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Bergeron: 'Feeling Positive I'll Be Ready' for Season Opener

No. 1 center has been nursing groin injury since last season

by Eric Russo @erusso22 / BostonBruins.com

BOLTON, Mass. - After battling through a groin injury during the Stanley Cup Final, Patrice Bergeron said on Monday that the ailment is still lingering, but he is not concerned about being ready for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Speaking ahead of the Boston Bruins Foundation's annual golf tournament at The International, the centerman acknowledged that he is likely to take things slowly during the early days of training camp.

"That's still a question. I'm not sure if I'm gonna be limited," said Bergeron. "[The injury is] still lingering a little bit. It's been there most of the summer. I got a [platelet-rich plasma] shot in July. I'm slowly ramping it up on the ice. Trying to shoot for October more than this Thursday."

Bergeron needed two weeks off following the PRP shot, which - during what was already a shortened summer - set back some of his training. The 34-year-old, however, does not believe his 16th NHL season will be hampered.

"I should be able to play through that," said Bergeron. "It's been there for a long time. I think with the PRP shot, it's one of those things that it takes a little bit of time to work and have its effect. It's getting better, but it's still there a little bit.

"But I'm feeling good. I'm feeling positive that I'll be ready definitely for the start of the season. That's not even an issue."

When it comes to overcoming the Bruins' Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Bergeron said the team's veteran core will draw on its previous experiences with difficult losses and short offseasons.

"I think that's what the team is gonna do, manage workload," said Bergeron. "That's what I've seen in the past, based on experience in 2013 and 2011. I know it's something that's been talked about…obviously it stings, but at the same time, you play the game because you love it, because it's your passion.

"Right now, I'm looking forward. It's one of those things where I'm just happy to be back with the same guys and having a chance to write the future and look forward. I'm not gonna lie and say it doesn't sting, but we can't just dwell on it."

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney - speaking at the 2019 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo - said defensemen Kevan Miller (knee surgery) and John Moore (shoulder surgery) will not be ready for the start of camp. Moore said on Monday that his surgery, which occurred on June 26, requires a four- to six-month recovery.

"There's certain guys that we're gonna be careful with but they'll be participating," Sweeney said, while also mentioning Joakim Nordstrom (foot) and Zdeno Chara (elbow, jaw). "It's a long year. We knew that going in, that we were gonna be careful with some of the guys with more mileage."

Video: Bergeron talks short offseason, injury recovery

Making Progress?

Defenseman Zach Werenski inked a three-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, signaling some possible movement in the NHL's restricted free agent impasse.

Sweeney - speaking at the 2019 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo - said the deal could have an impact on Boston's RFA blue liner's Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, but that he has "no timeframe when the deals will be done." McAvoy and Carlo were not present at Monday's golf tournament.

"Every deal allows things to continue to take shape," added Sweeney. "We'll be in touch as we have been with Charlie's group, as well as Brandon's group….we haven't taken anything off the table, we've had discussions for well over a year. We'll find a spot. I've said that all along. I believe we'll find a spot and we'll have both those players in the mix."

Video: Don Sweeney gives updates prior to Camp

Moving Forward

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is certainly pleased with his team's success from a season ago. But he is not interested in looking back on Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Final. When the 2019-20 season kicks off on Thursday morning, it will be a fresh slate.

"I hope we're not talking about it after Day 1. It's done. It's over," said Cassidy. "We've got a few new players. It's not the same team. It's a new year. We've got to be ready to be our best going into the season…I hope we don't have a hangover. I certainly don't intend on having one.

"Again, I don't want to talk about it after the next four, five days. It was a good year - we fell one game short. Now we've got to work on getting back to that position and not falling one game short."

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