His two Olympic medals (2010, 2014) are “in a safe deposit box in a bank somewhere,” he said. She can’t remember when she last saw them. “It’s been a while.”
The World Championship (2004), World Junior (2005) and World Cup of Hockey (2016) medals are also saved, as is the Stanley Cup ring (2011). Several number 37 jerseys from Acadie-Bathurst, Team Canada and previous All-Star Games (2015-16) hang in a closet.
He does not consider himself a collector of Patrice Bergeron memorabilia. But some elements are indelible. They are carefully framed and displayed on a wall in his basement studio.
There’s the puck shot for his first NHL goal, in Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 2003, a power-play backhand rebound against Roman Cechmanek. The Bruins fell, 3-0, and Bergeron, all 18, set up goals from Sandy McCarthy and Brian Rolston before scoring the equalizer himself. Mike Knuble hit the winner with 1:48 left.
There’s a signed Ray Bourque jersey, white in the early ’90s Bruins style, to honor one of the greatest Bruins, a fellow Quebecois who gave Bergeron some of the language of leadership he first used as a young backup captain. .
There’s another throwback sweater, a Johnny Bucyk No. 9, in white, with ’70s gold trim on the shoulders and Bucyk’s stylish signature loops. Bergeron, like many young Bruins, was taken under the wing of the “Boss,” who became the club’s roving secretary and savant after his playing days.
Two pieces commemorate the 2011 Stanley Cup team: a photo of his linemate, Mark Recchi, who taught him to speak from the heart during that race; and Bergeron’s shirt from Game 7 of the Final, signed by his teammates.
Finally, a Canada team jersey of fellow Olympic lineman Sidney Crosby hangs with the Hall of Famer.
Bergeron would be able to see the rest of his memories again long after he retired. Whenever that is.
“Maybe when my kids get a little more curious about it and want to see more,” he mused, speaking to a Globe reporter on the phone last Friday. “Maybe once it’s over, sometimes I’ll go back and take a look. But yeah, there’s a lot of that in my memory bank too. I think those are the best things, right?
Team dinners, road trips, weddings, birthdays, locker room banter… you’re trying to soak it up, live in the moment. But not because he leaves after this year. As she has said before, she doesn’t think about it until the season is over.
Bergeron, 36, almost has the Selke of 22 ready. Opponents get 1.45 expected goals, 39.4 shot attempts, 18.67 goal opportunities and 5.9 high-danger shot attempts per 60 minutes when Bergeron is on the ice at five against five. None of the 261 forwards who played more than 400 minutes had a lower rate.
With 12 goals and 34 points in 42 games, Bergeron is on pace for 26 goals and 68 points. His points-per-game rating this season (0.85) is in line with his average since he turned 30 (0.89).
“You don’t wake up at 36 and go to work,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He put in time many years ago to make sure that when these years came, he would be as physically capable as possible, with the obvious things that Father Time [takes] some things away from you.
“The game gets faster every year. He has been able to adapt to that. That has a lot to do with how he prepares and his hockey IQ. It’s off the charts good. That has allowed him to play longer. Those are the two most important reasons.
“Then the interior, the passion for the game, that separates you from other people. Probably those three or four things have, I don’t want to say extended [his career]because it is still producing at a high rate.
“I don’t know what his ceiling is in terms of his age. He’s still playing like a guy who certainly doesn’t run into that.”
This next All-Star experience will go to the bank with his memories: Bourque’s “mastery of precision,” as Bergeron called it, and the MVP performance at then-FleetCenter in 1996. Owen Nolan calling out Dominik Hasek next year at Saint Joseph. Dany Heatley scored four goals in the 2003 game, a year before Bergeron arrived in Boston.
“As a child, you love the game, it’s a passion, it’s also a dream of yours,” he said. “It’s definitely an event that you look at and think is cool.”
Of your own accolades, which one do you carry with you? What will last?
“Obviously it’s easy for me to choose the 2011 Cup and the Olympics, and all of these experiences have been incredible,” he said. “I feel very lucky and grateful to have been a part of those teams that were so successful. I was lucky in my career to be part of those teams.
“What I will remember the most is really the friendships, the bonds that I have created over the years. They have been quite special. Every once in a while I text some old teammates, old coaches, and it’s pretty amazing to realize how small the world of hockey is and how many people I’ve met and had the opportunity to build a relationship with. . For me, that’s the best part of what I do.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism