BRIGHTON, MA – The rumors were both half-baked and not very bright, but certainly they were out there that Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron might possibly be headed somewhere else for next NHL season.
NBC Sports Boston analyst Tony Amonte had the most well-circulated of them all with Bergeron potentially going to the Montreal Canadiens if he didn’t re-sign with the Boston Bruins after spending 18 seasons with the Black and Gold.
“Montreal Canadiens… it’s just a little talk going on behind the scenes.”
Tony Amonte shares some insider information on Patrice Bergeron’s future pic.twitter.com/hbaC7h7CqM
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) May 13, 2022
Well, Bergeron poured cold water on all of the malarkey on Monday’s Boston Bruins breakup day at Warrior Ice Arena when asked if he’d even consider going to another NHL team this summer as a free agent.
“No. I’ve been here for my whole career,” said Bergeron, who now has 400 goals and 982 career points in 1,216 career NHL games with the Bruins dating back to being the youngest player in the league as an 18-year-old back in the 2003-04 NHL season. “Obviously, [Boston] is a special place for me. It’s not on my mind right now. I just need to take time and regroup.”
🎥 Patrice Bergeron on when he’ll come to a decision regarding his future: “I don’t know, to be honest with you. I think it’s just more time…I’m gonna need some time to think about a lot of things and come up with the best decision for myself and my family.” pic.twitter.com/qAecDa8Avu
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 16, 2022
Instead, Bergeron confirmed that he’s essentially grappling with whether or not he wants to keep playing in the NHL as a soon-to-be 37-year-old with three young kids at home and demanding responsibility as an NHL captain.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you. I think it’s just more time,” said Bergeron, when asked what’s going into his thought process on continuing to play next season and beyond. “I’m going to need some time to think about a lot of things and come up with the best decision for myself and my family.”
The signs have been pointing toward Patrice Bergeron retiring after finishing with 25 goals and 65 points this season and ending the regular season on a high note with a hat trick that got him to 400 career goals as a member of the Boston Bruins. Winning his NHL-record fifth Selke Trophy this summer would be another high note to potentially call it a career on, something that Bergeron admired about Hall of Famer Mark Recchi when he retired following the 2011 Stanley Cup win for the Boston Bruins.
Needless to say, Bergeron’s teammates are selfishly hoping that he comes back to play at least one more season with so much clearly still in the tank, as a player and as a team leader, even at an advanced age for an NHL player.
“He was texting me probably once a month just to check on me,” said Boston Bruins forward Chris Wagner of Bergeron, who was checking in with Wagner while he was stuck in the AHL with the Providence Bruins this season. “He does a really good job with that. He doesn’t fake it at all, he actually cares about everyone in this room.”
One would expect that Bergeron will make his decision in the coming weeks either way as the Boston Bruins entire offseason will hinge on whether No. 37 signs on for one more season, or decides to ride off into the hockey sunset.