By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins will have a new team captain in 2021.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, though not in a rush to make it official as the Bruins let Zdeno Chara’s departure ‘breathe’ for a little bit longer, called the decision that’ll be made on that front an “obvious one.” And in case that alone didn’t spell out the inevitable for you, it’ll be first-line center Patrice Bergeron.
A Bruin since 2003 and currently the longest-tenured Boston athlete, the 35-year-old Bergeron is indeed the obvious choice.
Just ask Chara.
“Absolutely, no question— Patrice is going to be the next captain of the Boston Bruins,” Chara said Thursday in his first Zoom conference as a member of the Capitals. “I think everybody knows that. He’s absolutely the right person to have as the captain. He’s been part of the Bruins organization for 16 years now, and he’s done so much for the team, the organization, and the community. He’s going to be an unbelievable captain and leader.”
Considered Chara’s co-captain within the Boston locker room, Bergeron’s personality, even if more understated and lead-by-example than scream in your face, makes him an easy pick as the 19th captain in franchise history. Like Chara, Bergeron’s approach to the game and each shift sets the standard for the rest of the team, and those hoping to make the team. Bergeron has also accomplished it all for the Bruins, and has been one of the most prolific big-moment contributors in B’s history.
That part of it wasn’t lost on his now-former co-captain.
“He’s obviously well-proven in crunch-time to deliver,” Chara noted. “The impact he has on the players, teammates, coaches, fans and everyone in the community is tremendous. I can’t imagine anybody else to be the captain. I’m truly very happy he’s going to be the next captain. He really deserves it. I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done for the Bruins and me, personally, supporting our vision and leading together in Boston.
“I’m very happy for him.”
The Bruins will open training camp on Jan. 3, and will likely formally name Bergeron their team captain at the conclusion of training camp and before the team drops the puck on their 2021 season on Jan. 14.