Patrice Bergeron has officially retired.
The news was announced in a statement from Bergeron released by the Bruins this morning.
We knew this day would come someday, but we all hoped it wouldn’t be today.
Bergeron spent all 19 of his NHL seasons with the Bruins, starting as a recently drafted 18 year old back in 2003.
You all know many of the other accolades well by now: a Stanley Cup in 2011, six Selke Trophies, six gold medals with Team Canada (including two Olympic golds), a Messier Award, a King Clancy Trophy, and a top-5 Hart Trophy finish.
All of that boils down to 1,040 points in 1,294 regular season games, plus an additional 128 points in 170 playoff games.
With his career officially over, Bergeron will go down as one of the greatest Bruins of all time and arguably the best two-way player in NHL history.
It’s remarkable to consider how much Bergeron achieved when you remember how close he came to having his career ended by Randy Jones of the Philadelphia Flyers.
You can read Bergeron’s full statement at the link above.
Here are a few excerpts:
For the last 20 years I have been able to live my dream every day. I have had the honor of playing in front of the best fans in the world wearing the Bruins uniform and representing my country at the highest levels of international play. I have given the game everything that I have physically and emotionally, and the game has given me back more than I could have ever imagined.
It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player.
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.
In typical Bergeron fashion, he goes on to thank a number of people who helped make his career possible.
Bergeron will address the media at TD Garden tomorrow at 11:30 AM.
I’d assume he’ll have his number raised to the Garden rafters sooner rather than later, but there will be plenty of time to figure that out.
A bittersweet day for B’s fans, as it’s too bad that we won’t get to see Bergeron’s on-ice excellence again, but it’s good to see him going out on his own terms.