By Alex Uva
With Tom Brady doing the unimaginable and taking his historic career to Tampa Bay, he has now passed the torch to Patrice Bergeron as the longest-tenured athlete in the city of Boston. Brady, who had previously spent 20 years in New England, has signed with the Buccaneers for the 2020 NFL season. So now, it is Patrice Bergeron’s city. Patrice Bergeron has been a very underrated part of the greatness Boston sports has seen over the last decade. His 16 years as a member of the Boston Bruins now makes him the veteran sports star of the city.
Patrice Bergeron was drafted 45th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins. The 18-year-old from Quebec was not supposed to make the Bruins roster out of camp but his determination proved many people wrong. Bergeron made the roster in the 2003-04 season and tallied 39 points in 71 games for a stellar rookie season. After his rookie season, he continued to improve as he led the Bruins in points with 73 in the 2005-06 season. Bergeron was emerging as one of the NHL’s best young players until a possible career changing injury in the 2007-08 season caused a setback in his career. Bergeron was hit from behind against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008 and was diagnosed with a grade-three concussion. During his long road to recovery, there were many doubts about his immediate future in the NHL, with people questioning if he would return as the rising star he was before his injury. Bergeron returned the next season and has not looked back, emerging as a top player in the NHL and continuing that to this day.
Not only is Bergeron one the most complete players in the NHL, he is also a winner. His leadership and work ethic has helped him win at every level. Not only was he an integral part in the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup championship, but he has also won Olympic gold twice, and a World Championship gold medal. Not many people realize how difficult of an accomplishment this is to achieve as Bergeron is one of only 29 players, all time, to do so. Bergeron is also a 4-time Selke Trophy winner as the best defensive forward in the NHL. Although he may not have the resume of Tom Brady, Bergeron is a winner, in his own right, and is the perfect replacement as the longest-tenured athlete in Boston.
Patrice Bergeron, now 34, is showing no signs of slowing down. Before the season was put on pause due to COVID-19, he was one goal shy of his career high of 32 with 12 games to go. Bergeron has two years remaining on his cap friendly eight-year, 55-million-dollar contract with the Bruins and is sure to be extended when his deal is over. With the current Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on the backend of his career at age 43, Bergeron is waiting in the wings of being appointed the next captain of the Bruins.
As one of the most underrated players in the NHL, only Boston fans truly see on a daily basis of how special Bergeron is. Although he is well respected throughout the city by the fans and media, he has been in the shadows of the other Boston stars in the past decade. With greats such as Tom Brady, David Ortiz, and Paul Pierce running the city for many years, Bergeron has not received the true recognition he deserves. Now, it is Bergeron’s city. He is the most ideal
person to represent Boston sports, both on and off the ice. He is so well respected through the way in which he carries himself as a natural born leader, and a polished man that is very active in the community. Bergeron arranges Patrice’s Pals, at the TD Garden, where he brings in patients from local hospitals to experience VIP access to Bruins games. He is a true role model for all of the young players and fans in the New England area. There could not be a better replacement as the face of Boston sports than Patrice Bergeron. Hopefully Boston sports fans start to appreciate the future Hall of Famer more, as they have for the many great sports leaders before him.