Former Boston Bruins captain and longtime center Patrice Bergeron has once again shot down the baseless rumor that he is planning to come out of retirement and play for the Bruins again.
“No, it is not happening,” Bergeron told Canadian Press reporter Joshua Clipperton over the weekend. “I’m not making a comeback, not trying to make a comeback.”
Spoke to Patrice Bergeron about the comeback chatter after he was spotted skating in the Boston area. Says it's just a weekly gathering of friends and ex-NHLers.
"Come to our skates … the rumours would go away pretty quickly.
"It's a slow pace."
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) January 22, 2024
Bergeron acknowledged that as training camp for the 2023-24 regular season approached, it felt strange that he wasn’t ramping up for another season, but he knew then, and he knows now that retiring last July was the right move for him and his family.
“It was telling me, ‘Hey, you should be somewhere right now … what’s going on?'” Bergeron said. “But I feel like I am where I should be. I wish I could play forever. There’s no second guessing or thinking, ‘Did I do the right thing?”’
This is the second time – the first to Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald last Thursday – that the ever-classy, 38-year-old Bergeron has had to shoot down the bogus rumor started by the popular hockey podcast ‘Spittin Chiclets’ just under a week ago.
I’m hearing that ‘El Capitan’ might be making a comeback,” co-host and NHL on TNT analyst Paull Bissonnette said.
“This is ultimate rumor, boys; ultimate rumor!” co-host and former NHL and Boston University defenseman Ryan Whitney replied. “But apparently. …apparently, he’s been skating around here a little bit. Now, then we get word he skates a little bit just to stay fresh for the alumni games.”
“Which I didn’t believe,” Bissonnette replies.
“Which you’re probably 20 years younger than most of the guys playing in the alumni games,” Whitney pointed out. “But he’s a professional. He’s a workhorse, so maybe he is, but if Patrice Bergeron’s out there skating around, looking at maybe a February comeback, can you imagine the Bruins fans?”
Just to make sure that this was simply a rumor, this puck scribe called two sources close to Bergeron on Wednesday afternoon.
“That’s pretty funny, but no, not happening,” the first source said. “I would be absolutely stunned. If that’s why he’s been skating, and not for the reasons stated, then he’s doing a great job of hiding the real reason.”
The second source agreed with yours truly that if Bergeron really wanted to make one last run at the Stanley Cup, then why would he have retired after being part of arguably the biggest choke job in Boston Bruins franchise history?
“Do you know how bad he probably wanted to come back and redeem himself and the team, and yet he still retired?” the source asked rhetorically. “Why retire still and then change your mind? I don’t think ‘Bergy’ wants to be another Brett Favre. He’s got too much class and respect for the game.”
When Patrice Bergeron retired last July, and all the way through multiple public appearances since, he has reiterated that he is at peace with his decision to retire.
“I’m in a good place. I’m at peace. I know it was the right decision for myself and my family,” Bergeron told The Athletic on Nov. 22.
Bergeron earned that peace, and his family earned the time they have with him now. Knowing him the way I got to covering his whole Boston Bruins career, Bergeron is a man of his word.
Just my two cents, but maybe the boys at Spittin Chiclets owe Bergeron and the hockey world an apology?