Boston – On Monday, the Boston Bruins signed captain Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, two members of their 2011 Stanley Cup championship squad, to one-year contracts.
Bergeron signed a one-year contract with the Bruins over three months after leaving the ice with no guarantee of returning. A few hours later, the team revealed that Krejci, who played in his native Czechia last season, will return in 2022-23.
Bergeron received a $2.5 million contract with $2.5 million in incentives, while Krejci received a $1 million contract with the possibility of an additional $2 million. Bergeron is the Bruins’ all-time leading scorer with 982 points, while Krejci is seventh with 730.
Bergeron, 37, and Krejci, 36, led the Bruins to the 2011 NHL championship and two subsequent Stanley Cup Final appearances. On May 14, the Boston Bruins were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes, and three weeks later, coach Bruce Cassidy was fired.
Jim Montgomery was hired to replace Cassidy, and at his first press conference, the new coach stated that Bergeron, a five-time Selke Trophy winner, was his first call. Bergeron is likely to return, according to Team CEO Charlie Jacobs.
In July, he said, “Fingers crossed.”
It was successful.
Bergeron has 400 goals and 582 assists in 18 seasons, all with the Bruins, whom he was drafted in the second round in 2003. He has since established himself as the league’s dominant two-way forward and one of the game’s most respected players.
When he does leave, the Bruins will retire his No. 37, making him the 12th player to do so. As soon as he is eligible, he will almost certainly be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on the first vote.
But it won’t happen until at least 2026.
Krejci has 215 goals and 515 assists in 15 NHL seasons, all with the Bruins, and led the Bruins in scoring during their Stanley Cup run in 2011 with 12 goals and 11 assists in 25 games. Last season, he led HC Olomouc in scoring with 20 goals, 26 assists, and 46 points in 51 games.
Bergeron is the third-most-played player in Bruins history, with 1,216 games played, and ranks fourth in goals, assists, and points. With 47 playoff goals and 123 points, he ranks second all-time for the Original Six franchise.
Bergeron’s 11-year streak as a Selke finalist — including this year — is the longest in NHL history, topping Wayne Gretzky’s record of 10 years in a row as an MVP finalist. (Gretzky was awarded the Hart Trophy nine times.)
Bergeron played without a future contract for the first time in his career in 2021-22, scoring 25 goals and adding 40 assists while leading the Bruins to the playoffs for the 14th time in his 18 seasons. The Hurricanes defeated them in seven games.
“That’s probably why this one hurts more, the unknown for next year with him,” said forward Brad Marchand, the team’s second-longest tenured player, following the Game 7 loss.
“He’s done so much for this group and made so many sacrifices,” Marchand added. “It would have been lovely to run well for him.” As a result, it’s disheartening.”
Bergeron was the final Boston player to leave the ice in Carolina, leading his teammates through the post-series handshake line with the Hurricanes before remaining on the ice to hug each of his teammates.
However, he stated that he had not made a decision concerning his future.
“When it finishes like that, it’s tough,” Bergeron remarked after the game. “It hurts. It’s not the emotion you’re looking for. But, having said that, we did it together.”
Bergeron. Krejci and Marchand are the only remaining members of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup winning squad. Longtime captain Zdeno Chara will leave as a free agency in 2020, and goalie Tuukka Rask will end his comeback from hip surgery in the middle of this season.
The Bruins’ attack is led by 25-year-old David Pastrnak, defence is led by 24-year-old Charlie McAvoy, and goaltending is handled by 22-year-old Jeremy Swayman. Midseason acquisition Hampus Lindholm, 28, was made to shore up the defence, and Marchand, 33, is one of the league’s most dangerous scorers.
However, losing Bergeron would have marked the end of the team’s most successful era since the Big, Bad Bruins of Hall of Famers Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers, and John Bucyk.
“He’s our team’s backbone.” He is clearly the most important member of our team “Marchand stated following the playoff exit. “So, yes, we want him to return. Whatever occurs, he has earned the right to make whatever decisions he wants and to take as much time as he requires.”