Asked on Monday if he sees himself playing elsewhere, Bergeron said: “No.
“I’ve been here my whole career. It’s obviously a special place for me. Like I said, that’s not on my mind. Right now, I just need to take some time and regroup.”
The Bruins lost 3-2 in Game Seven of the first round of the Eastern Conference to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, in what could be the captain’s last game with the team he’s played with for 18 seasons. Bergeron is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he has maintained throughout the season that he will wait until the Bruins’ season is over to make a decision.
This decision will not be to find another team.
But as Bergeron reiterated on Monday’s breakup day, he has yet to make the final call and is unsure how long it will take and exactly how to make it.
I don’t know, to be honest with you, said Bergeron. “I just think it’s time. Right now, it’s only been a couple of days. All I did was really enjoy the family at home. I’m going to need some time, just to think about a lot of things and come up with the best decision for me and my family.”
Bergeron, who is on the final season of the eight-year, $55 million contract that he signed on July 12, 2013, will turn 37 on July 24. He’s the Bruins’ top player but still has 65 points (25 goals and 40 assists) in 73 games and could race for the record-breaking fifth Frank J. Silk Cup as the best defensive striker in the game. Finalists for the award will be named on Tuesday.
He said he was not given a timeline or deadline by Bruins to make his decision.
“It’s obviously a family decision,” Bergeron said. “It’s the time I need, the decision I want to make the right decision. As much as the team, I’ve always believed in what this organization has done.
They always made sure that they would put the best team ahead and on the ice. I think they will do that in the future as well. So I’m not necessarily worried about that, and I think there are some great players in this locker room, and most of them are coming back. So for me it’s not necessarily something to be concerned about. It takes more time to make the right decision for me and my family.”
Video: BOS @ CAR, Gm7: Hurricanes, Bruins’ handshake exchange
Bergeron remained in relatively good health and scored a hat-trick in the regular season final against the Buffalo Sabers on April 28, his third career 400th goal. He has 982 points (400 goals, 582 assists) in 1216 matches.
Bergeron ranks third of all time in the Bruins in terms of matches, behind Ray Burke (1518) and Johnny Boucek (1436); Fourth in goals (Bosic 545, Phil Esposito 459, Rick Middleton 401). fourth in making assists (Burkey, 1111; Bossick, 794; Bobby Orr, 624); and fourth in points (Borque, 1506; Bossic, 1339; Esposito, 1012).
“Good. I feel good. The body feels good,” Bergeron said. “A little bit…obviously this year I’ve had nose and elbow and all that. But that’s just the usual of the season. But other than that, nothing to report.”
His teammates hoped to make the decision easier, to take the team to the Stanley Cup Final, win the cup, and let Bergeron out on top, as teammate Mark Rickey was able to do after the Bruins won the cup. in 2011.
It wasn’t meant to be.
But these same fellows, in particular Brad MarchandHopefully, they’ll at least get another chance to make it happen. Marchand, who has been at Bergeron’s wing for more than a decade, talked about what started as a business relationship and turned into a friendship, one that likely changed the left wing’s career.
“I watched one of the best players in our game doing his things on and off the ice and how he takes care of himself and trains and prepares. How much he cares. Then we became really good friends,” Marchand said. “I owe a lot of what I have been able to achieve for him. Not just because of playing on the same line with him, but just because of how great he is as a captain, and how amazing he is.
“To be able to learn day in and day out from a guy like that, I don’t think I really understood how much that means and how good it is for players to have a guy like that – not just him and [Zdeno Chara], but many men have arrived. It could have a huge impact on your career.”
Bergeron – and Chara, for that matter – is credited with advancing players like Charlie McAvoy And David Pasternakand knowing how much the players want to rise to Bergeron’s level and want to impress him and not let him down.
“I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done,” Marchand said. “An amazing fellow, captain, captain, and friend. He is such a special person.
“Losing Berge, when the time comes, this is a gap we will never fill.”