by Fitzgerald Cecilio

The Boston Bruins locked up center Patrice Bergeron on an eight-year, $52 million extension.

The deal would keep the 27-year-old Bergeron in black and gold until a possible retirement age at 37 after the 2021-2022.

It would be his 18th season with the Bruins.

"I've been a Bruin since the start of my career and they're a team that believed in me as an 18-year-old coming in, and I'm really happy now to say I will hopefully retire a Bruin. That's the goal, and that's what I want," said Bergeron.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli said he is happy to see Bergeron finish his career with the Bruins.

"He embodies a lot of what the Bruins stand for. He's a responsible player. He's a hard player. He's a leader. He's a clutch player, and he has a classic way of carrying himself," said Chiarelli.

Bergeron will make $5 million next season in the final year of his previous deal before the new contract begins in 2014. Starting in 2014-15, the assistant captain will carry a $6.5 million annual salary-cap hit.

He had 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points during the shortened 2013 regular season and added 9 goals and 6 assists for 15 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Bergeron played Bruins' Game 6 elimination in the Stanley Cup finals with a broken rib and torn rib cartilage and dislocated his shoulder in the contest. He was hospitalized after the game with a collapsed lung.

Nearly two weeks after Boston's season came to an end, Bergeron is feeling better but is still unable to increase his heart rate due to his lung. He'll be able to slowly begin working out after completing four weeks of rehab next week.

"Patrice is a terrific character guy and he's shown his resiliency, so we're comfortable with the risk," said Chiarelli.


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"Patrice Bergeron signs 8-year extension with Bruins"