Turns out the tearful goodbye between Patrice Bergeron and his Boston Bruins teammates after they lost in Round 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs was not a goodbye after all.
It appears Bergeron, 36, won’t be retiring just yet. According to a tweet Thursday night from Boston hockey reporter and insider Joe McDonald, Bergeron has decided to return to the Bruins, likely on a one-year contract.
Terms of the deal are not yet known. But the return of Bergeron, who just set an NHL record by capturing his fifth Selke Trophy, could change the dynamic of Boston’s short-term future. The Bruins will open 2022-23 minus some of their biggest stars, as top-line left winger Brad Marchand and No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy are expected to miss the start of the season after having hip and shoulder surgery, respectively. Under the assumption that Bergeron was retiring, it appeared the Bruins would be seriously depleted to start next season and possibly headed for a rebuild, especially after they fired coach Bruce Cassidy despite him leading them to six straight playoff berths. Now, while they’ll still be weakened, they’ll at least have their No. 1 center and captain.
Bergeron, who will turn 37 before next season starts, ranks third on the Bruins’ career games list with 1,216. He’s also fourth in goals (400), assists (582) and points (982).