Bruins HC Wants Patrice Bergeron Back Next Season: 'Means so Much to the Franchise'

Erin WalshMay 14, 2022

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 14: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins looks on in Game Seven of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on May 14, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins were eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 Game 7 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round. Now questions about what's next for the franchise, particularly Patrice Bergeron, have arisen.

Bergeron will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after completing an eight-year, $55 million deal, and it's unclear if the 36-year-old, who will turn 37 on July 24, plans to hang up the skates.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after Saturday's loss that he has not talked to Bergeron about his future with the team. However, he added that he hopes the captain decides to not retire.

"I hope not," Cassidy told reporters. "He means so much to the franchise."

Bergeron also discussed his future with reporters following Game 7, saying that it was too soon to make a decision on what lies ahead.

"It's too early right now," Bergeron said. "Not after... It's too fresh right now. It still stings obviously."

Bergeron said in September that he would wait until after the 2021-22 season to decide his future in the league and didn't rule out retirement. However, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney noted he had contract negotiations with the veteran center earlier this season.

Bergeron has been a staple in the Bruins' lineup since being selected in the second round of the 2003 draft. The Quebec native made his debut during the 2003-04 season and made his presence felt immediately, tallying 16 goals and 23 assists in 71 games.

His role with the team only continued to grow over the next several years, and he helped lead the Black and Gold to a Stanley Cup title in 2011 after tallying six goals and 14 assists in 23 playoff games that year.

Bergeron also won his first of four Selke Trophies as the NHL's best defensive forward that season after tallying 22 goals, 42 assists and finishing with a plus-36 plus/minus rating. He also won the Selke in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

He's had an unbelievable 18-year career, tallying 400 goals and 582 assists in 1,216 regular-season games, in addition to 47 goals and 76 assists in 167 playoff games.

If Bergeron does retire, the Bruins will be in desperate need of help down the middle.

Beyond Bergeron, the team currently lacks the talent of a first-line center and could look to the free-agent market if it comes down to it. Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Filip Forsberg and Vincent Trocheck are among the top centers expected to be available this summer.