When a player like Patrice Bergeron retires, a lot of hockey fans, Florida Panthers especially, and opposing players are happy because they don’t have to face a guy who tortured them for the better part of two decades. The former Boston Bruins captain retired in July after 19 NHL seasons and leaves with a very decorated trophy case.
Bergeron finishes his career with six Selke Trophies, one Stanley Cup, three All-Star appearances and a better faceoff percentage than Aleksander Barkov. The Panthers center jokingly said that with Bergeron retiring, his faceoff percentage will go up, according to Elliotte Friedman.
Though Barkov is pretty decent in the dot and has improved as his career goes on, Bergeron is no doubt the better faceoff man. The Bruins legend won more faceoffs than any other player since 2005-2006 when the stat started being recorded. He ranks eighth in faceoff percentage in that span as well.
Barkov's career-high is 56.9 percent, which he achieved during the 2021-2022 season. Bergeron has 12 seasons above that number and finished with a percentage higher than 60 six times.
The Bruins will no doubt miss Bergeron's leadership and his goal-scoring, but what they may miss the most is his abilities in the dot. It is an underrated part of the game and something that makes Bergeron stand out.
Aleksander Barkov won't be the only player who might benefit from Patrice Bergeron's retirement, though he is one of the better ones and saw a lot of games against the Bruins stalwart with the Panthers.
Florida is coming off a huge upset of the Bruins and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Panthers fans will expect more of the same this season.