Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins announced today what everyone in the hockey-world already knew…center Patrice Bergeron will wear the captain’s “C” for the 2021 season. With the departure of long-time captain, defenseman Zdeno Chara, the choice was obvious. Bergeron was drafted by the Bruins with the 45th pick (2nd round) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has come to epitomize the franchise.
“It’s very humbling, it’s a huge honor,” said Bergeron. “There’s been some tremendous captains and leaders along the way, some legends of the game, and as I said it’s an absolute honor. I’m going to try and keep bettering myself, keep learning, and leading by example but also try to be me.”
Bergeron will be the 20th captain for the Original Six franchise joining the likes of Ray Bourque (1985-2000), Wayne Cashman (1977-1983), John Bucyk (1966-67 and 1973-77), and Milt Schmidt (1950-54) to name a few.
“It’s a historic franchise that’s done so much,” added Bergeron. “To be a part of it and to actually be named captain is something very special.”
Entering his 17th season with the Bruins, Bergeron has helped add to the historic legacy of the club. The 35-year-old centerman currently has 869 points (352 G, 517 A) good for sixth all-time in Bruins history. He is third in games played (1089) for the club. His 67 game-winning goals are also the third-most in franchise history. When it comes to the post-season, the 6′-1″ L’Ancienne Lorette, Quebec native is third in Bruins history in playoff games played (149), playoff points (111), playoff assists (69), and fourth in goals scored (42).
It’s not just the statistics, Bergeron carries some NHL hardware as well. He has won four Selke Awards for Best Defensive Forward (2012, 2014, 1025, and 2017) tying him with Hall of Famer Bob Gainey. He has been nominated for the award in nine consecutive years. In 2011 he helped lead the Bruins to their sixth Stanley Cup scoring two goals in Game Seven against Vancouver.
“I can’t say nothing but positives about Patrice,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. “I’m happy for him. To be named, I believe the 20th captain for the Boston Bruins. It’s a well-deserved honor for him. I think the guys would echo that sentiment. We still have a lot of good leaders in that room but we’ve identified him as the guy that should wear the “C” and rightfully so.”
Bergeron mentioned numerous players that have helped him along the way to become the player/person that he is today. Martin Lapointe, Shawn Thornton, Greg Campbell, and of course Chara.
“He’s always been a great influence on me,” said Bergeron of his former captain. “He’s helped me a lot.”
“There’s a culture that’s been established here for many, many years,” added the captain. “There’s been tremendous and amazing leaders and captains over the years, and Zee has obviously been one of those guys where there’s been a culture in place. And we’re going to try and carry that on.”
“He has all the attributes of a phenomenal leader on and off the ice,” said longtime line-mate Brad Marchand. “He’s been meant to be a captain 10 years ago. It’s been a long time coming.”
Marchand re-iterated the impact of Bergeron on and off the ice. This is evident in Bergeron winning the King Clancy Trophy in 2013, as well as being nominated in 2020. The award goes to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a humanitarian contribution to their community. Bergeron founded Patrice’s Pals in 2006 to help patients and children to Bruins games.
The Bruins kick off their 2021 season on January 14 against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm.
Bergeron photos appear courtesy of the Boston Bruins.