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Bergeron’s agent defends clients’ decision to play significantly injured

Jun 28, 2013, 10:48 AM EDT

Patrice Bergeron Getty Images

If anyone doubted Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron’s toughness before, they don’t now. He played in Game 6 with a broken rib, torn rib cartilage and a separated shoulder. If that wasn’t enough, it was later revealed that he had a small puncture in his lung.

He was consequently hospitalized after the Bruins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Final. That’s after he was forced to leave Game 5 to go to the hospital.

So yeah, his toughness isn’t in question, but what some people are asking is if he should have played through those types of injuries. His agent, Kent Hughes, thinks Bergeron was very comfortable with his decision and wouldn’t have played if he was subjecting himself to unreasonable health risks.

“One thing I know for sure is that Bergy’s a pretty thoughtful person,” Hughes told the Boston Globe. “He’s well thought out, not emotional at all, when it comes to this sort of stuff. For example, he didn’t talk through [the decision to play] with me that day, and that tells me he was confident in how he felt about it.

“He’s bright. He’d ask all the questions, like, ‘How much more could I be hurt, if . . . ?’ So, obviously, I can’t speak for him, but I’d be very surprised if he looked back and think or wish that he’d done anything differently. He’s not stupid brave.”

Hughes also said that Bergeron left the hospital on Wednesday and should be fine after the fatigue and pain fade.

  1. jpelle82 - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    i wouldnt have blamed him for sitting it out but i respect him more for playing it. one of my favorite players and still is.

  2. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    It was a great finals, and now we see the extent to which both teams were willing to lay it on the line. I remember Chara played hurt towards the end, not sure who all else with the Bruins. For the Hawks, Hossa and Handzeus are headed to surgery, maybe Bickell, Shaw played with a broken rib, Toews came back after not finishing game 5 due to two headshots.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    You could tell how hurt he was in game 6 as he got to the bench after every shift. Still played a hell of a game. What a stand-up team guy he is. A lock for future captain.

  4. golfsox78 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Hockey is by far the best sport. Kudos to the Hawks. Both are tough teams that play right. If the B’s lost to Vancouver it would have pissed me off for years. With the Hawks, yeah it stings. But not as much since I respect that team.

    2013 Championship Speech: Toews: “we” 14 times. “I” 0 times. Lebron: “we” 0 times. “I” 18 times.

  5. ray2013 - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    A nephew of mine had a punctured lung once. When the doctors figured out he had a hole in his lung, he was immediately immobilized him because apparently you can die from that hole in your lung. The lung is not like a broken bone you can put a cast on, or something you just stitch up.

    So when I heard hole in the lung, plus a broken rib, etc. I didn’t think he was courageous. I thought he was an idiot for playing, and that the team shouldn’t have given him a choice. When it comes to injuries of that nature, you don’t let them “play through it”.

    • 19to77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      He got the puncture in game 6. He was cleared to play because he didn’t have that particular injury, and it wasn’t known about until after the end of the final game.

    • krebsy34 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      OK I’m sick of people thinking they know what is best for other people! You aren’t him! You haven’t trained like him! You don’t have his drive, his will to win, to give everything for his team! Everyone who makes it to the NHL knows the dangers of playing the sport. They have all seen what happened to Malarchuk and Zednik. This isn’t your nephew! This is a warrior who trains his body every day to be the best, strongest, most athletic body he can have! You think just because he has one one cup he would just say “Ya know, I’ve already won 1 cup and that’s good enough for me.” NO F*CKING WAY! These are some of the toughest people in the world! What kind of leader would he be if he could play and didn’t? He sure wouldn’t be an assistant captain, that’s for sure. These players will do anything for their team. If he didn’t play and they lost and everyone on that team never wins another cup again, or gets a chance to play for the cup, he would have felt like he didn’t give everything. Since he played, he knows he did all he could to help those players who don’t have their name on the cup to try and get it on there. If he isn’t on his death bed, and can take the pain, and wants to play, then let him play (as the Bruins did). How dare you try and take away the pride NHL players have for being some of the toughest athletes on the planet! They are grown men, who do their job to the fullest extent of their abilities, injured or not! Even as a non-NHL player I have tremendous pride that they play through injuries instead of being wheel chaired off because of a dislocated shoulder (D.Wade)

      • ray2013 - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        He’s not my nephew. He’s a professional athlete. And hockey players play through pain. Broken legs, teeth, stitches, etc. I’m familiar with it.

        But look at the multi-billion dollar lawsuit that the NFL is going through from former players re: injuries. Look at the lawsuit that Boogard’s family is suing. This isn’t the 1950s anymore. Allowing a player to play, damn all the risks, is a recipe for problems the NHL doesn’t want. Nor do I. I don’t want to turn on TSN (or ESPN) and have to hear about lawsuits.

        Show more concern about the long-term health of players. Or risk the lawsuits.

  6. hockeyflow33 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    The only people questioning the decision are guys who’ve never laced up the skates.

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