Even at 36 years of age, the Boston Bruins have decided they want Patrice Bergeron back. The veteran center and the team are already discussing the optics of a new deal and Bruins GM Don Sweeney has acknowledged the team’s intention to sign the player to another contract when his current $6.875 million per season deal expires at this coming season.
Sweeney was asked about how those contract negotiations were going and noted that he wouldn’t get into details of their talks. What he did say was, “Patrice and Kent Hughes, his representative, and I have had discussions about where Patrice is at.” Sweeney added, “We’ll keep those private as we do all the others and let him decide what path he wants to take. Obviously, it’s a completely open door for how long Patrice wants to play the game for us, and we’ll leave it at that.”
Essentially, what the Bruins are telling Bergeron is that he simply needs to let them know how long he wants to sign for and the Bruins won’t argue. Instead, they’ll accept any length of term — obviously within reason as the team isn’t about to give him an 8-year extension — and they’ll structure the financials of that deal around his desired term.
It’s an interesting approach. For example, if Bergeron only wants to sign one-year deals to close out his NHL career, are the Bruins ok with that? It puts a lot of pressure on the team to ensure they’re always icing a competitive roster. On the other hand, if Bergeron wants a three-year deal, will the Bruins happily pay him up to the age of 39 and 40? He seems to be the type of player that could produce at that age, but the per season AAV could be a question if he wants multiple years.
The Bruins already lost David Krejci this offseason (even though there is a chance he could eventually return). The team can’t afford to lose another big center. It makes sense the Bruins have told Bergeron it’s his show to run. Not only is it wise to make sure Bergeron knows he’s got the hammer, but he’s one of the few players who have earned it. There’s perhaps not a more respected player in the NHL.
Bergeron has scored 917 points (375 goals, 542 assists) in 1,143 games with the Bruins. He has scored 120 points (46 goals, 74 assists) in 160 Stanley Cup Playoff games and has been a finalist for the Selke Trophy, (forward voted as the best to excel in the defensive aspects of the game) nine consecutive seasons and has won it four times (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17).
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