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Should the Boston Bruins Move On from Patrice Bergeron?

Now in his 18th NHL season, Patrice Bergeron is still performing at an elite level – and it would be strange to see him leave his only NHL home. Nevertheless, one hockey pundit believes it's time for the Boston Bruins to move on from their captain.
Patrice Bergeron

Now in his 18th NHL season, Patrice Bergeron is still performing at an elite level. Nevertheless, one observer believes it's time for the Boston Bruins to move on from their captain.

Boston Hockey Now's Joe Haggerty cited Mike Milbury making that suggestion during an appearance last Thursday on WEEI's “Greg Hill Show.” Pointing out the difficulty the Bruins could face making the playoffs this season, the former NBC Sports hockey analyst felt management should start shipping out aging assets like Bergeron and winger Brad Marchand and rebuild their prospect pool.

Bergeron is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He and Bruins GM Don Sweeney agreed in September to put off contract talks until the end of this season. Milbury believed it's time for Sweeney to meet with the four-time Selke Trophy winner and discuss a possible trade to a contender.

The Bruins aren't a Stanley Cup contender like they were two years ago. They're jockeying with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. They could miss the cut this season.

Bergeron and Marchand would draw considerable interest if the Bruins shopped one or both at the March trade deadline. However, it's doubtful Sweeney will jeopardize his club's chances for a playoff berth by trading Marchand or Bergeron, even at the risk of the latter departing next summer via free agency.

Considering how much Bergeron means to the Bruins and his loyalty to the club, don't be surprised if he signs a contract extension before next summer's free-agent market opens on July 13. 

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