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When Patrice Bergeron Was A Rookie — Flyers Included Esche, Recchi, Roenick, Brashear

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Patrice Bergeron scores winning goal against Flyers. (AP Photo)
Patrice Bergeron scores winning goal against Flyers. (AP Photo)

Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement Tuesday after 19 seasons in the NHL, all with Boston.

Bergeron had a Hall of Fame career. He was the best two-way player of his generation. His numbers are tremendous: 1,040 points (427 goals, 613 assists) in 1,294 games. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011, won the Selke Trophy a record six times and was a plus-289.

He also played 170 playoff games and scored 128 points (50 goals, 78 assists). Not bad for the 45th overall pick. There were 13 centers drafted before Bergeron that year, including Jeff Carter (11th) and Mike Richards (24th).

Bergeron played 63 games against Philadelphia. He scored 23 goals, 28 assists and was a plus-10.

Bergeron has been around so long, we decided to look back at the Flyers’ 2003-04 team, Bergeron’s rookie season. Ken Hitchcock’s Flyers were strong that season, going 45-20-4. They lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay.

In 2003-04, the Flyers’ goaltenders were Robert Esche (40 games), Jeff Hackett (27 games) and Sean Burke (15 games).

Mark Recchi, at age 35, led the Flyers in goals with 26 and points with 75. Simon Gagne scored 24 goals and John LeClair had 23.

Other notables on the Flyers that season: Keith Primeau, Tony Amonte, Jeremy Roenick, Michal Handzus, Sami Kapanen, Kim Johnsson, Joni Pitkanen, Donald Brashear, Eric Desjardins, Justin Williams — before the fateful and bad trade that sent him to Carolina.

A 21-year-old Patrick Sharp played 41 games and scored five goals and two assists. Someone named Kirby Law played six of his nine career NHL games. Randy Jones — presumably not the San Diego Padres left-hander — played five games on defense.

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Around The National Hockey Network:

Boston Hockey Now: Top 5 Patrice Bergeron moments.

Buffalo Hockey Now: Patrice Bergeron’s retirement improves Sabres’ playoff odds.

Carolina Hockey Now: Welcome to Carolina Hockey Now.

Chicago Hockey Now: Could Jonathan Toews follow Patrice Bergeron into retirement?

Colorado Hockey Now: Which new Avalanche player is the most important?

Detroit Hockey Now: Red Wings will have some salary-cap space for 2024 UFAs.

Los Angeles Hockey Now: Players to watch in Rookie Faceoff tournament.

Montreal Hockey Now: Top three Canadiens with something to prove.

New Jersey Hockey Now: The Devils have some bargain contracts.

New York Islanders Hockey Now: Isles waiting Zach Parise’s retirement decision.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Sidney Crosby salutes Patrice Bergeron retirement.

Vegas Hockey Now: Stanley Cup profile — general manager Kelly McCrimmon (Brad McCrimmon’s brother).

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