BOSTON — Postseason wins would have kept the retirement talk at bay at least for a little while for Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.
But with the Bruins getting dealt a stunning exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs courtesy of a Game 7 loss on home ice to the Florida Panthers, Bergeron’s unknown future with the organization came to the forefront.
The 37-year-old Bergeron, who dealt with the same chatter at the conclusion of last season and ultimately came back on a one-year deal, wasn’t about to make any decisions about his playing career following the 4-3 overtime loss to the Panthers.
“I’m going to take some time and talk with the family and go from there,” Bergeron said. “Right now, it’s hard to process anything. Obviously, we’re shocked and disappointed. So, that’s it.”
The loss obviously leaves a sour taste in the mouth of the Bruins, especially since they were considered Stanley Cup favorites following a historic regular season. And in the heartbreaking fashion that it ended, would it make it more difficult for Bergeron to walk away for good?
“Again, it hurts right now,” Bergeron said. “So, I’m going to have to step back and give it some thought with my family.”
Bergeron stayed on the playing surface after the loss and hugged each one of his teammates, including having emotional moments with longtime teammates Brad Marchand and David Krejci. And before Bergeron left the ice — which he has played on for the last 19 seasons — for what could be the final time, he gave the home crowd a salute. Or it could be seen as a final goodbye.
“Thanks for the support all year,” Bergeron said of the gesture. “It’s a special city, it’s a special fan base and organization. It’s more just saying thank you for the support all year.”