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Keep Calm and Bergeron: Bruins sign Patrice Bergeron to Long-term Extension

Just days after inking Tuukka Rask to a long-term deal, the Boston Bruins have signed Patrice Bergeron to an eight-year extension that will pay him an average of $6.5 million per year. The contract extension will start during the 2014-15 NHL season, and Bergeron will play out the final year of his current three-year, $15 million contract. The eight-year term is the longest contract length allowed by the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement for a team to retain its own players, for Bergeron, it’s a contact he’s earned.

Bergeron, alongside captain Zdeno Chara, has been the face of the franchise for a Bruins team that has made it to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in the last three years, and has already hung one championship banner inside Boston’s TD Garden. It’s worth mentioning that the Cup-clinching goal in 2011 came off of Bergeron’s stick. He’s become almost a cult hero in Boston, especially after playing through a broken rib, a separated shoulder, and torn cartilage in last year’s playoffs.

The ‘A’ on his jersey might as well be a ‘C.’ Bergeron has been the central figure in this current Bruins era, and has led the Bruins both on and off the ice. It didn’t take the Bruins organization long to realize they had something special in the kid from Quebec City. Team Canada certainly thought so too: Bergeron was a member of the 2010 Gold Medal-wining Olympic team, and seems like a lock to rejoin the team for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Bergeron has crafted himself into the Swiss Army Knife of forwards, doing whatever the Bruins need him to do, and his stats reflect that. Early in his career when the Bruins were hard-pressed for goals, Bergeron scored 31 goals (73 points in total). When the team needed a strong defensive center, Bergeron transformed himself into a perennial Selke candidate. He has become a fixture on both the Bruins powerplay and penalty kill units, all while posting a tremendous plus/minus rating when playing five-on-five. Legitimate three-zone players are hard to find in today’s NHL, and Boston just locked up one of the best.

Bruins sign Patrice Bergeron to Long-term Extension
The Boston Bruins signed alternate captain Patrice Bergeron to an eight-year extension that will pay him an average of $6.5 million per year.
(Brian Babineau/Getty Images)

Earlier in July, Bergeron was asked about the possibility of staying in Boston for his entire career. His answer? “That’s the goal since the beginning.” Bergeron added that Boston was “the team that believed in me when I was 18… Now, it’s my home.” Bergeron also stated that he loves the city, and its people, and the feeling is definitely mutual. Number 37 shirts and jerseys have become almost ubiquitous in the city of Boston, and for good reason: Bergeron is the perfect Bruin.

It’s about time the Bruins made Patrice Bergeron a Bruin for life. This new extension will run through the 2021-22 season, and when it ends, (assuming Bergeron stays in Boston for the entire deal) he will have worn the spoked-B for half of his life. Bergeron is arguably the most important player to the Boston Bruins, and signing a long-term deal with the Black and Gold has always felt inevitable. Today it’s official: he’s here to stay.

Sean Gilpatrick

Sean Gilpatrick

Sean graduated from Roger Williams University in 2011 with a degree in English Literature. He's been watching the Bruins long enough to remember when Cam Neely wore skates instead of a suit. Sergei Samsonov is his spirit animal.
Sean Gilpatrick

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