In NHL, one thing that teams love to have is peace of mind regarding the future. While sports can change in an instant, NHL teams do tend to do a lot of work to try and build roster continuity. When they have a star to hold on to, they do everything they can to keep them sweet.
However, the Boston Bruins might be facing a season of relative uncertainty with the fact that club captain Patrice Bergeron has said he will not discuss his contract until the end of the season.
Bergeron, 36, is a one-club man and has been a real legend of Boston hockey for many years. He is, though, set to run out of contract at the end of the coming season. Many fans were hoping that club and player would find an agreement this autumn, avoiding any time wasted and worries about losing a genuine Boston sports icon.
The Center is set to run out of contract, and has made it clear that he is not interested in talking about his contract situation. Indeed, when pushed on the possibility of signing a new deal, he bluntly replied: “I’m going to play out this year, and then talk about that after,”
It’s a fair enough response, but it will be challenging for fans to ever accept a Boston side without the star involved. Bergeron could become an unrestricted free agent, ending a 17-year NHL spell with the Bruins. Given he was selected 45th in the 2003 NHL Draft, his career so far has been one of breaking assumptions and exceeding expectation.
Interestingly, reports say that Boston have more or less offered the player the chance to sign up for how long he wishes.
What happens next?
When speaking about his potential for a change, or a new contract, Bergeron said: “That’s something that a lot of people have asked me this summer,
“I think for me, the way that I approach this year is I want to concentrate on this year. I have a year left on my contract, and I think it’d be useless of me to think about the future. I think I want to create something special, as I said.”
On his goals for the future and the short-term, Bergeron added: “We obviously want to work towards winning a Stanley Cup. I know everyone says that, but it’s definitely our goal as a team. And I think we always are competitive to be in that group of teams. So I think that’s where that’s where my focus is at right now.”
Last year, the impressive veteran put a hugely impressive 23 goals and 25 assists across 54 regular season games. He also put together four gives and five assists in eleven play-off matches. They lost to the New York Islanders in the Second Round of the play-offs, and will be hoping to go further this season if they wish to convince their own in-house legend to stick around.