Patrice gets his payday

Though I would have been more than ecstatic had Boston's Patrice Bergeron, through some stroke of general managerial brilliance on Jay Feaster's part signed with Tampa Bay instead (even if it meant dealing away Vinny Lecavalier or Marty St. Louis), I can't help but smile knowing that he'll be with the Bruins for the next five years.

I've been fortunate enough to watch Patrice grow up, so to speak, over the past few years within the Bruins organization. From getting my first signed Bruins puck from him (note the rookie number 56, not today's 37, in the picture above) while leaving a FleetCenter practice on Sept. 25, 2003, with Martin Lapointe to watching him play in the 2004-05 AHL All-Star Classic in Manchester, N.H., to seeing a buddy-buddy relationship (Don't believe me? Click here and here.) begin to develop with my young son, Colin, it's been a fun ride.

On one of our last trips to a Bruins practice last season, I made a point to tell Patrice as well as a couple other Bruins, Brad Boyes and Andrew Alberts, that the next time we'd see them would be in Florida. And, if they were so inclined and had the time, they'd be more than welcome to a quiet, home-cooked meal whenever they were in town to play the Bolts. And despite Patrice's well-earned millions ($23.75 million, to be exact), that offer still stands.

Granted, he might get a nicer condo in Boston and a pricier (It better be safer, too; think Volvo's XC90, buddy) set of wheels, I doubt he'll let the money go to his head. It's more about the game than the money. That's why Patrice is Colin's favorite player and role model.

Good job, Patrice. I know you'll earn every penny.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a broad perspective on the overall demeanor of NHL rising stars under age 22, I concur that Patrice really is a cut above the rest. I live 5 minutes down the street from him in the North End of Boston and have asked him to sign over 20 things since 2005 (thus he probably has a certain perception of me, perhaps false). Through it all, he does the thankless job of signing for repeat "customers" just about every day no questions asked. I've found that behavior as common among many native Quebec stars, namely Daniel Briere, Martin Biron, Martin St. Louis, Vincent LeCavalier, and Mike Ribeiro. It's just refreshing to see NHL stars act the same way they did as 18 year old draft picks in their first training camp. Bravo Quebec! Must be a great place to live...

4:46 PM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

That's excellent insight. I never really thought about it, but now that you've mentioned it, I believe that's a honest assessment.


6:50 PM  

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