Patrice Bergeron (born Patrice Bergeron-Cleary; July 24, 1985) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and alternate captain currently playing for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). He played junior with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for one full season before being selected 45th overall by the Bruins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He made the immediate jump from junior to the NHL after his draft and joined the Bruins in 2003–04. Internationally, Bergeron competes for Team Canada and has won gold medals at the 2004 World Championships, 2005 World Junior Championships and 2010 Winter Olympics inVancouver. Bergeron is the most recent member of the Triple Gold Club after he won the Stanley Cup with Boston on June 15, 2011. Bergeron scored two goals including the Stanley Cup winning goal at 14:37 of the first period of Game 7 at Vancouver.
Bergeron grew up in his hometown of L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, and was mostly an A and AA player throughout his minor hockey days. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2001 QMJHL Draft out of AAA Bantam hockey with the Sainte-Foy Gouverneurs. The following year he played AAA hockey for the Séminaire St-François Blizzard before reporting to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL.
Bergeron was drafted in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins 45th overall. During his rookie season, Bergeron was selected for the NHL YoungStars Game in Minnesota as part of the 2004 All-Star weekend. He finished his rookie season with 39 points in 71 games. Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Bergeron played for Boston’s minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL); he tallied 61 points in 68 games.
As the NHL resumed the following season, Bergeron led the Bruins with a career-high 31 goals and 73 points. He played the majority of the season with linemates Brad Boyes and newcomer Marco Sturm, who had been acquired in a trade that sent captain Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks in November 2005. The Bruins general manager at the time, Mike O’Connell, recalled in a June 2011 interview that the organization had made a decision to build the team around Bergeron instead of Thornton, preferring the former’s on- and off-ice character. At the end of the year, Bergeron was selected by the Bruins to receive the team’s 7th Player Award as the player most deemed to have exceeded expectations. Playing under a defensive system employed by new head coach Dave Lewis, he recorded his second consecutive 70-point campaign in2006–07 with 22 goals and 48 assists. He was hampered the majority of the season by a nagging shoulder injury.
After recording 3 goals and 4 assists in the first 10 games of the 2007–08 season, Bergeron suffered a season-ending head injury during a game on October 27, 2007. Checked from behind by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Randy Jones, Bergeron hit his head on the end-boards, knocking him unconscious. He lay motionless on the ice for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and a grade-three concussion. Jones received a two-game suspension from the NHL. Bergeron made his first public statements regarding the injury on November 8, saying that he would not take any legal action and that Jones had tried to contact him to apologize.
On January 19, 2008, the Boston Globe reported that he had been sent on a vacation by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and that he would likely sit out for the remainder of the season as his recovery had regressed. In March 2008, he started preliminary on-ice practice with Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez, who was himself recovering from knee surgery. He steadily progressed into full-contact practices in early-April, aiming for a playoff return against the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round; he was held back by team doctors. In June 2008, Bergeron was reported as being symptom-free during off-season training. He participated in the Bruins’ summer development camp (typically for Bruins prospects) with Fernandez, before joining the Bruins’ main training camp. He returned to action with the Bruins for the team’s pre-season opening game on September 22, 2008, against the Montreal Canadiens, an 8–3 victory played in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
After the 2008–09 season began, Bergeron scored his first goal since his concussion on October 23, 2008, in a 4-2 home game loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Two months later, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 20, 2008, Bergeron collided with opposing defenceman, and future Bruin Dennis Seidenberg, suffering another concussion. He lay face down on the ice while being attended to by team trainers and eventually left the ice under his own power. He was released from the hospital the day after the collision and placed on injured reserve. (Seidenberg and Bergeron later became teammates on the Bruins after a trade for Byron Bitz to the Florida Panthers in 2010 to get Seidenberg.) Bergeron returned after being sidelined for a month and completed the season with 39 points in 64 games. In the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bergeron recorded his first career fighting major in a scrap with Montreal’s Josh Gorges.
In 2009–10, Bergeron scored 52 points while playing on a line with winger Mark Recchi. During the 2010 playoffs, he scored 4 goals and added 7 assists for 11 points in 14 games. The following season, Bergeron scored his first career NHL hat trick in a Bruins victory over the Ottawa Senators on January 11, 2011. Bergeron was named the NHL’s first star of the month and was twice named first star of the week in January 2011.
Bergeron has been in one fight in his entire NHL career, on April 18th, 2009 in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals. Josh Gorges reached out and hit Patrice in the jaw, and Bergeron retaliated by pummeling Gorges with two huge left punches. This was a seen as a huge motivator for the series.
Bergeron was once again concussed after a hit from Claude Giroux on May 6, 2011, in game 4 of the second round in the 2011 playoffs. It is believed to be a mild concussion that kept him out of the beginning of the 3rd round of the playoffs. On June 1, 2011 with the Boston Bruins, Alex Burrows allegedly bit Bergeron’s finger. No penalty was called and the league did not fine or suspend Burrows because the alleged bite was not supported by any evidence.
Bergeron became the 26th member of Triple Gold Club on June 15, 2011, with the Bruins when they won the Stanley Cup. He scored two goals in Game 7 of the series, including the game (and series) winner. On the Stanley Cup, Bergeron is listed by his birth name, Patrice Bergeron-Cleary. After the close of the 2012 NHL playoffs, even with the Bruins team eliminated in the first round by the Washington Capitals, Bergeron’s constant defensive efforts on the ice earned him the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward for the entire 2011-12 NHL season.
|Competitor for Canada|
|Gold||2004 Czech Republic||Team|
|World Junior Championships|
|Gold||2005 United States||Team|
Following his rookie season in the NHL, Bergeron was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2004 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. He notched one goal in his international debut and won his first gold medal with Canada.
The following year, Bergeron was chosen to the Canadian national junior team for the 2005 World Junior Championshipsin North Dakota. He was lent to the team from the Providence Bruins of the AHL, where he was playing due to the NHL lockout. Bergeron was eligible for the World Juniors the previous year, as well, but was not lent to the national team because he was playing in the NHL. He finished the tournament with five goals and eight assists totalling 13 points over six games, while playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry. He scored a goal in Canada’s 6–1 gold medal victory over Russia. Bergeron finished the tournament as the leading scorer to earn MVP and All-Star team honours. By helping Canada win gold at the tournament, he became the first player to win a men’s gold medal before winning at the junior level.
Bergeron made his second appearance at the World Championships in 2006 and was reunited on a line with World Junior teammate Sidney Crosby, to whom he finished second in tournament scoring with 14 points. Bergeron was once again invited to play for Canada in the 2007 World Championships. He declined, citing that he wanted to recover from injuries suffered during the NHL season.
On December 30, 2009, Bergeron was selected to play for Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He was the only player selected who did not receive an invitation to the selection camp earlier in the summer. Many commentators predicted Bergeron would play on a line with Crosby due to his previous experience with him at the World Juniors and World Championships but he ended up as the 13th forward due to a groin injury obtained in Canada’s first game. He played primarily on the penalty kill and in defensive-zone faceoffs.
Regular season and playoffs
|2001–02||Séminaire St-François Blizzard||QMAAA||38||25||37||62||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|World Championship Totals||18||7||8||15||6|
|World Junior Championship Totals||6||5||8||13||6|
Awards & Honors
- 2003–04: Played in the YoungStars Game (NHL)
- 2004 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships: World Ice Hockey gold
- 2005 IIHF World U20 Championships: World Ice Hockey gold, MVP, and All-Star Team
- 2010 Winter Olympics: Olympic gold
- 2010–11: Won Stanley Cup with Boston Bruins (Bergeron became 26th member of the Triple Gold Club)
- 2011-12: Won NHL Plus-Minus Award
- 2011-12: Won Frank J. Selke Trophy