After the Boston Bruins fell in seven games to their first-round opponent Carolina Hurricanes, the conversation surrounding the team and its future has centered around its captain: Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron, who turns 37 on July 24th, is one of the franchise’s biggest stars and one of the most widely respected players in the modern history of the game. He’s also set to become an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of the new league year, as the eight-year contract extension he signed in 2013 is expiring. So, naturally, given his age and contract situation, there is a significant amount of attention fixated on Bergeron’s future with the only NHL club he has ever known.
There is at least some uncertainty here. As relayed by The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Bergeron said today that he will need time to make a decision about his future and whether he will continue playing. But, with that in mind, when asked if he could imagine playing for another team if he chooses to continue his career, there was no hesitation from Bergeron. He gave a simple answer: “no.” While Bergeron may be now well into his late-thirties, his game is still at an elite level. He is expected to be among the top contenders for a Selke Trophy once again, and he was productive offensively, scoring 25 goals and 65 points in 73 games. So, he would likely have many suitors on the open market if he sought to explore other options. But based on his comments today, it seems that he is making it clear to the hockey world that he will remain a Boston Bruin for the rest of his playing days.
Now, for some other notes regarding the Bruins:
- It seemed that Bergeron’s longtime partner in crime Brad Marchand was his normal self in the team’s playoff series versus the Hurricanes, agitating opposing players and fans while stuffing the net to the tune of eleven points in seven games. But in reality, despite that production, Marchand was not his normal self, at least regarding his health. Marchand revealed today, per Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now, that he had been playing through an injury to his shoulder since suffering the ailment due to a hit from Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway in the regular season. While he remained productive throughout the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, Marchand did say that there was the possibility that he may require surgery this summer. He noted that he would need to “get it checked” with doctors first, though.
- Marchand is not the only Bruin who was playing through an injury in the first round. Today Matt Grzelcyk revealed (per Matt Porter of the Boston Globe) that he had been playing through a dislocated shoulder, and that he would need surgery this offseason. He also noted that his recovery from that surgery could cause him to miss the start of next season. Grzelcyk only got into five games against the Hurricanes and did not manage to score a point, play that could be reflective of the toll the injury was taking on his game. Grzelcyk did have a productive regular season, though, and ranked second among Bruins defensemen in points. He has grown into one of the more important defensemen the Bruins have, so getting him back to health will be crucial if Boston wants to hit the ground running at the start of next season.