Patrice Bergeron announces retirement after 19 NHL seasons

Patrice Bergeron announced that he is hanging up his skates for good in a heartfelt letter on Tuesday.

Boston, MA - April 30: Boston Bruins C Patrice Bergeron salutes the crowd after the season-ending loss. The Bruins lost to the Florida Panthers, 4-3, in overtime of Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement after 19 NHL seasons in a letter published to the team's website on Tuesday.

“It is with a full heart and a lot of gratitude that today I am announcing my retirement as a professional hockey player,” Bergeron wrote in the heartfelt essay.

“As hard as it is to write, I also write it knowing how blessed and lucky I feel to have had the career that I have had, and that I have the opportunity to leave the game I love on my terms. It wasn't a decision that I came to lightly. But after listening to my body, and talking with my family, I know in my heart that this is the right time to step away from playing the game I love.”

The 38-year-old center was selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft and played in 1,294 regular-season games and another 170 in the playoffs, all with the spoked-B on his chest. He became the captain in 2021 after long-time Bruins leader Zdeno Chara left in free agency.

"As I step away today, I have no regrets. I have only gratitude that I lived my dream, and excitement for what is next for my family and I," Bergeron continued. "I left everything out there and I'm humbled and honored it was representing this incredible city and for the Boston Bruins fans."

Throughout his legendary career with Boston, he managed to win the Stanley Cup once in 2011 and has a record six Selke Trophy wins to his name, including going back-to-back in the final two years of his career. Now, the Bruins have the impossible task of trying to stay afloat after their record-breaking 2022-23 season without their captain and most important player of the last decade.

Bergeron leaves the NHL as one of the best two-way forwards to ever lace them up as a purely dominant force in almost every aspect of the sport. In his 1,294 career games, he scored 427 goals and 1,040 points.

The L'Ancienne-Lorrette, Que., native enjoyed an illustrious international career as well, leading Canada to two Olympic gold medals, as well as clinching gold in the world championships, World Cup of Hockey, world junior Championships and Spengler Cup.