In one of the least surprising announcements they’ve probably ever made, the Boston Bruins made it official on Thursday that Patrice Bergeron is their new captain.
“I think it’s an obvious decision and one that we’ll make in a respectful manner at an appropriate time,” Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said a week ago less than 24 hours after longtime captain Zdeno Chara signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals on December 30.
On Thursday, Sweeney and the Bruins found the right time and made it official that Patrice Bergeron is the 20th captain in team history.
“It is with great privilege that we present Patrice Bergeron as the 20th Captain of the Boston Bruins,” Sweeney said in a Bruins press release. “Patrice Bergeron exudes leadership, character, talent, will and empathy. We all know Bergy embraces the legacy of the Boston Bruins, as he will with the Captaincy. Bergy has earned the respect of all of his teammates, coaches, and everyone in the Bruins organization. Congratulations to Patrice, Stephanie, Zack, Victoria, and Noah.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 7, 2021
Since entering the NHL as a wide-eyed rookie from L’Ancienne Lorette, Quebec, the 45th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, has become one of the best all-around players in the NHL but more importantly a leader on and off the ice. He was given an A on his jersey during the 2008-09 NHL season and since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, in the eyes of many within the dressing room and the organization, Patrice Bergeron has been a captain without a ‘C’ on his jersey. Now he has that well-deserved title and there’s no doubt as to why.
“It’s a privilege to name Patrice the 20th Captain of the Boston Bruins,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “For 16 seasons we have all watched Patrice grow not only into an elite player but also a tremendous leader. Patrice represents the Bruins organization and our fans with integrity, determination, and class. On and off the ice he embodies what it means to be a Bruin, and we couldn’t be prouder that he will lead our team as Captain.”
Boston Bruins ownership echoed Sweeney’s and Neely’s sentiments on Patrice Bergeron.
“To be Captain of an Original Six franchise is an honor, and a role that comes with much responsibility to his teammates and the fans,” Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Patrice is the natural successor to the Captain role, and he will represent this franchise very well. He has consistently and reliably contributed to this team’s advancement and has been an adept leader for many years, both on and off the ice. His tenure as Captain will be one of great success.”
Jacobs’ son and team CEO Charlie Jacobs concurred with his father’s assessment of Patrice Bergeron.
“Throughout Patrice Bergeron’s historic career with the Boston Bruins, he has carried himself with great integrity, humility and resiliency,” said the younger Jacobs. “These qualities make Patrice a natural leader and an obvious choice as to who should serve as the next Captain of the Boston Bruins. We are incredibly proud to have Patrice fill this important role and look forward to watching him lead the locker room this season and beyond.”
Patrice Bergeron joins a prestigious list of Bruins captains that includes Chara (2006-20), Joe Thornton (2002-05), Jason Allison (2000-01), Ray Bourque (1985-2000), Rick Middleton (1985-88), Terry O’Reilly (1983-85), Wayne Cashman (1977-83), John Bucyk (1966-67 and 1973-77), Leo Boivin (1963-66), Don McKenney (1961-63), Ferny Flaman (1955-61), Ed Sanford (1954-55), Milt Schmidt (1950-54), John Crawford (1946-50), Ralph ‘Cooney’ Weiland (1938-39), Aubrey ‘Dit’ Clapper (1932-38 and 1939-47), George Owen (1931-32), Lionel Hitchman (1927-31), Sprague Cleghorn (1925-27).
As he enters his 17th NHL season, the 35-year-old Bergeron is running out of room on the trophy mantle after winning a plethora of awards during his esteemed and likely hall of fame career. Bergeron is a four-time Selke Trophy winner, winning in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017. He’s tied with Hall of Fame forward Bob Gainey for most all-time.
In 2013, Bergeron was named the winner of the 2013 King Clancy Trophy. The King Clancy Trophy is awarded annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. Bergeron was also nominated for the award in 2020.
In 2014, Bergeron was named the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award, recognizing the NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance, and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.
Bergeron is also a member of the famous ‘Triple Gold’ Club, as a Stanley Cup winner and a gold medal winner at the World Championship and the Olympics.