Bruins Captain Leads By Example

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

It was an eventful weekend for the Boston Bruins organization for all the wrong reasons. The signing of Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract caused a response for which the team did not seem prepared. Almost surprised by the outcry of criticism regarding the signing of the controversial player, the Bruins were adamant that Miller had rehabilitated himself and that the team had done their due diligence on the matter. It turns out neither were true. What the team should have probably done was listen to their players.

Bruins’ captain Patrice Bergeron went on the record to say that the team asked some players how they would feel about the signing. Bergeron had concerns over the effect adding Miller would have on the team’s culture, which was formed by former captain Zdeno Chara and passed on to Bergeron. After the Bruins began the process of rescinding the offer to Miller, the five-time Selke Award winner felt vindicated.

“I think that situation goes back to what we’ve built here as an organization, as a team, as a locker room is to be inclusive and a locker room of respect and integrity,” Bergeron said.“For us, nothing has changed as far as who we are as individuals, as [people], as a culture in this locker room, and what our core values are. We hear you. Also, we feel like our values remain the same.” This situation was a black mark on an Original Six organization and another example of Bergeron’s outstanding leadership qualities.

The Quebec native was 18 years old as a rookie for Boston in 2003-04 and barely spoke English. The Bruins saw immediate potential in the second-round pick, who finished eighth in the Calder Trophy voting for the league’s best rookie. Bergeron will play in his 1,230th regular season game on Thursday night in Boston against the Calgary Flames. The center is seven points away from 1,000 in his illustrious career. But his greatest value to the team might be his leadership and how he sets an example for all players.

Former head coach Bruce Cassidy lauded Bergeron for being a coach on the ice. Current coach Jim Montgomery credits Bergeron for helping the new coach acclimate to the team. Bergeron has also emphasized the importance of inclusion by banning the mistreatment of rookies on the team. And now, in this latest example with Miller, Bergeron spoke openly and honestly about his feelings towards the decision by Boston’s management. Bergeron felt it went against the values that the players, led by Bergeron, had instilled within the team.

As the Bruins begin moving on from this lapse in judgment, the team continues to excel on the ice. Boston suffered just their second loss of the season the game after the signing. The timing was probably coincidental, but Bergeron admitted the situation was an unnecessary distraction. The day after the Bruins cut ties with Miller, the team beat St. Louis 3-1, and Bergeron scored the game-winner. Again, probably coincidental, but Bergeron’s penchant and timing for leading by example is far from coincidental.

Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30 Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30
  2. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  3. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  4. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  5. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone

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