Patrice Bergeron meeting with Bruins GM next week to discuss future

Patrice Bergeron will meet with Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney next week to talk about his future plans, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The longtime Bruins centreman is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and has so far remained mum on whether or not he intends to return to the club for a 19th season.

Boston will be without stars Brad Marchand (hip) and Charlie McAvoy (shoulder) for the start of the season and the Bruins are still searching for a new head coach after firing Bruce Cassidy earlier this month. David Pastrnak, who led the team with 40 goals this season, is also a year away from free agency.

Friedman discussed the latest Friday on The Jeff Marek Show amid a report from Joe McDonald of the Telegram & Gazette that Bergeron has decided to return on a one-year deal.

“Basically, Bergeron’s on vacation right now and he’ll be meeting with the Bruins next week to formalize this. … I think this is all going to get finalized next week,” Friedman said. “I just think that him coming back is proof that … the Bruins are not ready to rebuild. They’re going to try to get through the first few months until everyone gets healthy and then bet on themselves in the back end.”

Bergeron, who turns 37 in July, won the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward for a record fifth time this past season while scoring 25 goals and 65 points.

The L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que., native is fourth on most of the Bruins’ all-time lists, including goals (400), assists (582) and points (982), and is third on all-time games with the club at 1,216.

Bergeron has helped the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final three times, winning the title in 2011, and has served as captain during the previous two seasons.

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