Although Patrice Bergeron is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he says he has no desire to leave the Boston Bruins — not even for Montreal.
On May 14, the Bruins were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes from the first round of the NHL playoffs. As the Boston players made their way off the ice, each one took the chance to hug their 36-year-old captain, whose future with the organization is uncertain.
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“I don’t know, to be honest with you,” said Bergeron, whose been a Selke trophy finalist for the past 11 seasons. “I’m going to need some time to think about a lot of things and come up with the best decision for myself and my family.”
🎥 Patrice Bergeron on when he’ll come to a decision regarding his future: “I don’t know, to be honest with you. I think it’s just more time…I’m gonna need some time to think about a lot of things and come up with the best decision for myself and my family.” pic.twitter.com/qAecDa8Avu
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 16, 2022
Because of his status as one of the best French-Canadian players in the game along with his connection to his former agent current Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes, the rumour mill in Montreal has gone into overdrive.
But despite a return to his home province making sense on paper, Bergeron, a lifelong Nordiques fan, told one reporter that he does not intend to play for the Habs.
Chatted with Bergeron off to the side (open locker rooms!) and he shot down the Montreal possibility.
Can see how dots would be connected, but no.
— matt porter (@mattyports) May 16, 2022
For now, there seem to only be two viable options for Bergeron: retirement or another year with the Bruins.
“I’ve been here for my whole career,” he said, after denying the desire to join another organization. “Obviously it’s a special place for me. It’s not on my mind right now. I just need to take time and regroup.”
As for Montreal, they may still have the opportunity to sign veteran French-Canadian all-stars like Claude Giroux and Kristopher Letang, both of which may be made available this July via free agency.