Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins waves to fans before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The end of an era officially came Tuesday morning, as Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron formally announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after almost two decades with the organization.

Bergeron, who turned 38 years old on Monday, made the announcement via a statement through the club.

“It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player,” Bergeron’s statement read. “As hard as it is to write, I also write it knowing how blessed and lucky I feel to have had the career that I have had, and that I have the opportunity to leave the game I love on my terms. It wasn’t a decision that I came to lightly. But after listening to my body, and talking with my family, I know in my heart that this is the right time to step away from playing the game I love.”

In true Bergeron fashion, it was a heartfelt statement from start to finish, with almost no presence or figure left unmentioned, and included a message to the next generation of hockey players looking to be the next Bergeron.

“Finally, to the next generation of hockey players. I had a dream at 12 years old, and through hard work and perseverance my dreams came true more than I ever could have imagined. Respect the game and your peers. Welcome adversity and simply enjoy yourself. No matter where you go from there the game will bring you so much happiness,” the statement read.

“As I step away today, I have no regrets. I have only gratitude that I lived my dream, and excitement for what is next for my family and I. I left everything out there and I’m humbled and honored it was representing this incredible city and for the Boston Bruins fans.”

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins hugs Brad Marchand #63 before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins hugs Brad Marchand #63 before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Bergeron’s decision to call it quits comes after a 2022-23 season that featured 27 goals and 58 points, along with a plus-35 rating and league-best 61.1 faceoff percentage, in 78 games for the Bruins.

    Upright for almost the entire season, Bergeron and the Bruins suffered what was a devastating blow when Bergeron suffered what turned out to be a debilitating back injury in the final game of the regular season. That injury would force Bergeron to miss the first four games of Boston’s first-round series with the Panthers, and though he would return for the final three games of the series, it was clear that No. 37 did not look like the player he was in the regular season, and the Bruins lost all three of those games.

    Despite the ending, it was clear that Bergeron still has and had more left to give. But, as mentioned his statement, this retirement seemed to be about Bergeron going out on his terms.

  • Apr 26, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) gets ready for a face-off during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 26, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) gets ready for a face-off during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Panthers at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    Those terms included Bergeron going out with one more Selke Trophy, which extended his league-record for Selke Trophy victories up to six victories of the trophy awarded annually to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspect of the position. Bergeron’s 2023 victory was perhaps his most dominant yet, too, as he captured 187 of 196 possible first-place votes for this year’s honor.

    Bergeron finishes two Selke wins ahead of Canadiens legend Bob Gainey for the most in league history, and is one of just five players in league history to win the award at least three times, with Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehtinen, and Pavel Datsyuk on that list with Bergeron.

  • Nov 7, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) directs his teammates prior to a face-off during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 7, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) directs his teammates prior to a face-off during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    In addition to his two-way excellence, Bergeron will be remembered as what was the face of one of the most competitive eras of Bruins hockey. During his 19 years with Boston, the Bruins missed the playoffs just four times, and went to three Stanley Cup Finals with Bergeron on their roster, including that unforgettable win in 2011.

    Bergeron scored what would hold as the game-winning goal in Boston’s Game 7 win over the Canucks.

    Bergeron retires having played 170 career playoff games with the Bruins (second to only Ray Bourque and his 180 games played), and is third in playoff goals (50) and tied for second in playoff points (128) among all Boston skaters.

  • Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven

    VANCOUVER, BC – JUNE 15: Brad Marchand #63 and Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins celebrate with the Stanley Cup after Game Seven of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver. (Harry How/Getty Images)

    Bergeron retires third on the team’s all-time games list (1,294), third on their all-time goals list (427), fourth in assists (613), and third in points (1,040). Bergeron’s 81 game-winning goals are also the second-most in franchise history, trailing only Johnny Bucyk and his 88 career game-winning goals.

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