Montreal Canadiens: Patrice Bergeron Slams Door on Rumours Linking Him to Habs

Apr 24, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Patrice Bergeron. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Patrice Bergeron. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens are about to embark on a very busy and exciting offseason. Technically, it has already started with a draft lottery win that ensures they own the first overall pick.

That is even more exciting than usual, considering the draft will be held in Montreal at the Bell Centre on July 7th and 8th. The 2021-22 season was not a memorable one on the ice, but witnessing the Canadiens make the very first selection in a draft held in their own building will be something most fans in attendance will remember forever.

The Canadiens also have several huge questions to answer in the next few months. What is the status of star goaltender Carey Price? Will he play at all next season? Is Jeff Petry going to be traded? Can they get huge cap relief by trading Shea Weber’s contract? Why hasn’t Martin St. Louis signed yet?

What free agents will they pursue? There have been plenty of rumours about that already, but we might already have an answer to one prominent free agent who will not be coming to Montreal.

Patrice Bergeron has been rumoured to be a target of the Canadiens this offseason since Kent Hughes was hired as general manager. The reasons for the rumours being Hughes was Bergeron’s agent before taking the Habs job, and Bergeron is from L’Ancienne-Lorette, which is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from the Bell Centre.

But Bergeron poured some cold water on those rumours today. Well, more than that, he completely crushed the rumours when talking to the media on locker cleanup day for the Boston Bruins.

Matt Porter, a reporter for the Boston Globe, tweeted yesterday that he spoke with Bergeron who had a one word answer when asked if he could seem himself every playing anywhere else: “No.”

When further asked about the possibility of ending his career closer to home in Montreal, Bergeron said he could understand why people would think it is an option, but he shot down the possibility.

It really wouldn’t make sense for Bergeron to sign with the Canadiens. He is 36 years old and has played every game of his NHL career with the Boston Bruins. They have been a Stanley Cup contender for most of that time and had another great season this year. They lost their opening round series to a terrific Carolina Hurricanes team in seven games, thanks to an outstanding Max Domi performance in the deciding game.

If Bergeron returns to Boston, there is no reason to expect they will take a big step back next season. He has been there since 2003 when he made his NHL debut, so he has lived in Boston longer than Quebec in his lifetime. If he chooses to play “at home” next season, that would be with the Bruins.

Not to mention, the Canadiens were the worst team in the league this season. It would be nice to have Bergeron show up and mentor Nick Suzuki and Shane Wright, if he is the first overall pick, but why would Bergeron want to spend his final season serving as a mentor for young players on what should be a really bad team?

It doesn’t make sense for the player. It would be great for Suzuki and Wright to have someone like Bergeron giving them pointers on a daily basis, but they do already have Hall of Fame player Martin St. Louis coaching them. They will have to settle for just one Hall of Fame forward coaching them next season.

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