Mike Milbury has been a polarizing figure in the hockey world for decades, dating back to his days of hitting fans over the head with their shoe in Madison Square Garden. Milbury came out this week on the WEEI Greg Hill Show to state that he believes the Boston Bruins should move on from superstar center Patrice Bergeron. Milbury did make mention that Bergeron may want to go somewhere he could win a Stanley Cup if the Bruins are to fall out of playoff contention. Bergeron is currently in the last year of his contract and set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Talks on a new contract with the Bruins are currently on hold as both Bergeon, and the team have made statements that they will shelf contract negotiations until after the season.
This has led to a lot of speculation that Bergeron is nearing retirement. While the most likely scenario is signing one-year deals until he decides to hang up the skates, social media has exploded with the idea of Bergeron leaving the Bruins to play elsewhere. Mike Milbury suggested that the Bruins trade Bergeron while he has value in his deal to net them a return that the team could build off. This has been met with a lot of criticism, and rightly so, Don Sweeney should never trade Bergeron; his job depends on it. While the Bruins organization lacks center depth, and a PB37 trade could net them future center depth, I do not see this as the avenue to refill their cupboards. Bergeron is the heart and soul of a Boston organization that lets the likes of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug walk in free agency. Fans in Boston couldn’t take Bergeron leaving the team in any fashion via trade or free agency. Sweeney has to do whatever he can to keep Patrice Bergeron in Boston until retirement.
While Milbury may have some sense that the Bruins do not have the depth to replace Bergeron once he retires, I would say most people around the team understand that Bergeron, Marchand, and Rask are moving on from the team will start a rebuild in the organization. Bergeron has played his entire career with the Bruins organization, and the feeling I get is that he will end his career with the team and move into the front office or player development. It would be an embarrassment on the organization not to have #37 retire as a Bruin and put his number in the rafters within two to three years of his retirement, similar to the Henrik Lundqvist number retirement with the Rangers.
Don’t sweat it for all of the Bruins fans or fans hoping their team could snag Bergeron from the Bruins! All signs point to Bergeron staying with the Bruins for his entire career. Sorry Canadians fans, we will chalk this up to Milbury trying to get some airtime now that he is no longer on an NHL broadcasting team.