Bergeron an understated great

Posted 7/27/23

Tuesday was a whopper of a news day for Boston sports which is unusual in the summer. Although I had a few topics to touch on, there was just too much national news to chew on that broke.

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Bergeron an understated great


Tuesday was a whopper of a news day for Boston sports which is unusual in the summer. Although I had a few topics to touch on, there was just too much national news to chew on that broke.

Here are a few thoughts on all of the news that unfolded:

In my opinion, the biggest story to break was Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins’ captain and longtime standout center announced his retirement after 19 historic seasons and in my eyes, he should be considered one of the best athletes to come to Boston.

Bergeron was the model of consistency both on and off the ice. Sure, he was never the best player in the league, but he was always above average and finished his career as the all-time leader in Selke Awards. Not many players can say that they were above average for 19 seasons, but he is one of the few that can say that.

He was the best two-way player ever, arguably, and was a leader early in his career. Although Zdeno Chara wore the “C” for much of Bergeron’s tenure, everyone in the city knew that it was just as much Bergeron’s team as it was Chara’s. One of the most satisfying feelings was the first time Bergeron skated on the ice with the “C” a few years back after Chara left. It was a longtime coming and a title that he earned years earlier.

It is a shame that Bergeron walks away with just one championship ring. For the player that he was and some of the talented rosters behind him, it just feels like even just one more could have happened. They lost in the Stanley Cup Finals twice and each of them burned because we all knew that the Bruins could have won. If Bergeron added just one more title to his resume, I truly believe he’d have a case as the franchise’s best player of all time, even above Bobby Orr.

It is what it is, though, and either way, Bergeron is an all-time Bruin and an all-time player. It will be interesting if the NHL Hall of Fame recognizes him as such considering he never won an MVP, but I do believe the Selke Awards should absolutely be enough to get him in. In fact, I’d say to exclude him would be a gigantic oversight. It would be inexcusable.

Next up is the Boston Celtics extending Jaylen Brown and giving him a super max deal that exceeds $300 million in value. It is an overpayment, but the reality in professional sports these days is that if you want the player, you need to cough up more than what should be necessary.

I like Brown as a player, I do. He’s talented, experienced and plays with an edge that the rest of the Celtics roster has lacked over the past few years. This team continues to be a perennial playoff squad but is missing that x-factor. Although Brown has come up short, I do believe he is a worthy piece to keep in the building.

It is an overpayment, though, don’t let my compliments fool you. He is now the highest-paid player in the history of the league which is absurd.

Again, anytime a big player gets a new deal it reestablishes the market just as this contract extension did. Brown is a very good player, but not a guy that will lead a team to a championship as its best asset. Most people refer to him as a No. 2, when in my eyes, he’s a No. 3 on a championship team. A valuable player that is top, say, 30 in the league, but certainly closer to 30 than 1.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are one of the best young duos in the league and locking Brown down will now give the Celtics a chance at a title every year. I don’t like their mental makeups, but physically, they’re as good as a 1-2 punch as any. I like the signing, but don’t love it.

The third item that broke, well items, were the returns of Jack Jones and Lawrence Guy to the Patriots just in time for training camp, which started on Wednesday.

Jones was arrested at Logan Airport back in June for carrying multiple, loaded firearms in his carry on luggage. Guy skipped OTA’s in May and June over a contract dispute. No one was sure if they’d be back in the building in time for camp, so it was a relief to see them report.

Guy has been a model citizen for the Patriots since joining the team a few years ago and is one of the most underrated players at his position. It sounds like cooler heads will prevail when it comes to his contract which is important.

As for Jones, he is due back in court in August. Not sure how the legal process will play out, but if he misses time this season, and he could potentially be facing significant jail time, that would be a massive blow to the defense. Having him in the building is a positive sign, but Patriots fans should be holding their collective breaths as the weeks go on.

My Pitch, sports, column


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