we needed anymore proof.