The wait is over for Boston Bruins fans. Patrice Bergeron has officially made his decision.
The Bruins captain is returning for a 19th season with the Original Six franchise, the team announced Monday. He'll play on a one-year contract worth $2.5 million with an additional $2.5 million in incentives.
Bergeron was an unrestricted free agent after wrapping up his eight-year, $55 million contract that began during the 2014-15 campaign. The choice for Bergeron was come back to the Bruins or retire.
What would a fair contract extension for David Pastrnak, Bruins look like?
From a talent/performance perspective, there was no reason for Bergeron to retire. He remains one of the best forwards in the NHL. The 3-year-old center has scored 20-plus goals in nine consecutive years, and he was named the 2022 Selke Trophy winner as the league's top two-way forward for a record fifth time.
Bergeron coming back also buys the Bruins at least another year to find/develop his eventual replacement. Boston is totally unprepared for his eventual departure based on its lack of talent at center throughout the organization, including a prospect pool that ranks among the league's worst.
Now that Bergeron is back in the fold, the Bruins can turn their attention to other offseason items. That list includes a contract extension for superstar right winger David Pastrnak and working out a deal with veteran center David Krejci.
UPDATE: Krejci also has signed a one-year contract with Boston, the team announced Monday.