Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron will play in his 600th career NHL game tonight against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Number 37 reaches the milestone games-played mark at the young age of twenty-eight, ten years after making his debut with the Bruins as an 18-year-old back in 2003.
Bergeron was drafted in the second round of arguably the best NHL entry draft in history. In 2003, the Bruins selected the native of Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec 45th overall. Amazingly, the defensive centre was able to earn a spot with the big club only months after draft day.
The first two rounds of the 2003 draft produced a plethora of NHL calibre stars and staples, including:
1. Marc-Andre Fleury – 1 Stanley Cup 09′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′
2. Eric Staal – 1 Stanley Cup 06′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′, NHL Captain
4. Nathan Horton – 1 Stanley Cup 11′
5. Thomas Vanek
6. Milan Michalek
7. Ryan Suter – Olympic Silver Medal 10′
8. Braydon Coburn
9. Dion Phaneuf – NHL Captain
11. Jeff Carter – 1 Stanley Cup 12′
13. Dustin Brown – 1 Stanley Cup 12′ Olympic Silver Medal 10′, NHL Captain
14. Brent Seabrook – 2 Stanley Cups 10′ & 13′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′
17. Zach Parise – Olympic Silver Medal 10′, Former NHL Captain
19. Ryan Getzlaf – 1 Stanley Cup 07′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′, NHL Captain
20. Brent Burns
21. Mark Stuart – Former Bergeron teammate 2003-2011
23. Ryan Kesler – Olympic Silver Medal 10′
24. Mike Richards – 1 Stanley Cup 12′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′, Former NHL Captain
28. Corey Perry – 1 Stanley Cup 07′, Olympic Gold Medal 10′
33. Loui Eriksson – Current Bergeron teammate 2013
49. Shea Weber – Olympic Gold Medal 10′, NHL Captain
52. Corey Crawford – 1 Stanley Cup 13′
62. David Backes – Olympic Silver Medal 10′, NHL Captain
64. Jimmy Howard
For full 2003 draft details view this page courtesy of Wikipedia, via the NHL.
The amazing thing about Bergeron is that he was NHL ready at eighteen, whereas, most of the great names on the above displayed list took a few years to develop into players who could compete in the best league in the world.
Bergeron survives concussion scare in 2007
The story of Patrice Bergeron is inspirational and hopeful. On October 27, 2007, the future Stanley Cup champion was on the receiving end of a brutal hit from behind perpetrated by former Philadelphia Flyer, Randy Jones. Bergeron was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and taken immediately to hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion and broken nose.
The list of NHL players whose careers were cut short by concussions is long and tragic. Bergeron’s lengthy concussion recovery led many to believe he would become another great player to have his career cut short too soon. However, unlike most who suffer from head injuries, Bergeron has found a way to survive and arguably become a better player, and a relatively injury free one, as well. It’s a nice story.
Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, earning his Bruins the franchise’s first championship since 1972.
In 2011-12 the Bruins defensive specialist was awarded the Frank J. Selke trophy as the league’s best defensive forward.
600 games is an incredible achievement for any NHL player. Given Bergeron’s concussion history, this is even more special.
Bergeron is a fighter, above all else. He led the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup final in three years only months ago. Upon losing in Game 6 of the final round it was revealed that Bergeron had suffered torn rib cartilage, a broken rib, a separated right shoulder, and a punctured lung that eventually collapsed. He never missed a game. Bergeron injury report courtesy of ESPN. Read full update here.
Congrats to Patrice Bergeron, who'll be playing in 600th NHL game tonight. I remember well when he was 18YO shy kid from Quebec #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) November 19, 2013