Enjoying a normal summer is a foreign concept for Patrice Bergeron.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each scenario. A long playoff run equals a short summer. A long summer means an early postseason exit, or not appearance at all. He’s experienced it all.
Last summer, he had to ramp up his offseason workout earlier than normal in order to prepare for the World Cup of Hockey with Team Canada. After dealing with a season-long injury, Bergeron had surgery to repair a sports hernia in May after the Ottawa Senators eliminated the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
The disappointments of the season, along with his rehab from surgery were quickly wiped away when Bergeron and his wife, Stephanie, welcomed their second child, daughter Victoria, early last month. Their son, Zack, was born in October 2015.
It was this type of summer that once again helped Bergeron gain a new outlook on his career as a parent.
“You appreciate every day that you have and it makes you realize also that it’s a great game, a passion for me, but also family’s always going to be first," he said. "Sometimes it helps to put the bad games behind me quicker than I used to, so it definitely helps that way.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to share this with my son last year, and now with my daughter moving forward. It’s great to share with them behind the scenes and it’s pretty special.”
Bergeron and linemate Brad Marchand have become one of the more consistent pairings in the league. Their chemistry on and off the ice is impressive. After this summer, they now have more in common.
Marchand and his wife, Katrina, welcomed a daughter in July.
“They’re going to be hopefully running around together for awhile, so we’re pretty excited about that,” Bergeron said, who admitted becoming a father changed his career.
“To me, it was really an eye-opener and I’m sure it’s going to be the same for Marchy,” Bergeron said.
When Bergeron wasn’t focused on being a dad this summer, he was rehabbing and preparing for the 2017-18 season. After the surgery, it was nearly 10 weeks before he was able to be back on the ice. There are still some restrictions but he said he’ll be 100 percent when camp begins on Sept. 14.
“I feel good. There’s still some restriction there that we have to work on, but overall I feel pretty good,” he said. “I feel good on the ice. I feel good in the gym. We definitely still have some treatments but I feel good and I know I’ll be ready for camp.”
The injury was bothering him so much last season, he admitted there were times on the ice when he was second-guessing himself. The fact that he’ll be 100 percent to start the season is a big relief for Bergeron.
“It’s mostly not having any pain,” he said. “It’s being able to skate and having a full stride and not having to think about it.”