The Boston Bruins had the most dominant regular season in NHL history in 2022-23 but were shocked in the first round of the playoffs by the wild card Florida Panthers. While it wouldn't be accurate to say that Boston's Stanley Cup window has since completely closed around the current core with today's retirement of likely future Hall of Fame forward Patrice Bergeron, the odds of the Bruins winning it in 2024 got a bit longer. They're now priced at +1400 at DraftKings. Remember, the Bruins were Cup favorites for almost the entirety of the past regular season and before the postseason.
"It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player," Bergeron said in a statement released by the team. "As hard as it is to write, I also write it knowing how blessed and lucky I feel to have had the career that I have had, and that I have the opportunity to leave the game I love on my terms. It wasn't a decision that I came to lightly. But after listening to my body, and talking with my family, I know in my heart that this is the right time to step away from playing the game I love."
Bergeron will go down as a legend in the New England after 19 seasons with the Bruins, a record six Selke Trophies (given to the NHL's best defensive forward), three All-Star appearances, 1,294 games played, 1,040 points and one Stanley Cup title in 2011. He scored two goals, including the game-winner, in Game 7 of that Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver. Bergeron, who just turned 38 yesterday, was still incredibly effective last season with 27 goals, 31 assists and a plus-35 rating that was the eighth best in the league. He won his sixth Selke Trophy.
Only Ray Bourque and Johnny Bucyk played more games with the Bruins. Bergeron's 427 goals trail only Bucyk and Phil Esposito with Boston, and he's one of just four all-time Bruins who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for their career. His 1,040 points trail only Bourque and Bucyk.
Bergeron's No. 37 surely will be retired to the rafters of TD Garden. He pondered retirement after last season but signed a one-year deal. After the shocking first-round Game 7 home loss to Florida, Bergeron took the time to hug every single one of his teammates before the team headed to the locker room.
Boston opens the preseason on Sept. 24 vs. the Rangers, and the regular season on Oct. 11 vs. Chicago and No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard. The Bruins are +330 second favorites behind Toronto (+215) to repeat in the Atlantic Division. Regular-season points totals haven't been posted yet at the sportsbooks, but the Bruins obviously will be set well below their record 135 total from last year.
The Bruins now await another key decision by a top forward: David Krejci is reportedly considering a return to Boston, retirement or playing in his native Czech Republic. He did play there in 2021-22 but returned to the NHL last season and had 16 goals, 40 assists and a plus-23 rating in 70 games for Boston. The Bruins also traded away forwards Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to Chicago in June.
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story