BostonBruins.com - On Friday, General Manager Peter Chairelli announced that the Bruins Patrice Bergeron to an eight-year contract extension, that makes him a Boston Bruin until at least the 2021-22 season.
As voiced numerous times by everyone in the Bruins' organization, from Chiarelli, to Head Coach Claude Julien, to the assistant general managers, to his teammates, Bergeron epitomizes the spoked-B on and off the ice everyday. He's the model, the example they use, when described what they want in a Bruin.
The constant preaching came to fruition for the entire hockey world - and beyond - in the Stanley Cup Final, when Bergeron ended up playing through a broken rib and torn cartilage on his left side, along with a separated right shoulder, and a puncture in his lung.
When Bergeron and Chiarelli joined media on a conference call Friday to discuss the new extension, the alternate captain said his recovery for the aforementioned injuries is "going well."
"It’s going the way that it should be," said Bergeron. "I’s going to be three weeks next Monday so I still have another week after that."
"I spoke to the doctors earlier this week and they said I should not do anything for four weeks. It’s longer than expected I guess, but things are going well. I’m feeling good and I can’t wait to start working out again and just getting started for to get ready for next year."
"The four weeks is really to make sure that everything heals and that it [the lung] doesn't collapse again. It’s really more of my lungs than anything else. My shoulder and my ribs are feeling better."
He's not 100 percent, but he's feeling much better.
"It’s all about pain and trying to manage that," Bergeron added.
"So I’m going to have to take the time to heal it but I feel confident that I’ll be ready for September."
Bergeron has faced challenges and injuries throughout his career - namely, with concussions - but they have never hindered him the way they might others. He is, and has been, resilient.
"When you’re looking at giving a long term contract to a player, you look at everything and you accept a lot of the risks," said Chiarelli.
"Patrice is a terrific character guy and he’s showed his resiliency, so we’re comfortable with the risks and it certainty isn’t something we took lightly. But we felt very strongly about Patrice as a player and as a person and would accept some of these risks."
"Generally, the longer term contract -- we try and give it to guys who we think have real high character and will continue to perform and increase their performance and Patrice falls in to that category."
"Smack right in the middle of it."