Patrice Bergeron Returning To Bruins, Agrees To One-Year Deal With Boston

Boston gets its reliable captain back for another year

by

August 8

The Bruins will have captain Patrice Bergeron back in the fold for what figures to be a crucial transition season.

The future Hall of Famer was mulling retirement, but he will return for at least one more year after signing a one-year deal with the only team he’s known in his legendary career. The reigning Selke Trophy winner will make $2.5 million in base salary with incentives that could earn him another $2.5 million, per the team.

This, of course, isn’t too surprising. Veteran hockey reporter Joe McDonald reported on June 23 that Bergeron had decided to return to the Bruins. However, the Bruins had to navigate some uncertain waters with free agency beginning plus a cap crunch that complicated things a bit.

Bergeron, who turned 37 last month, hasn’t shown much sign of slowing down. He was the overwhelming choice for the Selke as the NHL’s best two-way forward, a record-breaking fifth win for Bergeron. He won the award going away, too, appearing on all 195 ballots with 161 of those casting first-place votes for the center. He won by nearly 1,000 points.

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The days of Bergeron scoring 30 goals in a season might be gone, but he still chipped in with 25 tallies and 40 assists last season while centering the Bruins’ top line.

Now, all eyes turn toward David Krejci. General manager Don Sweeney has made it no secret the team is working on a reunion with the veteran center. Boston currently has $2.6 million available, per the Bruins Cap Space account on Twitter, though it does still need to iron out a contract for the recently acquired Pavel Zacha. That being said, Boston also has nearly $20 million in space it could utilize through long-term injured reserve with Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand and Matt Grzelcyk. The Bruins would have to get cap-compliant upon their respective returns, which speaks to the cap gymnastics for Sweeney and the Bruins this summer.

That being said, the first domino has fallen with Bergeron back in the fold at a manageable number. What’s almost certain at this point is Krejci, if he returns, will do so under a similar incentive-heavy deal. The NHL collective bargaining agreement allows teams to sign older players to one-year deals with incentives, and when those are incentives are hit, the cap charges are tacked on for the following season. That obviously presents its own potential issues down the road, but the Bruins believe they still have a window for competition, and that’s reflected by Bergeron’s return.

Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images
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