He has worn a spoked-B for nearly two decades, so it is easy to take Patrice Bergeron for granted.
Every once in a while, you’ll be reminded that though he’s been a Boston Bruin since making the team out of his very first NHL training camp at age 18 in 2003, Father Time is starting to make his move from the back of the pack. This is not to say that the 36-year-old native of Quebec City is in his final days as a player, however.
Far from it.
However, David Krejci’s decision to leave the big lights, the big game and the big money of the NHL for his native Czech Republic’s top pro league, serves as a reminder that at some point, Bergeron will bid adieu to his adopted home of Boston.
The Bruins will have to face that day when it comes, but for now, we should all enjoy every opportunity to watch the Bruins captain in his role as the franchise. Top center, future first-ballot Hall of Famer, extra coach and mentor to young players and veteran newcomers alike.
“Being there for them if they need anything,” was Bergeron’s response when recently asked about what he’s doing for the newcomers. “Especially coming in, everything is new, whether it’s the locker room, finding your way, the equipment and everything- making sure you meet all the trainers and the staff and the people that are there for us and to help us. Making sure they feel comfortable getting used to all that and having some conversations, getting to know them.”
On some teams, the captain might be more aloof or allow the newcomers to come to them versus fostering a welcoming atmosphere, but Bergeron is not the captain of other teams. He’s been a part of a positive culture in Boston that has been one of the main reasons for a lot of collective success over the nearly 20 years he’s been on the roster.