BOSTON (CBS) – Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins agreed to a eight-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season on Friday, meaning the 27-year-old will likely finish career playing for just one franchise.
Bergeron’s new contract will have an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.
Bergeron, drafted by the Bruins in the second round — 45th overall — in the 2003 draft, has been one of Boston’s best players during his nine-year NHL career. He’s totaled 153 goals and 280 assists over 579 career games, with 20 goals and 37 assists in 83 playoff games.
The Bruins got six goals and 14 assists from Bergeron during their Stanley Cup run in 2010-11, including a pair of goals in Boston’s Cup-clinching Game 7 win in Vancouver.
This past postseason, Bergeron tallied nine goals, the second-most in the playoffs, and six assists in 22 games. His biggest goals of the playoffs came in Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins trailed the Leafs 4-3 when Bergeron knotted things up with just 51 seconds left on the clock. Then in overtime, he scored the game-winner to complete one of the greatest comebacks in Stanley Cup playoff history.
But those two goals against Toronto are nothing compared to what Bergeron did in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. While the Bruins lost the series in six games, Bergeron revealed that he played Game 6 with a broken rib and torn cartilage, and during the game suffered a separated shoulder. He was given a nerve block prior to and during the game to relieve the pain from the rib, and at one point he sustained a small hole in his lung — but still saw 17:45 of ice time in the 3-2 Bruins loss.
“I just did whatever any of my teammates would have done,” Bergeron said of the injuries.
Had the Bruins won Game 6, Bergeron fully expected to suit up for Game 7.
Bergeron has been making a difference for the Bruins since he was an 18-year-old rookie in 2003. His first season, he tallied 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) in 71 games, and added another goal and three more assists in seven playoff games. The following year, a missed season by the NHL due to a lockout, Bergeron had 61 points in 68 games for the Providence Bruins. When the NHL returned the following season, Bergeron was ready to make another leap, scoring a career-high 31 goals and finishing with a career-high 73 points in 2005-06. He had his second straight 70-point season in 2006-07, and had a hot start to the 2007-08 season before suffering a grade-3 concussion in the 11th game of the season from a Randy Jones check into the boards.
Bergeron would miss the rest of the 2007-08 season, and suffered another concussion during the 2008-09 campaign. He was sidlined for a month, but still finished with 39 points (8 goals, 31 assists) in 64 games played.
In 2011, Bergeron became the 26th member of the “Triple Gold Club,” players or coaches who have won an Olympic Gold Medal (Canada 2010), a World Championship Gold Medal (Canada 2004), and a Stanley Cup Championship.
He won his first Frank J. Selke Award, given to the NHL’s top defensive forward, in 2011-12, and was nominated again last season.
Bergeron is not only credited for his play on the ice, but leadership in the locker room and work in the Boston community. He was named the 2013 recipient of the King Clancy Trophy, which is awarded annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Now, he will continue to be a star player on the ice and leader off it, all in a Bruins sweater.