BostonBruins.com - During a conference call with media regarding Tuukka Rask's new eight-year deal on Thursday afternoon, GM Peter Chiarelli told media that the Bruins are "very close" on a contract extension for alternate captain Patrice Bergeron.
"Last [conference] call, we were very close with Tuukka and Bergy, and we’re very, very close now," Chiarelli presumably smiled through the phone.
We know it's coming soon. And whenever ever it does indeed happen, Head Coach Claude Julien, who also spoke with reporters Thursday, knows it will come with grand fanfare.
"Probably the same thing it means to you and the fans," Julien told media, when asked what Bergeron's extension would mean to him. "He’s such an elite player for what he does and I don't know that there’s too many guys in this league that does what he does as well as him."
"You can get those star players that score 50 goals a year; you can get those kinds of players. But what he does, I think he’s the best at it. Two-way conscientious player, wants to produce and also wants to prevent goals, wants to be the best at faceoffs, wants to be the best at everything."
"I’ve said it before - Zdeno [Chara] has always been example to everybody coming in about his work ethic, but so has Bergy. We’ve talked a lot about Zdeno, but Bergeron’s the same thing. Everyday he wants to be the best out there on the ice, even in practice."
"He’ll go against Zdeno in one on one drills and hell compete, both those guys will compete as hard as they can and I think those are great examples for the rest of the team to watch and that's what Patrice brings to our team as the intangibles of having a guy show up everyday ready to be the best."
With Rask signed to an eight-year contract, and Bergeron on the cusp, the Bruins' core looks to be intact for the longhaul.
"Core is so important to a team," said Julien. "A lot of teams make changes along the way so that's part of the business. You have to be ready for that."
"But any time you’re able to keep that core group of guys together that you feel confident will give you a competitive team every year, it's a bonus."
"I think it’s where Peter has done a good job at being able to keep that core together."