Much was made of the Boston Bruins and their recent extension for goaltender Tuukka Rask. Despite a fine season, particularly in the playoffs, they took plenty of criticism for signing the netminder to an eight-year deal. There have been no such criticisms in regard to their new deal with forward Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron signed a contract extension last week, as he was set to become a free agent following the 2013-14 season. It’s for the maximum length of eight years, and will carry a cap hit of $6.5 million. Considering what some elite players take home, this deal for Bergeron could be looked at as something of a steal.
We all know about how tough Bergeron is, perhaps to the point of foolishness, given how much he played through in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. But even before he became lauded for his warrior-like ability to stay on the ice in those circumstances, he was an elite player.
His numbers aren’t quite on par with the elite players in the game, but he’s a steady offensive presence in the lineup. He’s scored at least 20 goals in a season four times, and another season of 19, and had reached the 50-point mark in three consecutive seasons prior to the lockout shortened 2013.
What makes Bergeron most valuable is his two-way play. He’s, arguably, the top two-way center in the game, as evident by him being a perennial Selke Trophy candidate. He won the award in 2011-12 and very nearly stole it again in 2013. He’s a faceoff wizard, winning 56 percent of draws for his career, including a success rate of 62 in 2013.
One of the best all-around players in the game certainly deserved the type of contract that Bergeron just received from the Bruins. Even though he’s not a player who will put up 80 or 90 points in a season, his two-way play, and ability to put the puck in the net, makes him extremely valuable, and very worthy of this new deal.