(Photo Credit: David Berding-USA Today Sports)

By: Joey Partridge | Follow Me On Twitter @joey_partridge

The National Hockey League offseason is in full swing and we are into the latter stages with a majority of unsigned players being signed. However, the Boston Bruins current captain, Zdeno Chara, remains an unrestricted free agent. The longer that free agency goes on and the more information that comes out about the 2021 season, the more of a possibility it becomes that Chara has played his last game in Boston.

At this current point in time, it is extremely hard to see the Bruins not bringing Chara back for another run at a Stanley Cup. However, we have all seen crazier things happen. Do the Bruins want to go younger and give prospects such as Urho Vaakanainen, Jeremy Lauzon, and Jakub Zboril time on that left side? Do they think that Chara has some gas left in the tank to provide strong play? It is all still so up in the air that anything is possible.

Jeremy Lauzon celebrates a goal in front of the TD Garden faithful. (Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Let’s have a little fun here. Let’s say that Chara either retires or signs elsewhere come the start of the season. Let me start by saying that this isn’t confirmed, and there has been no Chara news in the media lately. These are all speculations, and we are currently playing the “what if” game right now. So, what if Chara is gone?

We all know who the Bruins next captain will be. He goes by the name of Patrice Bergeron. Ever heard of him? Bergeron was drafted in the second round in 2003 and has been a Bruins icon ever since. He has been an alternate captain in Boston for the last sixteen (!) years. He has earned to be the leader in Boston with his on and off ice actions.

Patrice Bergeron takes the ice wearing the Boston Bruins Winter Classic jerseys from 2019. (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

When you look at Bergeron and his play on the ice, he is one of the most reliable players in the entire league. He is one of the best defensive forward in the NHL and challenges his linemates to play great defense in their own zone. He is also a consistent offensive producer. He has produced at least 50 points in 10 out of the last 11 seasons, the one season that he didn’t bring the shortened lockout season. That is the definition of consistency.

Bergeron is one of the classiest players in the entire National Hockey League. Even though he doesn’t wear the “C” on his jersey, he has a huge voice in that locker room. Young players look up to Bergeron, and he is one of the best leaders in the entire league. Boston is fortunate to have him.

Bergeron is one of the last active remaining players from the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship team. He has been through it all. Being a captain is no easy task in the NHL, and players aren’t just given captaincies. You have to earn that. With his on-ice play and off-ice actions over the course of his hall of fame career, he has earned to wear the “C” in Boston. Only time will tell when that will be.