Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron made it clear once again Monday that there was never a chance he was going to play for another NHL team, let alone the Montreal Canadiens, a team he grew up hating as a Quebec Nordiques fan and then played against in one of the greatest rivalries in pro sports.
When the Montreal Canadiens hired Patrice Bergeron’s longtime agent Kent Hughes back on January 19, the rumors that Hughes would try and lure his longtime client and Boston Bruins captain to the other side of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry began on almost immediately. After signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return to the Boston Bruins for another season, Bergeron, 36, who became an unrestricted free agent on July 13, reiterated – more than once – that it was either going to be retirement or a 19th season in Black and Gold. Bergeron was then asked point blank if Hughes tried at all to lure him to Montreal and close his career out in his hometown province.
“No, I think he knows better. He did not,” Bergeron said of his longtime agent and current Montreal Canadiens GM. “We’ve known each other for 20 years. So, he knows that the Bruins is – that was the only place that I wanted to be. And if things would have been different, if I had thought any differently, he knew that maybe I would have reached out after July 13. But there was never a doubt in my mind. So, he knew that he had to stay out of the way and just let me make my decision with the family.”
Patrice Bergeron also credited Montreal-based Quartexx Management agent Phil Lecavalier, who became Bergeron’s agent when Hughes became the new GM for the Montreal Canadiens. There’s no doubt that Bergeron took way less money than most agents would advise him to take given he was the 2022 Selke Trophy winner after winning for a record fifth time this past season and also made the 2022 All Star game.
“There were a lot of things that we had to work on, and you mentioned Phil — kudos to him,” Bergeron said of Lecavalier who is the brother of Montreal Canadiens special advisor to hockey operations Vincent Lecavalier. “I think there are a lot of agents sometimes that are trying to get the most out of every deal, but I think sometimes you need to listen to your players, and I think he did a great job of that. He knew what I wanted, I wanted to come back with the Bruins and Bruins only, there was no question about that. I wanted to make it work with management, so I took the time, and we took the time together to make it work, and I thought that ‘Sweens’ and Cam were amazing throughout the process, and Phil as well. It all played out.”