Friday, July 12, 2013

Bergeron to Be Bruin for 8 More Years

The Bruins and Patrice Bergeron agreed to an 8 year contract extension that will keep him with the Bruins until 2021-22. The deal is worth $52 million, resulting in a $6.5 million annual cap hit.

Bergeron has always been a respected player here in Boston. He's only 27 but it seems like he's been in the League for over a decade. Because he essentially has been. He has 9 seasons under his belt. He's not a typical star. He doesn't score 40 goals, or tally 60 assists. He doesn't do any one thing spectacularly, he does every singly thing well. And in the postseason he finds another gear.

Zdeno Chara is signed with the Bruins until 2017-18. It's safe to say that when Big Z leaves the Bruins, he'll pass the Captain's "C" to Bergeron.

I like this deal better than the Rask signing. Bergeron is a forward, not a goalie. Long-term goalie contracts always carry more risk than contracts for skaters. Bergeron also has more of a track record than Rask. 9 seasons, 579 games, 83 playoff games. And finally, when a guy like Bergeron loses a step, he can still be productive based on his hockey IQ and his knowledge of the game. When a goalie loses a step, they're done.

I also think Bergeron would have more value on an open market than Rask would.

I'm still not a big fan of these long-term contracts. However, for a guy like Bergeron I don't really mind.

Andrew Ference Gives Bruins' Army Rangers Jacket to Matt Brown

Andrew Ference is the classiest of acts. In his last action as member of the Boston Bruins, he bestowed the Army Ranger jacket on Matt Brown. Brown was a Norwood High School hockey player, paralyzed his sophomore year due to injuries suffered in a game in 2010. The jacket was given to the Bruins by a friend of Ference's, Army Ranger Sergeant Lucas Carr. After each game the jacket was given to a Bruins player, by his teammates, who was deemed to be the player of the game.

In a sense, the jacket has come home. Matt Brown participates in road races, and he's pushed in a wheelchair by Lucas Carr, the same Army Ranger who gave his jacket to Ference. As I mentioned in a post the day after the Marathon Bombings, Carr and Brown push each other, literally and figuratively.

Matt Brown had planned to participate in the Boston Marathon, but wasn't feeling well that day. Carr ran the Marathon. And he crossed the finish line moments before the bombs went off. And in true Army Ranger form, he went back to help the wounded. In this picture he's in the sleeveless yellow Bruins shirt in the top right.

You can see him and his tattooed arms in the right side of this picture:

The jacket has been on a pretty cool trip, being worn by Rask, by Bergeron, by the best of the Boston Bruins. And it's pretty cool that it took such a whirlwind tour of hockey greatness, starting when Carr gave it to Ference, and ending when Ference gave it Carr's co-runner, Matt Brown.

It's a garment of distinction, and I can't think of a better person to wear it. Ference put it best when he tweeted: