June and July 2013 were busy months for Patrice Bergeron. In June, he scored the game winning goal in the thrilling over the Penguins in Game 3 of the Conference Finals, and then had a great Stanley Cup Finals against the Blackhawks. He played that way against the Hawks in Games 5 and 6 with, I don’t know, a punctured lung, broken nose, a broken rib, torn rib cartilage, and did I mention a HOLE IN HIS LUNG?
Then, Bergeron signed a much deserved extension in July that was kicked in this past season. Because he’s Patrice Bergeron, he signed it for just $6.85 million per year over 8 years. The term was on point, but he was and is worth wayyyy more than that. His skills aren’t gonna slow down anytime soon because his intelligence won’t decline, and the only real risk in signing him is his concussion history, but, as horrible as concussions are, there is no chance nowadays that a player would play through concussions like it was a nagging injury and drag down his play — if Bergeron was out for awhile because of his concussion problems, the Bruins would get LTIR cap relief. The point is, the contract was very team friendly, and Bergeron took it to help the team win, of course.
And now, the team is not gonna win for a good long while. Bergeron is a winner, and he sacrificed the money that he had earned in order to keep winning for the only organization that he’s ever played for. But now the Bruins won’t win, or at least not the kind of winning that we have expected since the Spring of 2009 when the Bruins were 1st in the conference. Sure, they might make the playoffs and get bounced in the first or second (if they’re lucky) round a few times in the next chunk of years, but that’s not what Bergy took the discount for.
As sad as this situation is for us fans, we aren’t professionals in this game. We didn’t leave our own money on the table because we expected the Bruins to win, and we still have the Super Bowl Champion Patriots, the Celtics and their 1250 “future assets,” and the Red Sox (just kidding) to root for. As sad as the past few days have been for Bruins fans, they’re more sad for Patrice Bergeron.