Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron shot down a rumour out of Boston that he was going to sign with the Montreal Canadiens in unrestricted free agency this summer.
The Boston Bruins’ season has been over for just a few days, and already the talk of seeing Bergeron leave the Boston Bruins for the Montreal Canadiens had begun to pick up.
On NBC Sports on Saturday night, former NHLer Tony Amonte was interviewed on Thursday night to discuss the future of their captain and didn’t hesitate for a second.
“Montreal Canadiens,” said Amonte on what he thinks is next for Bergeron. “His former agent, now the GM in Montreal. Just makes a lot of sense. I think it makes sense.”
When pressed to see whether or not it was just a gut feeling or his he’s heard any information that could tangibly link Bergeron to the Canadiens, Amonte responded the best he could without giving too much away.
“I’ve heard a little bit; rumblings that have been going on,” said Amonte on Bergeron’s future. “People have been talking a little bit. Just a bit of talk behind the scenes.”
On Monday, Bergeron himself was asked point blank if he envisioned himself playing anywhere else other than for the Bruins, the only franchise he’s ever know for 18 seasons in the NHL:
“No. I’ve been here for my whole career. Obviously it’s a special place for me. It’s not on my mind right now. I just need to take time and regroup,” the longtime Bruins center said bluntly and moved onto the next question.
Bergeron To The Montreal Canadiens Doesn’t Make Sense
Now, Amonte also says that Bergeron grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Bergeron grew up a diehard Nordiques fan and has represented the Black and Gold for almost twenty years. With the core of the Bruins still likely intact for one more year before major decisions will need to be taken, it doesn’t make sense for Bergeron to leave the ship just yet to venture over to a team he grew up despising as a kid and then as a pro.
It would be more logical to assume that Bergeron would sign a short-term deal, perhaps a one-year deal, to give it one final go with the Bruins before they inevitably retool their roster. The Bruins simply need to address their second-line center and add another top-4 defenceman and they should be in good shape for next season. If the Bruins fail to win it all next season, and Bergeron feels like he’s done all he can; he can retire in style as a lifetime Bruin; a feat that has become incredibly rare in the modern NHL.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens are seemingly going through a rebuild and do not have the fiscal clarity to be able to dish out the kind of money Bergeron would want. Furthermore, it would also put them in an unsustainable competitive situation, as Bergeron is too good a player to not vault Montreal out of the bottom-10 of the standings and into a bubble playoff team. The fit simply doesn’t feel right, pun intended, and the Canadiens shouldn’t be going hunting for big fish, which is something general manager Kent Hughes has openly admitted they wouldn’t do in the past.
Bergeron should retire a Bruin and based on his words on Monday it would be a real shock to see him ever put on the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge.