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Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, one of the best two-way forwards of all time, announced his retirement on Tuesday.
“It is with a heart filled with so much gratitude that I announce today my retirement as a professional hockey player,” he said in a first-person story on NHL.com.
“As hard as it is to write, I also write it knowing how lucky and blessed I feel to have had my career, that I have the opportunity to leave the game I love on my terms. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. But after listening to my body, talking to my family, I know in my heart that this is the time to step away from playing the game I love.”
Bergeron retires one day after his thirty-eighth birthday. He had considered retiring a year earlier but returned on a one-year contract and helped the Bruins achieve the best regular season record in NHL history.
Boston lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Cinderella Florida Panthers, who lost in the Stanley Cup Final.
Bergeron has owned the Stanley Cup once, winning it in 2011. Boston also lost in the 2013 Final. He spent his entire 19-year career wearing a Spoked-B jacket.
Bergeron finished a three-time All-Star but more importantly, was one of the best two-way centers ever – he won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive tackle in the league six times. He won it the last two seasons.
Despite his defensive prowess, he still scored 427 goals and had over 1,000 points.
In his statement, Bergeron thanked the fans, his teammates and his family for their support. He completed:
“Finally, for the next generation of hockey players. I had a dream at the age of 12, and through hard work and perseverance, my dreams have come true more than I could ever have imagined. Respect the game and your peers. Welcome trouble and simply enjoy. No matter where you go from there, the game will bring you so much joy,” he said.
“As I walk away today, I have no regrets. I have nothing but gratitude that I lived my dream and excitement for what’s next for my family and I left everything there and I’m humbled and honored that it represents this amazing city and for the Boston Bruins fans.”
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