Boston

What the Hell are the Bruins Waiting For?

Patrice Bergeron has been the heart and soul of the Boston Bruins for quite some time now. The 32-year-old, 14-year veteran has been one of the gold standards for NHL centers, using his unfairly-high hockey IQ to outsmart and out-strategize his counterparts almost every night. Bergeron has been a top-tier penalty killer nearly his entire career, as well as one of the best faceoff takers in the history of the game. Bergy was the main reason the Bruins felt comfortable enough trading captain Joe Thorton in 2005 and was a vital key to the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run in 2011 when he was just 26 years old.  General Manager (at the time) Mike O’Connell stated as much in a 2011 interview.

Playing through injuries is a big part of Bergy’s game, displaying courageous leadership. In Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, Bergeron suffered a broken rib, torn cartilage and muscle tissue, and a separated shoulder, making him the epitome of an old-time hockey player with a new-school desire to be great. Though, as humble as he is, he’s never admitted he’s striving for greatness. Patrice always puts the team first, he makes all the players around him better and is an enormous leader on the team. Do you think Brad Marchand turns into the player he has without the help of Patrice Bergeron? Marchand has talent, but Patrice helps Brad tap into that. I think Marchy would credit Bergy a great deal.  A great center will ALWAYS make his wingers better and Marchand is one of the better examples of that. Patrice Bergeron is quietly putting together a Hall of Fame career which leaves me screaming to the heavens:

SO WHY DON’T THE BRUINS SLAP THAT “C” ON HIS DAMN SWEATER ALREADY?! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, YOU SCHMUCKS?!

Come on already! Good grief! There comes a point in time when a sports franchise needs to do what’s right. In 2006, it was time for the Green Bay Packers to move on from Brett Favre. In 2004, it was time for the Red Sox to break the curse. In 2017, it should’ve been god-damn time for Bergeron to be named the captain of the Boston Bruins. Hell, even co-captain would’ve been acceptable — it’s been done before in 1985-1988 when Ray Bourque wore the C on the road and Rick Middleton wore it on at the Garden. But no, 112-year-old, slow as molasses Zdeno Chara will. not. retire. That’s CLEARLY the only thing keeping the C on his sweater. I know he’s always been a natural leader, has logged a trillion minutes (don’t fact check me) and averages like, 49 minutes a game (seriously, don’t) but have you ever thought about it this way: who cares? No honestly, not rhetorical, very non-satirical…who actually cares?

Give me 3 good reasons Zdeno Chara is still captain of the Boston Bruins when Patrice is very clearly the best player on the team, does the most, barely misses any time (yeah, yeah, I know) and has been a Bruin his entire career. This team has been building around Bergeron since 2006. I’ve had three kids since then, and Patrice is somehow still stuck with an “A.” Connor McDavid, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers, was just 6-years-old when Patrice debuted as an 18-year-old in 2003. That is so wrong on so many levels.

Patrice has given his life to Boston and I think it’s time for the B’s to reward him for that. You want three reasons PB37 should be captain?

1. He’s clutch. 

2. He’s a 4-time Selke Award winner, tied for most all-time. (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)

3. He’s one of the best players in the NHL.

Bruce Cassidy could’ve made his first huge decision heading into his first full season as B’s head coach by making Bergeron captain, but like Julien before him, he has failed to do so. I worry that Patrice will only possess that “C” for just a few seasons before it’s time for him to retire. Big Z is still keeping his rank, is seemingly never going to retire, yet he continues to show a decline in production and effectiveness. It’s not unprecedented for a player to be removed as captain, remain on the team, and continue to be a leader on the team. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why the letter-change hasn’t happened yet.

Chara has been a GREAT Bruins captain, so please don’t think this a Chara hit-piece. I love Big Z, we all should — it’s just Patrice’s time, it’s BEEN Patrice’s time. He’s been with Boston during the lowest of lows and highest of highs and has absolutely been the very core of what the B’s have attempted to accomplish over the last 13 seasons. The Bruins need to do the right thing and make Bergeron captain, but it’s taking them entirely too damn long.

Photo Credit – CSNNE.com

 

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