Prague, CZE -- It was a happy duo on the dais this morning, as Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and newly re-signed center Patrice Bergeron were all smiles as they spoke to the press.
"It was a process, I guess it didn’t take too much time, but it was a pleasure doing it and having some discussion with Patrice about the team and his principles," said Chiarelli of the negotiations that led to Bergeron's extension. "I mean, he’s a terrific two-way player who still has a lot of offensive upside to show because he’s such a young age and he has that offensive side to his game.
"So the whole thing, while...it ended overseas, it started back in North America and we were very happy to get this deal done.
"I think Patrice [Bergeron] feels the same way."
Bergeron did agree and expressed his pleasure in an emotional opening statement.
"I think I’ve matured...on and off the ice," said Patrice. "I’ve learned a lot in the locker room from the guys like Mark Recchi and Glenn Murray when he was with us, and, you know, Martin LaPointe.
"All the experience that I’ve gotten, I think, has gotten me to where I am right now and, also, the adversity that I faced with the concussion and all that.
"It’s something that made me strong, and made me realize that hockey is my passion and I appreciate every day even more now.
"And, obviously, the Bruins organization has been awesome since day one [when] they drafted me. They took care of me, and that’s why I wanted to be in Boston."
Bergeron expressed gratitude for the way the Bruins handled the concussion he sustained during the 2007-08 season.
"After my injury, they did everything to make sure I was back 100%, and they thought about the human being, and not the hockey player first, and that’s something that was pretty special for me."
The city of Boston is special to Bergeron, as well, and he is now proud to call it "home."
"I love the city. I love Boston," said Bergeron. "It’s close to my family [in Quebec]. My family likes it.
"You know, I just feel comfortable in Boston. It’s my home now, and I just want to stay here.
"That’s why I wanted to get this deal done before going to free agency."
Chiarelli gave plenty of reasons why Bergeron and the Bruins shared that desire.
"He’s got a lot of elements to his personality and his game that are, you know -- that are terrific," said Chiarelli. "When you look at his work ethic at practice, when you look at...[him] doing the drills, day-to-day, showing up and getting them right and leading the charge.
"You know, he’s a consummate professional, and he’s a terrific player, and he’s a terrific young man.
"No it wasn’t a very hard decision to do this, and, again, we are ecstatic to get it done before the start of the year."
Bergeron admitted that he was never nervous about the result of the negotiations.
"I knew it was going to get done because, again, I was the one that was going to say yes no matter what," said Bergeron. "I wanted to stay in Boston.
"But I’m happy it’s behind me, and I can go forward and think about the season now."