After 19 years and weeks of speculation, Patrice Bergeron has officially called it a career.
In a long letter to fans, the Bruins captain announced his retirement from hockey on Tuesday morning.
“For the last 20 years I have been able to live my dream every day,” Bergeron wrote. “I have had the honor of playing in front of the best fans in the world wearing the Bruins uniform and representing my country at the highest levels of international play. I have given the game everything that I have physically and emotionally, and the game has given me back more than I could have ever imagined.
“It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player.”
Bergeron was an unrestricted free agent this summer, but it was unclear whether or not he would come back for another season in Boston. He elects to hang up the skates after 19 successful seasons in the NHL, skating in 1,294 games while recording 427 goals and 1,040 points.
“As I step away today, I have no regrets,” Bergeron said. “I have only gratitude that I lived my dream, and excitement for what is next for my family and I. I left everything out there and I’m humbled and honored it was representing this incredible city and for the Boston Bruins fans.”
The 38-year-old Quebec native retires not only as one of the greatest players to wear the Spoked B, but one of the greatest two-way forwards of all time. Bergeron is the all-time Selke Trophy winner, coming off his record sixth win in 2023, and is a Stanley Cup champion, helping the Bruins win a title in 2011.
He is a member of the Triple Gold club, winning an Olympic gold medal and World Championship gold in addition to his Stanley Cup. He also earned the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2013, and the Mark messier Leadership Award in 2021.
In Boston history, Bergeron ranks in the top five across a number of different categories. He ranks second in shots and game-winning goals, third in games played, goals and points, and fourth in assists, even-strength goals, power-play goals and shorthanded goals.
Here’s how the hockey world reacted to the news of the longtime Bruins captain’s retirement.
Social media reacts to Patrice Bergeron’s retirement
Fellow players, opposing teams and media members reacted to the news of Bergeron’s retirement.
Patrice, there are not enough words to describe the impact you have left on our organization, your teammates, the people you’ve worked with, the fans you gave everything for, and the city and region you represented so well.
You did it all with the utmost respect, class, and… pic.twitter.com/8KIN4wqpIw
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 25, 2023
What a ride it was.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 25, 2023
19 seasons. 1,294 games. All with the @NHLBruins. ????
Congratulations on a legendary career, Patrice! ???? pic.twitter.com/616tr8lj37
— NHL (@NHL) July 25, 2023
The definition of a Boston athlete.
Thanks for everything you gave this city, Bergy. pic.twitter.com/gUScAqEjMM
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 25, 2023
A champion in every sense. Congratulations on an exceptional career. https://t.co/xhIjKWzcXp
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 25, 2023
Growing up Ray Bourque was my favorite Bruin but I think Patrice Bergeron ultimately steals that throne. As close to a perfect well-rounded player as you could want. Incredible dude. Sad he goes out with just one Cup but he’s a legend and I’ll love this dude until I die pic.twitter.com/zVhPO8EIxY
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) July 25, 2023
Patrice Bergeron’s best goal call pic.twitter.com/XdemFJmL4S
— Petrov McGuire (@McguirePetrov) July 25, 2023
Patrice Bergeron. The best. Great player, thoughtful human. There’s a million stories there. pic.twitter.com/qDPnzbQVjI
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) July 25, 2023
A legendary player but an even more legendary person. Congrats to Patrice on one hell of a career. Thank you for everything ???? https://t.co/rfu9ZATzUm
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) July 25, 2023
Patrice Bergeron announces his retirement. What an incredible career. https://t.co/qe0f4iSlBy
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 25, 2023
This clip of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand after the final game this season makes a lot more sense now pic.twitter.com/AlBvjreLV2
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) July 25, 2023
Patrice Bergeron’s first career NHL goal came on October 18th 2003…20 years later he calls it a career…words cannot express how fortunate we were as a fanbase to call him a lifelong Bruin pic.twitter.com/SbnpWpbkQR
— Michael Sullivan (@_MikeSullivan) July 25, 2023
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 25, 2023
Until 2005, teams received a compensatory draft pick if one of their players left as a free agent. In 2002, Boston’s Bill Guerin signed with Dallas, Boston was awarded a compensatory 2003 second round pick, 45th overall. The Bruins used it to select Patrice Bergeron. https://t.co/TcZATjC1Vn
— Gord Miller ???? (@GMillerTSN) July 25, 2023
— Andrew Raycroft (@AndrewRaycroft) July 25, 2023
This guy is at the heart of some of the worst losses I’ve seen as a fan and I still respect the hell out of him. First ballot, zero question. https://t.co/cdp3P7Jzfu
— Steve “Dangle” Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) July 25, 2023
Beyond his accomplishments and skill on the ice, when I think of Patrice Bergeron – I think of class.
A true professional who was cordial and always great to work with. Left an impression on many over his 19 years in Boston.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) July 25, 2023
Bergeron was so good defensively, I hope they take serious consideration to re-naming the Selke award after him. He is, without question, the best defensive forward I have ever watched play hockey. At the very least, I hope to one day see it called the Selke-Bergeron. https://t.co/NVVrKdgtqw
— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) July 25, 2023
Patrice Bergeron retires a first ballot Hall of Famer, a Triple Gold Club member, one of the greatest captains in NHL history, the Selke Trophy can be renamed after him & nobody would argue, Boston could build him a statue & nobody would argue. What an incredible career. pic.twitter.com/SWu9hOnw8c
— ᴀʀᴅᴀ Öᴄᴀʟ (@Arda) July 25, 2023