BOSTON — The Boston Bruins will enter their centennial campaign with a new leader after the retirement of three-year captain Patrice Bergeron.
And while the Bruins have options as to who will fill Bergeron’s role — Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy come to mind — the six-time Selke winner had a presence to him that will be difficult to duplicate. McAvoy, specifically, acknowledged that Tuesday when he shared a message after Bergeron’s retirement announcement.
“What you’ve built here is special,” McAvoy said. “I promise I’ll do everything I can to take care of it.”
It’s those sorts of sentiments which cause Bergeron to be confident. The 2003 second-round pick believes the Black and Gold will have no problem filling the leadership role he held, and the one Zdeno Chara held before him.
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“Obviously, it’s a lot of guys that built that culture and how we want things to kind of be around the locker room and being inclusive and whatnot,” Bergeron said during his retirement press conference at TD Garden on Wednesday. “Also, not just with the players but also with everyone kind of surrounding the team that’s involved in the day-to-day.
“It means a lot, and I know these guys will be great. Chucky (McAvoy), he’s a character guy and a very bright young man, so they’re in great hands with all of these guys in leadership, and like I said, it wasn’t me; it was also them and the guys before me like (Chara) and the rest of that crew.”
Bruins president Cam Neely told reporters Wednesday a decision hadn’t been made about who will replace Bergeron and wear the “C.” Before Bergeron, Chara served as the franchise’s captain for 14 seasons. Bergeron took over when Chara signed with the Washington Capitals ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
Featured image via Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports Images