To say that Patrice Bergeron is the epitome of what it means to be a Boston Bruin would be an understatement. After 19 seasons in a Bruins sweater, Bergeron has officially called it quits, retiring after an illustrious career.

Drafted in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Bergeron made the big club’s roster that fall and recorded his first goal on Oct. 18, 2003.

Here are 37 reasons, in no particular order, why Bergeron is an all-time Bruin.

— Bergeron served as an alternate captain of the Bruins for 14 seasons. From the moment Bergeron wore an “A” above the Spoked-B, his leadership skills were present for not only the young players coming up or the veterans pulling on a Bruins jersey night in and night out.

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— Named the 20th captain in Bruins history on Jan. 7, 2021, Bergeron joined other prominent players like Zdeno Chara, Ray Bourque, Rick Middleton, Wayne Cashman, Terry O’Reilly, Johnny Bucyk and Milt Schmidt to don the “C.”

— The phrase “It was 4-1” was born in 2013, mainly because of Bergeron’s game-tying and game-winning goals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals three-goal, third-period comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs. NESN’s Jack Edwards exclaims “Hearts of Lions” as Bergeron celebrated with teammates at the center of a frenzied TD Garden. Then at 13:55, Bergeron scored the game-winner with James Reimer laying flat on his stomach and devastating Leafs’ fans.

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— In Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, Bergeron took the ice even though he had a broken rib, torn cartilage and a punctured lung. To make matters worse, the center suffered a separated shoulder in the first period of the game and still registered 17:45 minutes of ice time.

— Bergeron is not known for fighting, but on Feb. 11, 2016, he dropped the gloves and took on former teammate Blake Wheeler when the Bruins were in Winnipeg taking on the Jets. Wheeler may have won the bout, but the Bruins won the match defeating the Jets 6-2.

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— Bergeron may have broke into the league in 2003, but he didn’t register his first hat trick until Jan. 11, 2011, when the Bruins shut out the Ottawa Senators 6-0 on the backs of Bergeron and Tim Thomas who made 31 stops.

— Bergeron won the Selke Trophy six times, more than any other player in NHL history. Awarded to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.

— Speaking of defensive skills, there is absolutely no quit in Bergeron. In the third period of a 4-3 game against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 10, 2010, the Bruins’ net was empty for the extra skater on a Carolina delayed penalty, the puck was deflected and heading toward Boston’s empty net. Bergeron got back and prevented the puck from crossing the line and into the back of the net.

— Bergeron fought his way back from a Grade 3 concussion after missing all but the first 10 games of the 2007-08 season after a vicious hit from Philadelphia Flyers’ Randy Jones sent Bergeron head-first into the edge of the dasher, breaking the center’s nose in the process. The following season, Bergeron returned to game action on Oct. 20 and played 64 games that season.

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— Bergeron has appeared in all four of the Bruins’ Winter Classic appearances. He scored his only Winter Classic goal in the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019.

— In his 1,000th career game, Bergeron scored two goals in the Bruins over the New York Islanders on Feb. 5, 2019. Proving how much his teammates love and admire him, David Pastrnak purposely passed up the empty net goal and dropped the puck to Bergeron securing the 3-1 Boston win.

— Bergeron is known for being a great defensive forward, but the Bruins legend is also known as one of the classiest human beings to ever lace up a pair of skates. It became more evident when Bergeron asked Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson how his wife Rachel was doing following surgery she had in 2019 to remove a cancerous mass in her leg.

— Bergeron won the King Clancy Trophy at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season for being involved in numerous charitable organizations, including his own, “Patrice’s Pals,” which brings hospital patients and children’s groups to watch Bruins games from a luxury suite. Bergeron has been nominated again this season.

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— In the 2017-218 season, Bergeron scored 17 goals in a span of 19 games including two against the Calgary Flames en route to a 5-2 Boston win.

— Bergeron has eclipsed the 50-point mark in 14 of his 19 seasons in a Bruins sweater. His career-high 79 points came in the 2018-19 season.

— Bergeron scored 30 or more goals in six of his 19 NHL seasons. His career high came in the 2018-19 season when he potted 32.

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— The captain ranks third in Bruins history for games played. Bergeron suited up for the Black and Gold in 1,294 games, behind only Bourque (1,518) and Bucyk (1,436).

— Only Buyck (545) and Phil Esposito (459) have more goals than Bergeron (427) in Bruins’ history.

— Bergeron sits third all-time in Bruins history for points. He has notched 1,040 in his 19-year career behind Bourque who has 1,506 and Buyck’s 1,339.

