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Bergeron expects to be 100 percent for Bruins training camp

Center says he'll be ready to go after offseason surgery to repair sports hernia

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron expects to be 100 percent healthy when Boston Bruins training camp opens in two weeks after recovering from offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The 2017 Selke Trophy winner took part in a captain's practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday.

"Still doing some rehab. I'll be ready for camp," said Bergeron, who had the surgery May 8. "I feel good. There's still some restriction there that we have to work on, but overall, I feel pretty good. I feel good on the ice, I feel good in the gym. We still have to definitely do some treatments, but definitely I feel good and I know I'll be ready for camp."

The Bruins qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in three seasons but lost to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the Eastern Conference First Round. They gained valuable postseason experience and built on their 18-8-1 finish after Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach Feb. 7.

Cassidy signed a new contract April 26, and Bergeron said he believes the continuity will help the Bruins improve this season.

"Just knowing what to expect is always nice," the 32-year-old center said. "We know what Bruce is all about, and his system, and the change that he wanted to make last year. So it's definitely going to be helpful for us to start the year with him and carry what we've done last year. Hopefully we can do some great things as soon as the season starts."

Video: Patrice Bergeron lands at No. 11

Bergeron was first injured during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 and got off to a slow start with six points (three goals, three assists) in 21 games after missing the first three. His offensive production improved as the season progressed, but though he finished with 302 shots on goal in 79 games, his most since taking 310 in 2005-06, he dropped from 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists) in 2015-16 to 53 (21 goals, 32 assists) last season.

"That was the one thing that was just difficult," Bergeron said. "You know [the injury is] there and it's annoying, and it's one of those where you have to battle through it, but you still know that no matter what the next day it's still going to be there.

"It was hard that way, it was in my head also, but once I was past that hurdle of realizing it's going to be there for the whole year and just kind of not worrying about it, I felt better. But that being said, it's still one of those where -- it's not an excuse for the slow start I had and missing some chances -- but still it was slowing me down a bit and was just annoying."

Bergeron didn't start skating until late July because of the surgery, but said he's pain-free for the first time since last fall and expects more of himself this season.

"Hopefully I'll have a better start," he said. "That being said, I'm trying to get back to my game, playing both ways. You always want to push your limits, be better offensively but also defensively and in every aspect of the game."

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