Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Patrice Bergeron met with members of the media today in Prague to announce a 3-year contract extension for Patrice Bergeron worth a reported $15 million.
During the short presser, Peter Chiarelli stressed how easy of a decision it was to re-sign the 25-year-old centerman, saying "He is a consummate professional and a he's terrific player and he's a terrific young man, so it wasn't a very hard decision to do this".
The B's GM praised #37 for his complete game, stating "He is a terrific two-way player who still has a lot of offensive upside."
Chiarelli touched on how rewarding it has been to see Bergeron grow as a player and a person and conveyed that he would like to see him stay with the Bruins organization for a long time to come. Chiarelli joked,"I hope to watch him grow to an old man".
Chiarelli said, "We are happy to get this deal done and I think Patrice feels the same way."
Bergy continued the lovefest and had nothing but great things to say about the Bruins organization especially the way they handled his concussion issues, "The Bruins organization has been awesome since day one. They drafted me. They took care of me right away and that's why I wanted to be in Boston. Especially after my injury, they did everything to make sure I was back 100% and they thought about the human being before the hockey player first and that was something that was pretty special to me."
Besides praising the B's organization, the Quebec native also talked about his love for the city he now calls home, saying "I love the city. I love Boston. I just feel comfortable in Boston." He added, "It is my home now. I just wanted to stay here."
While Bergeron would have had plenty of suitors on the open market, it was important for him to remain a Boston Bruin,"The priority for me was to stay in Boston."
Bergeron spoke briefly about how his long recovery from post-concussion symptoms helped him grow as a person and a hockey player, saying "The adversity that I faced with the concussions and all that is something that made me stronger and made me realize that hockey is my passion."
The B's forward thinks that the future looks bright in The Hub, saying "I'm excited about the team right now. I think we are going towards the right direction. We have a great team and a great core".
Some wondered if the deal was already hammered out before the team left for Europe or if they crossed the T's and dotted the I's on the other side of the pond. One scribe (I believe it was Kevin Paul Dupont, but I am not 100% sure based on the audio) jokingly asked Peter Chiarelli if it was "the Czech wine and architecture" that helped get the deal done. To that, Chiarelli quipped "It was the Czech beer".
Well, I will drink a toast of whatever libation acted as the lubricate to get this deal done. 3 more years in Black & Gold for the team's most complete player is definitely something to celebrate. I have said for years that Patrice Bergeron is the player that this franchise should be building around. He has offensive ability, is strong on the puck, very responsible in his own zone, and is one of the top face-off men in the league. When you consider what he was already earning ($5.75 million this season, $4.75 million cap hit) and how much some of his teammates are pulling down (I'm looking at you, Mr. Michael Ryder and Mr. Timothy Thomas), $5 million per season isn’t a bad price.
Oh yeah, he is also only 25 years old.
Now, they just need to give him the "C" and let this be his team.