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PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 25: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins during a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins at PPG PAINTS Arena on April 25, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 1-0. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Just over a month away from the start of his 18th season, Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is truly and officially in year-to-year mode.

So much so that the 36-year-old Bergeron, who is entering the final year of his current contract, isn’t focusing on anything beyond the upcoming season.

“I’m gonna play out this year and then talk about [my future] after,” Bergeron said Wednesday. “That’s something a lot of people have asked me this summer. I think that, for me, the way I approach [it] is I wanna concentrate on this year. I have a year left on my contract and I think it’d be useless of me to think about the future.”

The unknown is always unsettling, and Bergeron essentially refusing to commit to a 19th season is exactly that. Even if Bergeron is saying everything else that would make you believe that the inevitable end is a bit farther down the road.

“I feel good,” Bergeron said of his health entering 2021-22. “I feel healthy, confident, and mentally I’m excited. I want to play this year, have a good year as a team, and that’s where my focus is. But I do feel great.”

And, to be fair, this isn’t a change from Bergeron said following the 2021 postseason.

“I feel fine,” Bergeron said following Boston’s second-round exit at the hands of the New York Islanders back in June. “Obviously, the usual aches and bruises of a season and playoff hockey. The groin held up fine this year, which is great news. I’ll take it a year at a time and see how my body feels and all that.”

If you were caught snoozing for even a second, it was pretty easy to miss that little “we’ll see” in regards to his future.

But he said it then, and he’s saying it now. A ‘normal’ summer after a 2020 summer bubble postseason and 2021 season that went into July didn’t come with any sort of clarity or a new deal to keep Bergeron in Boston beyond this upcoming season.

So, again, this is truly year-to-year mode for No. 37.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have made it known that Bergeron will have a spot on the Bruins for as long as he’d like.

“Patrice and Kent Hughes, his representative, and I, have had discussions about where Patrice is at and we’ll keep those as private as we do it all the others,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said back in August. “And [we’ll] 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.

“We’ll leave it at that.”

Bergeron, who finished his first season as the team’s captain with 23 goals and 48 points in 54 games played, has played the third-most games in franchise history (1,143). Bergeron’s 375 goals are the fifth-most in team history, while his 917 points are the fourth-most on the club’s all-time list.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.