As expected, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy Sunday for a record fifth time.
The Selke Award is given annually to ‘the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game’ and is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and select broadcasters. Patrice Bergeron beat out fellow finalists Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames and Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers, who won the trophy in 2021. Of the 195 votes cast Bergeron got an incredible 160 first-place votes. Lindholm (21) was the runner-up, followed by Barkov (10).
In 18 NHL seasons, Patrice Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke Trophy 11 times and led the league this season for the seventh time in his career in face-off wins, with a success rate of 61.9 per cent.
“It’s definitely an honor—I think I’m humbled, that’s the first word that comes to mind,” said Bergeron, who again this past season also anchored the Bruins’ No. 1 offensive line, a distinctly different role than that which Gainey filled with the Habs. “It is an individual award, but you can’t get any of those without the help of your teammates.”
While the media the NHL-organized zoom call with Patrice Bergeron were congratulatory and showered the Boston Bruins center with praise, the obvious question was whether or not Bergeron will continue his NHL career? However, before the Zoom Call turned there, there was also curiosity over a photo that surfaced of Bergeron sporting an arm brace at an MMA event this weekend.
If Patrice Bergeron does end up signing with the Boston Bruins, was he now going to join linemate Brad Marchand, and defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk and miss a solid portion of games to start the 2022-23 season?
Bergeron revealed that he had a procedure done to repair a tendon in his right elbow.
“It’s something I dealt with for probably the last two years, a little less maybe,” Bergeron said. “I spoke to the doctors and at some point I had to get it fixed.”
However, if he does come back, it won’t affect the start of the season for him as it’s an expected 10-12 week recovery.
“It only delayed my decision-making process,” said Bergeron.
About that decision process; is Patrice Bergeron any closer to making a decision on his future?
“I still think I have a lot of time in front of me, I guess, to make that decision,” Bergeron said. “I want to make sure that I take all the time that I need to make the right one. Right now, I haven’t really had time to think about it.”
After spending the last 18 years in the NHL, Bergeron has never been an unrestricted free agent, and now that he is, he wants to breathe and handle the life decision properly.
“My whole career I’ve had contract extensions or I’ve had long-term contracts,” Bergeron said. “I would head into the summers I guess with that in the back of my mind, meaning that I know what I’m doing next year and all that stuff. And now I’m 36 and I don’t have a contract and I can actually take a step back for the first time in my career, the first time in my life that I can just reflect on what I do want looking forward for the future.”