Patrice Bergeron explains why he chose not to retire, why his contract took so long to finalize

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Boston Bruins’ captain Patrice Bergeron addressed the media Monday shortly after the organization announced his one-year, $2.5 million deal to return to Boston

Despite Bergeron having made his decision before the start of NHL free-agency which opened on July 13, his contract couldn’t be finalized until August, mostly due to organizational salary cap decisions.

“Honestly my decision had been made even before free-agency. I let Sweens [Bruins GM Don Sweeney] know, like I told him I would, so that they could make whatever move they want to make and so that they could plan ahead.

Once Bergeron’s decision was made, he and his agent worked with Bruins management to negotiate a contract that would keep Boston cap-compliant while leaving space for the team to sign fellow center David Krejci.

“We knew that there was a cap situation, and we were trying to make it work, and we talked with the management and obviously for them there was other things up in the air that they needed to work on, and it took some time for the structure to lay out,” Bergeron said about the extended talks.

“Concern was more trying to make it work for them and for the cap, and finding ways to make everyone fit in, especially once I knew Krejci was coming back,” he said.

Bergeron said his decision to stay for another year with the Bruins came down to two important factors: his family and his passion for playing in Boston.

When asked why he didn’t choose the route of retirement, Bergeron said, “I think the fire, desire, passion was too strong for me to take that path right now."

He credited his teammates for keeping that passion alive.

“Those are the things that I say when I talk about the things that I’ll miss the most when it’s all done and over with, I think it’s really the guys and battling with them night in and night out and obviously that had a big influence on me wanting to come back,” Bergeron said.

Bergeron wouldn’t say whether or not he plans on this being his final season in the league.