— Bergeron finds himself in elite company when it comes to the all-time assist leaders for the Bruins. Bourque leads the way with 1,111. Second is Bucyk with 794 followed by Bobby Orr who had 624 and finally Bergeron rounds out the Top 4 with 613.

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— Only Bucyk (88) has more game-winning goals in a Bruins sweater than Bergeron. Bergeron has put the puck in the net 81 times for game-deciding goals.

— At the start of the 2021-22 season, Bergeron went seven consecutive games without scoring a goal. The captain scored the first three goals of the Bruins’ 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 4, 2021, recording his seventh-career hat trick. Bergeron would add a fourth goal in the game.

— Bergeron has killed it every year in his Halloween costumes in the Bruins’ annual visits to children’s hospitals in Boston. He’s been Elmo, Buzz Lightyear, Mario and of course — Batman.

— Bergeron scored two of the four Boston goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 15, 2011, against the Vancouver Canucks to secure the first championship in 39 years for the Bruins. The first goal was the game-winner and the second was a short-handed beauty.

— Bergeron has been on the ice for 584 Boston power-play goals. That ranks for third best in all-time in Bruins history behind Bourque (1,198) and Bucyk (683).

— In 170 playoff games, Bergeron has scored 50 goals and added 78 helpers for 128 points for the Black and Gold.

— In 19 seasons, Bergeron has a faceoff percentage of 58.9 in the regular season and 58% in the postseason.

— Hand-eye coordination and how he sees the ice are simply amazing. Bergeron watched the puck deflect off the glass behind the net. He then skates toward the net to collect the puck and tip it into the back of the net in the Feb. 18, 2023 Bruins 6-2 Boston win over the Islanders.

— In his rookie year, Bergeron scored the overtime game-winning goal against division rival Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on April 9, 2004. Montreal won the series 4-3, but Bergeron collected three assists in his first postseason to go along with the goal for four points.

— His play-making ability with Brad Marchand has been masterful since 2011. The Bruins were on the penalty kill in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings on March 31, 2019, when Marchand collected the puck from Chara on the clear and skated up ice with Bergeron for the 2-on-1. Bergeron, as he falls to one knee, passed the puck back to Marchand who buries the puck behind Detroit’s goalie Jimmy Howard for the short-handed beauty. Although the Bruins lost 6-3, Marchand became the all-time Bruins’ leader with 35 shorties.

— On Jan. 6, 2018, Bergeron recorded five points against the Carolina Hurricanes leading Boston to the 7-1 slaughter of their conference rival. Bergeron’s first goal was short-handed and he would add three more for his first career four-goal game.

— Not to be outdone by his longtime linemate, Bergeron collects a pass from Marchand and completely undresses Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson for a brilliant goal. Bergeron scored two goals and an assist in Boston’s 7-2 route of Ottawa on Feb. 8, 2014.

— On Nov. 21, 2022, Bergeron recorded his 1,000th point with an assist on Marchand’s second-period goal in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins players all jumped over the boards onto the ice to celebrate with their captain.

— As the leader of the Perfection Line,” Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak had some spectacular highlight reel plays. On Nov. 12, 2022, against the Buffalo Sabres, the trio connected on a late third-period goal that started with Pastrnak picking the puck out of mid-air and ending with Bergeron potting the goal off the Marchand feed.

— In just his second season in the NHL, Bergeron recorded his first 30-goal season on April 13, 2006, against the Canadiens. While Montreal defeated Boston 4-3 in the contest, Bergeron recorded his 30th and 31st goals on assists from Brad Boyes on the first and Brian Leetch and Tim Thomas on the second.

— Bergeron showed why he has been coined the “Selke King” in the 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 30, 2018. On the power play, Ryan Donato lost the puck to Warren Foegele who tried to break in ahead of Pastrnak and Bergeron. Pastrnak went for the sweep by diving to the ice, but Bergeron caught up to Foegele on the backcheck, stealing the puck and then hitting Marchand in the neutral zone. Marchand was Marchand and beat Scott Darling to tie the game at two.

— Win or lose, home or away, Bergeron is the last player off the ice for the Bruins. He would wait by the bench or Zamboni door for each of his teammates to congratulate or console them. He was a teammate, a leader and a friend. He will never be replaced or replicated.

As Bergeron hangs up his skates and called it a career, Bruins fans will remember their captain as the legend that he was on the ice and the amazing human being he is off the ice, as they thank him for a lifetime of memories.

Featured image via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images