Just as he promised, Patrice Bergeron listened to his body and intuition when he decided to retire after 19 seasons in the NHL, all with the Boston Bruins.
When Patrice Bergeron met with the media on May 2, he wasn’t mentally or physically able to decide on his playing future. Bergeron and his Boston Bruins teammates had just blown a 3-1 series lead and lost Game 7 to the Florida Panthers 4-3 in overtime. His body and emotions were too raw. While the feelings from the stunning and early exit from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs have waned, so did his ability to play and live pain-free.
“20 years is a lot of hockey, a lot of games,” he told the media in a press conference on Wednesday and a day after he announced his retirement. “The game is physically very demanding. It takes a toll on your body, and no major issues, but there are obviously some aches and pains from the past when I wake up in the morning. I’m a very intuitive guy. I feel like I always listen to my instincts and to my heart. It’s time to let that heal and move on.”
What the sure-shot future Hall of Famer won’t be doing, at least shortly, is coaching in the NHL.
“I don’t think it’s in the cards,” he said. “Never say never, but for now, I don’t have a want or will to coach.”
Instead, after putting so much want and will into every shift of every practice and game, the now-former Boston Bruins pivot will put that same heart and determination into every shift he has with his three young children and a recent newborn.
“I’ve always been grateful for being a professional athlete and being able to live a childhood dream but it takes away some family time and some time away from the kids,” Bergeron acknowledged. “I have some catching up to do, and I’m looking forward to that. It will be a nice change to finally be the Uber driver for the family for a little bit and just relax.”