Patrice Bergeron will not be playing for the Montreal Canadiens in 2022-23.
This is not something that should have been necessary to confirm in any fashion, but here we are.
Speaking with the media at his end-of-year availability Monday at Warrior Ice Arena, a hoarse-voiced and bruised Bergeron stood at his stall and fielded questions about a future he himself has limited knowledge about here on May 16. But no matter the decision inevitably made by Bergeron between now and the fall, it will not include a change of address, Bergeron stated.
“No,” Bergeron said when asked about the possibility of playing anywhere but Boston. “I’ve been here for my whole career. It’s a special place for me. [Playing anywhere else] is not on my mind. Right now I just need to take time and regroup.”
Again, the fact that Bergeron had to speak on this at all is and will always be goofy. Every rumor that’s ‘linked’ Bergeron to Montreal has been completely baseless and the worst game of “connecting the dots.” It’s been borderline fan-fiction to quench a thirst that’s been there since Tom Brady finally made the decision to leave New England for Tampa Bay.
As it related to the “rumor,” Bergeron’s ex-agent is the new general manager in Montreal, but that meant little to a Quebec City kid who grew up hating the Canadiens. Bergeron will also be the first to remind you that no, he’s not from Montreal. Oh, and we should also mention that the Canadiens are a legitimately awful team and with extremely limited cap flexibility.
It never made sense to anybody with even the slightest bit of a clue.
But back on Earth and for Bergeron, who does not have a contract for next season, there’s still no timeline on a decision.
“I’m gonna need some time to just think about a lot of things,” Bergeron said. “Obviously, it’s a family decision. It’s a decision and it’s time that I need in order to make the right [decision].
Bergeron’s decision isn’t about his pay day, role, or where the team it’s going.
It’s all about how he feels and how his family feels about a 19th NHL season.
“As far as the team, I’ve always believed in what this organization has done as a whole. They’ve always made sure they would put the best team forward on the ice, and I believe they’ll do that in the future as well. I think we have some great players in this locker room, and most of which are coming back. For me, it’s not something I’m concerned about. It’s more about taking time to make right decision for me and my family.”
The Bruins have made it known that Bergeron will have a place on this roster so long as he wants to keep playing. They haven’t informed Bergeron of any deadline on a decision from him, and it’s likely to stay that way.
But by now, it’s obvious it’s Bruins or nothing for No. 37.