Marchand has emotional response to question about Bergeron's future


The Boston Bruins' season is over, and now all eyes turn to captain Patrice Bergeron and his uncertain future with the franchise.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Bruins 3-2 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series at PNC Arena on Saturday night. It could have been Bergeron's final game with the Bruins. The 36-year-old center's contract is about to expire, and he hasn't given any hint of what his decision might be.

Bergeron is the longest-tenured player on the B's roster. He made his debut with the franchise in the 2003-04 season. The player with the second-longest tenure in Boston is Brad Marchand -- Bergeron's linemate for many years.

Marchand was emotional when asked about Bergeron's future following the Bruins' Game 7 defeat.

"He's the backbone of our team, obviously the biggest part of our team," Marchand said. "We want him to come back, but whatever happens, he's earned the right to make whatever decision he wants and takes the time that he needs. I guess time will tell."

Marchand and Bergeron have been one of the NHL's most productive duos for nearly a decade. They are elite two-way players -- Marchand as the league's best all-around left wing and Bergeron as a top 10 center. Bergeron and Marchand played pivotal roles in the Bruins ending their 39-year championship drought in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, highlighted by each player scoring twice in Game 7 of the series.


They are the engine that drives the Bruins' success at both ends of the ice. It goes without saying that losing a player of Bergeron's caliber would be a significant setback for Boston's roster and make it quite difficult for the franchise to compete for a title next season.