BOSTON (WPRI) — With the news of Zdeno Chara leaving Boston to join the Washington Capitals, the Bruins were faced with the task of naming a new captain.
On Thursday, the Bruins announced that forward Patrice Bergeron will be the 20th captain in the team’s history. He joins the ranks of past Boston captains which include seven Hall of Famers and seven players whose numbers have been retired.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Patrice is the natural successor to the Captain role, and he will represent this franchise very well,” Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said. “He has consistently and reliably contributed to this team’s advancement and has been an adept leader for many years, both on and off the ice. His tenure as Captain will be one of great success.”
The 6-foot-1 center was originally selected by the Bruins in the second round (45th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.
Entering his 17th season, Bergeron ranks third in Bruins history in games played (1,089) and game-winning goals (67), fifth in goals (352) and assists (517), and sixth in points (869).
“For 16 seasons we have all watched Patrice grow not only into an elite player but also a tremendous leader. Patrice represents the Bruins organization and our fans with integrity, determination, and class,” Bruins President Cam Neely said. “On and off the ice he embodies what it means to be a Bruin, and we couldn’t be prouder that he will lead our team as Captain.”
Bergeron, 35, also ranks third in Bruins history in playoff games played (149), playoff points (111), playoff assists (69), and fourth in playoff goals (42).
He has been nominated for the Selke Award, given annually to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game, for nine consecutive seasons and has won the award four times, tying Hall of Fame forward Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens for most all-time.
“Throughout Patrice Bergeron’s historic career with the Boston Bruins, he has carried himself with great integrity, humility, and resiliency,” Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said. “These qualities make Patrice a natural leader and an obvious choice as to who should serve as the next Captain of the Boston Bruins. We are incredibly proud to have Patrice fill this important role and look forward to watching him lead the locker room this season and beyond.”
Bergeron also spends time helping those in need, with children from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Cam Neely Foundation, Franciscan Children’s, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and more, becoming “Patrice’s Pals.”
“Patrice Bergeron exudes leadership, character, talent, will, and empathy. We all know Bergy embraces the legacy of the Boston Bruins, as he will with the Captaincy,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “Bergy has earned the respect of all of his teammates, coaches, and everyone in the Bruins organization.”
The Bruins kick off their shortened 2020-21 season on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the New Jersey Devils.