During his career, Patrice Bergeron was a shut down center on the defensive end, winning six Selke Trophies as the league's best defensive forward.
In retirement, Bergeron has now turned from shutting down opposing players to shutting down rumors.
Last Wednesday, former NHLer (and Massachusetts native) Ryan Whitney hinted at a potential return for Bergeron on the prominent hockey podcast Spittin' Chiclets. Whitney, while acknowledging some skepticism, reported that the 38-year-old had been skating in the Boston area.
Given a chance to respond, Bergeron didn't leave much room for further speculation in an interview with The Canadian Press, while admitting that although he was indeed skating, it was not quite an NHL-caliber workout.
"No, it is not happening. I’m not making a comeback, not trying to make a comeback."- Former Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron
Bergeron spent his entire 19-year career with the Boston Bruins, suiting up for 1,294 games in the black and gold while notching over one thousand points. Bergeron spent the last three years of his tenure wearing the "C" for the Bruins after serving as the team's alternate captain for over a decade. He was also a member of the 2011 Stanley Cup championship team.
Bergeron announced his retirement on July 23, after Boston's record-breaking regular season came to a heartbreaking Game 7 end in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The 2023-2024 Bruins have picked up right where last year's team left off, leading the league in points percentage and leading the Eastern Conference with 67 points in 46 contests. This year's Bruins have made their former captain proud:
"Very proud. I’m not surprised, if I’m being completely honest. I knew they would be more than fine. So much talent and experience and leadership and character in that locker room."- Bergeron on the 2023-24 Boston Bruins
Bergeron has little left to prove. He is one of only thirty hockey players to earn membership in the prestigious Triple Gold Club by winning an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship gold, and the Stanley Cup. Bergeron also took home two leadership awards (King Clancy in 2013 and Mark Messier in 2021) as he was universally regarded as one of the league's best representatives and a consummate professional.
Bergeron is destined for enshrinement at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will be eligible for selection after the 2025-26 season, assuming that he does not appear in a professional or international contest before then.
At least for the time being, it doesn't look like that date will be delayed as Bergeron continues to enjoy keeping his skates limited to a recreational level.