The NHL became a slightly worse place on Tuesday as the news of Patrice Bergeron’s retirement broke. He penned a letter to hockey fans that announced it and it came from the heart.
Throughout Bergeron’s career, he became the greatest two-way forward who ever lived. The man won the Selke Trophy (which goes to the NHL’s best defensive forward) a record total of six times. That is a mark that may never be broken.
Bergeron was a winner. He won the Stanley Cup once in 2011 and made two other appearances in the final (2013, 2019).
He also was a big representative of his country of Canada throughout his career. From World Junior Championships to Olympic Gold Medals to World Cup wins, Bergeron did it all.
Patrice Bergeron was one of the best players in Boston Bruins history.
Becoming a member of the quadruple gold club (world junior win, Stanley Cup win, Olympic Gold, World Cup of Hockey win) is incredibly difficult to do and Bergeron did it.
With teammates like Jaromir Jagr, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, and David Krejci over the years, Bergeron learned a lot. He ended up being the captain of the Bruins for a few years at the end and he can say he was one of the best at that too.
When people are showing their kids how to be a hockey player, they should show them tape of Patrice Bergeron. He might have not won scoring titles or anything like that but that wasn’t his game. He was just elite at everything.
He could score a big goal, make a big hit, or block a big shot at any given time. He killed penalties, was amazing on the power play, and dominated at even strength. Very few players can say all three of those things.
Bergeron’s career spanned 19 seasons after being a 2nd-round pick (45th overall) in the 2003 NHL Draft. That was the greatest draft of all time and it is still wild that he fell that far. He would go first if it were redone which is insane to think about.
Every one of those 19 seasons was spent with the Boston Bruins. With a team so rich in history, he managed to become one of their all-time greatest players. Yes, he is there with Bobby Orr, Raymond Bourque, and Phil Esposito amongst others in franchise history in terms of greatness.
He finishes his career with 427 goals and 613 assists for 1040 points in 1294 games played. People might not like plus-minus but this man was plus-289 in his NHL career. That is insanity.
The league will miss Patrice Bergeron because he represented everything great about the game we love. He was amazing at every part of the game both on and off the ice. He really was the perfect hockey player.