By: Kenny Doyle
Patrice Bergeron will be 32 at the start of next season. Despite that, Bergeron is once again a Selke finalist and attempting to be just the second player in history to win the award 4 times. In the last 2 years Bergeron has finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the Selke voting despite the fact that the Bruins missed the playoffs both years. Bergeron’s brilliance has been wasted on a middling Bruins team that has only played in 1 playoff series in 3 seasons. Entering his 14th year in the NHL, Bergeron’s time to be a first liner on a championship team is running out.
It’s not Bergeron’s fault that the Bruins have been this bad. The seasons he’s put up have been sensational. It’s the Bruins fault that they haven’t done there job surrounding one of the best players in the NHL with enough talent to compete. Ever since the Bruins traded Tyler Seguin, the right wing position opposite Brad Marchand has been a revolving door and the other lines have been anywhere from mostly average to somewhat atrocious. After failing time and time again, this could be the Bruins last year they can dependably build around one Patrice Bergeron.
According to a study done by the UBC business school, forwards typically peak at the age of 28 and put up production within 90% of their top season between the ages 24-32. That would mean that this upcoming season would be the last year Bergeron would put up close to the numbers he has in recent years.
Believe it or not, the decline for Bergeron can already be seen. Bergeron had his lowest point and goal totals since 2013 a season in which he only played 42 games. If you exclude any season where Bergeron played less than 75 games, it’s his lowest goal and point totals of his career (he played 79 games this season and has played at least 75 games in 8 of his 14 seasons).
Bergeron’s window is closing now. If the Bruins want to win with him, they have to win it now. On the other side of town the Boston Celtics are picking 1st overall in this year’s draft thanks to a trade they made shipping off their 2 aging stars for picks. If the Bruins aren’t thinking about trading Bergeron soon, they would be foolish. If they’re not going to be good enough to win the Stanley Cup, they have to consider it.