Bruins expect Patrice Bergeron to start camp on time
ANDOVER — In each of the last two seasons, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron began the year on the shelf with a groin injury, then had postseason surgery to address the issue.
Coach Bruce Cassidy hopes Bergeron, one of the NHL’s most consistently excellent players, can break that routine.
Cassidy said Monday that he expects his No. 1 center, who had groin surgery in early June, to be in uniform when training camp opens in Brighton in three weeks. It is Cassidy’s belief that Bergeron, who recently turned 33, also will be ready when the season opens Oct. 3 in Washington.
“I don’t have any reason to believe he wouldn’t be,” Cassidy said at Andover Country Club, where he was playing in a charity golf tournament for the Sports Museum of New England. “But I guess until they get on the ice and skating, it’s hard for me to project that.
“I try not to go down that road. Coach whoever’s healthy. It’s just easier to worry about, or overanalyze. I think he’ll be fine.”
Bergeron’s availability for preseason games is another matter. Cassidy said he may miss one, or perhaps several such tuneups. The Bruins’ preseason schedule includes home-and-home dates with Washington, Detroit, and Philadelphia, and games against Calgary in Beijing and Shenzhen, China.
“He’ll play [as much as] he needs,” Cassidy said. “I’m not too worried about that.”
On June 19 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, where he took his typical spotlight turn as a Selke Trophy finalist, Bergeron revealed that he had groin surgery about 10 days earlier. After the Bruins’ season ended with a second-round loss to Tampa Bay, he had said he believed rest and rehab would repair the problem.
Bergeron sat for 18 games last season, or about 22 percent of the schedule. He missed the first five with the groin injury. A broken foot caused him to miss 13 games in February and March. Despite that, he reached the 30-goal mark for the fourth time, totaling 30-33—63 in 64 games.
Bergeron’s stylish two-way play and the Bruins’ success (a 112-point regular season) had him considered by many to be an MVP candidate before he missed time.
He wound up clocking his lightest workload in a decade, since concussions limited him to 10- and 64-game seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Not counting those two seasons and the lockout year of 2012-13, Bergeron has averaged 77 games a year. This will be his 15th NHL season.
Cassidy also said defensemen Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo, both of whom finished the year on broken left ankles, were skating and should be ready for camp. Same goes for forwards Jake DeBrusk (shoulder), Noel Acciari (groin), and David Backes (concussion).