If it is possible to designate today Patrice Bergeron as one of the players the most comprehensive of the national hockey League (NHL), it has not always been the case. The attacker of the Boston Bruins has his success as a striker a defensive to a former coach of the Titan of Acadie-Bathurst.
The Québécois did not play a full season in the national hockey League the Quebec major junior, but it has been decisive, thanks to the advice of Real Payment, which has had a successful coaching career behind the bench of several clubs in the circuit Courteau between 1986 and 2011.
“In junior, my coach of the time has made me realize that I could not reach the next level with my offensive. I had to work on the game and it even made me play it to the wing for some time this year for me to learn to play right wing. I think it was for more options [at professional level]”, remembered Bergeron, in an interview with NBC Sports Boston, Tuesday.
The native of l’ancienne-Lorette has worked extremely hard since the 2002-2003 season, he achieved a ninth award nomination for Frank-J.-Selke, awarded to the best attacker to the defensive character of the NHL, this year. He has also won the award four times.
“He [Réal Payment] told me that if I wanted to get there, I had to explore more of the side of offensive, but also the defensive side of the ball. I had to become better and I could not just rely on one aspect to move forward,” said the one who has tallied 56 points in 61 games in 2019-2020, while showing a differential of +23.
“It was good to hear, but it was still better to put the time and effort to do it,” added Bergeron, who believes that his coaches in the boston Bruins Mike Sullivan, Claude Julien and Bruce Cassidy have also made progress through the years.
The one who will be 35 years old on the 24th of July shows no sign of slowing down, and could continue to add to his record of consecutive appointments for the Selke. It could even go beyond Bob Gainey with a fifth trophy of the kind this year.