Classy Patrice Bergeron,, the best two way player of his era and arguably of the entire modern era, has hung up his skates.
"I have given the game everything that I have physically and emotionally, and the game has given me back more than I could have ever imagined. It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player."
Bergeron, who spent the past three seasons as captain of the Bruins, won his second-consecutive and sixth overall Selke Trophy this past season.
A draft pick of the Bruins in 2003 with the 45th overall pick, Bergeron, a native of L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, has 427 goals and 1,040 points in 1,294 career regular-season games. He's third in franchise history in games played behind Johnny Bucyk (1,436) and Ray Bourque (1,518). He also sits behind the same duo for third in points in Bruins' history.
A Stanley Cup champion with the Bruins in 2011, Bergeron is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, winning with Team Canada at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. He won gold at the 2005 world juniors and also won gold at the 2004 world hockey championship.
"Over the last 20 years I have had the honor of taking the ice with so many great teammates," Bergeron wrote in his statement. "I have tried to learn something from each and every one of you and I always tried to be the best teammate that I could be. I will never forget your trust, the laughs, the endless memories, the ups and downs, and ultimately the long lasting friendships. I will forever be grateful being a part of such an exceptional group of men, and I will carry the pride of winning in 2011 with me forever."
"There is only one other jersey that I ever wanted to wear, and that is the Canadian jersey," he continued. "Representing my country at the highest level - especially winning Gold in Vancouver and Sochi are also some of my proudest moments. I would like to thank everyone who helped make those experiences possible."
Bergeron was also presented with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2012-13 and earned the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2020-21.
“How many players in the league could be the game star and get no points,” said Hall of Fame coach Ken Hitchcock, who had Bergeron at two best-on-best Olympic Games. “He had games like that where he completely controlled the game. He completely controlled your team."
“I’ve always thought that the Selke Award was for the most complete player in the league and that’s why Bergie won it so often,” Hitchcock continued. “He could score big goals, get big points, shut down your best player and be dependable every day under all circumstances. As a coach, you never had to talk to him. We’re talking about a once-in-a-lifetime player here.”
“My first thought about Patrice Bergeron: He’s a winner," said Ken Holland, who was also part of the those Canadian victories "You look at those numbers. Wins, goals against, penalty kill, faceoffs. He touches every one of those areas. He’s on power play. He’s on penalty kill. He’s on late in a game when you’re down a goal. He’s on late in the game when you’re up by a goal and protecting a lead. He plays in every situation and he played his entire career against the best players on the other teams.”