Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron to decide on future after season

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron intends to play out the final season of his eight-year, $55 million contract before deciding if he’ll return to the team in 2022-23.

Bergeron, 36, has played his entire 17-year NHL career with the Bruins. He is slated for unrestricted free agency in July.

“I’m going to play out this year, and then talk about that after,” Bergeron said Wednesday.

A four-time Selke Trophy recipient as the NHL’s best defensive forward, Bergeron previously said he is focused on winning a Stanley Cup this season. After that, he’ll let the chips fall where they may.

“That’s something that a lot of people have asked me this summer,” Bergeron said. “I think for me, the way that I approach this year is I want to concentrate on this year. I have a year left on my contract, and I think it’d be useless of me to think about the future.

“I think I want to create something special, as I said. We obviously want to work towards winning a Stanley Cup. I know everyone says that, but it’s definitely our goal as a team. And I think we always are competitive to be in that group of teams. So, I think that’s where that’s where my focus is at right now.”

Bergeron recorded 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) in 55 games last season. He was named a finalist for the Selke for a record 10th consecutive season in 2020-21 after winning the trophy in 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17.

A Stanley Cup champion in 2011, Bergeron has 917 points (375 goals, 542 assists) in 1,143 career games since being selected by Boston in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft.