When Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement after 19 seasons in the NHL, many players and teams across the hockey community took the time to send heartfelt messages to one of their fiercest competitors.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby not only knows what it was like to oppose Bergeron but also play alongside him as the two won Gold Medals for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

In a tweet via the Penguins’ social media handle, Crosby sent a heartfelt message to his competitor and teammate.

“Bergy, It’s been a pleasure to compete against you and a special honor to be your teammate over the years,” Crosby said in the statement. “Your achievements speak for themselves, but the person you are is what stands out the most. For anyone who has played with or against you, there isn’t a better example to follow. Congratulations on a remarkable career and enjoy the next chapter mon ami! – Sid.”

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It’s hard to believe that in the 18 years, the two overlapped in the league, Bergeron’s Bruins and Crosby’s Penguins only met once in the postseason in 2013 when Boston swept Pittsburgh en route to the Stanley Cup Final.

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Along with Crosby, Penguins coach and former Bruins coach, Mike Sullivan, Bergeron’s former agent and current Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughs, Hockey Canada and former teammate Sean Kuraly sent personal messages to the NHL record six-time Selke winner upon his retirement.

NESN will broadcast Bergeron’s press conference on Wednesday morning from TD Garde with its “Merçi, Patrice” coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

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Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images