Will This Be Patrice Bergeron’s Final Season? Bruins Captain Weighs In

Bergeron's taking it year-by-year


Oct 10, 2022

BRIGHTON, Mass. — While some star athletes in their respective sports elect to go through a retirement tour in their final year as a pro, there isn’t one scheduled yet for Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.

After dodging retirement questions all last season as the Bruins exited the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round, the five-time Selke Award winner decided his career wasn’t over yet, signing a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Boston this offseason.

So as the Bruins get ready to embark on another season, the narrative around Bergeron remains intact that this could very well be his final season in Black and Gold if he chooses it to be that way.

“Well, it’s always up to Patrice. So, we’ll see how this season goes for him,” Bruins president Cam Neely said Monday at media day from Warrior Ice Arena. “I know he’s taking it year by year. We’re thrilled to have him back this year, and we’re going to focus on next year (later).”

Bergeron reiterated that stance, keeping his focus on the here and now instead of the future as the 37-year-old enters his 19th season in the NHL.

“To me, I’m here,” Bergeron said. “Last summer all I had to really focus on was this coming year. I had to take a step back and weigh the pros and cons and see how I felt, and it was an easy decision for me. I’m excited to be here, so that’s all I’m really focused on right now, especially this time of the year. It’s exciting to create something with the guys and come together as a team as well. It’s always fun even though it’s been 19 years now for me. … I’m really looking forward to every year and this year is obviously no different. Super excited to get going.”

Bergeron doesn’t buy into the notion the team needs to think about going out on the ice and winning for him in what could possibly be his final season.

Bergeron’s importance in the lineup — he tallied 25 goals and 40 assists for 65 points last season — and as a leader in the locker room isn’t lost, though.

“We’re so fortunate to have him on the ice as a Boston Bruin,” Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said. “I’m just reflecting how quickly years pass. I’m not hoping to sound nostalgic, but I also want to impress upon our roster that this a real opportunity for our players that have been here with Patrice on the ice, and the younger players to continue to learn from him and to be a teammate. Someone here in the room eluded to maybe having a coach on the ice, and to a certain extent that’s what Patrice is doing. He’s teaching our next generation of Boston Bruins players how to be Bruins. That’s invaluable.”

Bergeron and the Bruins open a new campaign Wednesday when they travel to Washington to take on the Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The game will air on TNT but NESN will air an hour of pregame and postgame coverage.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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