Bruins Beat: Bruins: From Kid To Captain

Patrice Bergeron’s retirement from the Bruins in 2023 has left a void that many knew could not be easily filled, but fans were left with a huge host of memories. When the talented youngster was selected by the Boston Bruins as their 2003 second round draft pick (#45 overall), not many could have surmised that they’d be watching this 18-year-older perform his hockey magic on Garden ice immediately, and for more than two decades. The Boston Globe and Triumph Books, put it all together nicely, gathering the captain’s interesting journey, all in one place for all to see, the 128-page book: ‘Patrice Bergeron: From Kid To Captain.’

Contained in the 128 pages is the time-line that follows number 37’s journey from his June 2003 draft announcement, right up to the end in 2023. His dedication to make the NHL team at such an early age, right out of juniors, that seemed like a rare chance to go from juniors to the NHL. But, this was Patrice Bergeron, whose intense desire and consistent play allowed the teen to eliminate any chance for the Bruins to even think about returning him to his junior team…Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Upon signing a three-year deal with Boston, Bergeron had the good fortune to be taken under the wing of veteran Marty Lapointe, who himself, a French-Canadian had been taken in the NHL’s 1991 Draft at #10 by the Detroit Red Wings, also at the age of 18. With Bergeron still learning the language and culture of his new surroundings, Lapointe invited him to live with him and his family. While already mature for his age, this opportunity helped Bergeron to quickly grow and learn to play in the NHL. The L’Ancienne-Lorette native made his Quebec roots proud during his 20-year-career, highlighted by a Stanley Cup Championship in 2011, and his sterling play which won him a record-high six Frank J. Selke Trophy awards as the NHL’s Best Defensive Forward, to go along with his Gold Medals, and many other honors he achieved during his illustrious career. Along with many awards, Bergeron also received some concussions that could’ve easily derailed his career, especially the 2007 hit he received from Philadelphia Flyers’ Randy Jones. Read about the ups-and-downs, and one can only marvel at the way Bergeron was able to handle each injury and obstacle that came his way.

Never one to stand still and his strong desire to make the NHL, it showed when Bergeron’s sophomore season was stalled due to the NHL’s forcing play to halt and the 2004-05 lockout occurred, he put his time to good use by playing with Boston’s AHL minor league’s Providence Bruins – earning 61 points in 68 games. Bergeron’s generosity began early in his career, within days after signing his contract, he bought a suite to be able to accommodate underprivileged and sick children at Bruins games, and which he maintained until the final days of his playing career. It all comes down to the fact that this person was not just a great hockey player, but that he was also a great, and genuine person. Proof: Regular season…19 years a Bruin, 1,294 games played, 427 goals, 613 assists, and 1,040 points – add to that, Playoff season…170 games, 50 goals, 78 assists, and 128 points. This book was done well with its wealth of newspaper articles pertaining to Bergeron, written by the Boston Globe staff, as well as a plethora of photos reminiscent of an outstanding career that spanned two decades and a Hockey Hall of Fame career for Patrice Bergeron! (Triumph Books/Boston Globe)

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