Patrice Bergeron isn’t returning to the NHL, and he sounds quite OK with that.

The former Bruins center called it a career in July, ending a wonderful 19-year career that should earn him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame in a few years. The toll of playing two decades at the highest level of the sport — and doing so in the most physically demanding fashion — was evident for the B’s captain who decided to hang up his skates before inflicting any more damage on his body.

But Bergeron clearly still had gas left in the tank. He retired as the two-time defending Selke Trophy winner and was coming off a 27-goal season centering the Bruins’ top line in a history-making campaign. If you Google “Patrice Bergeron retires,” one of the results in the “People also ask” category is “Could Bergeron come back?”

The answer to that question sounds like a resounding no. Perhaps that is not entirely surprising given the regular season is almost over, but B’s fans still hoping he could return might be disappointed to hear it won’t happen. That being said, fans should also be happy to hear just how at peace Bergeron is with his new life.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’ve moved on,” Bergeron told The Athletic. “I’ve given everything I had to the game. I have no regrets. I’m only thankful for everything I’ve been able to experience, the people I’ve met. At this point, it’s almost like I’ve closed the lid on it, I guess. I’m OK with it. I wish in a way I could play forever. I know it’s impossible. I have to think about my future. I don’t think my body would be happy with me going back.”

Like most athletes who retire, Bergeron pointed to wanting to spend more time with his family as a main reason to get away from the familiar and perhaps comfortable grind of being a professional athlete. He told The Athletic he has reimmersed himself as a father and husband, chaperoning for his daughter’s field trip and volunteering at the school library. His wife is going to get her doctorate — “it’s my wife’s turn to pursue his passion,” he says — meaning Bergeron will spend even more time helping around the house trying to shepherd their four children.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“So now I feel like I’m a little more present and I’m able to take the time to really appreciate every small moment and be there in my life,” he told The Athletic.

Even if Bergeron won’t be rejoining his former teammates on the ice, it has become increasingly clear he still plans to have an impact on the club from a distance.

Story continues below advertisement

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images