Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara have both been keeping busy in their post-hockey lives, with the latter taking up running marathons as a hobby. Chara, who retired in 2022, completed his fifth marathon of the year earlier this month and announced his intent to run his second Boston Marathon in 2024.
Bergeron hasn’t hit the pavement the way Chara has, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to get Bergeron to join him for 26.2 miles.
“I’ve tried a lot of things. lately. I’ve tried tennis and played soccer,” Bergeron told NHL Network’s Keith Irizarry this week. “Z has tried to get me to run some marathons with him. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet because I don’t think my hips and my knees could actually keep up — my back as well. So I don’t know how he does it and kudos to him. Z, I love you. … Eventually I’d love to get a challenge going and find a way to kind of challenge myself with something to look forward to and kind of work for and get ready for.”
Bergeron revealed that he noticed his preparation time was taking him longer than usual and needed to stay on top of it more. He listened to his body when it came to calling it a career after 19 seasons — all with the Bruins. After a disappointing end to a historic 2022-23 season, Bergeron admitted part of him wanted to return for another season. But after some time away from the ice, Bergeron ultimately listened to his body and knew it was time to move on.
The former captain was in attendance for the Bruins’ home opener to celebrate the Centennial season. Bergeron received a nice ovation from the TD Garden crowd, and he admitted he “had the itch” to get back on the ice, but remained at peace with the decision to hang up his skates.
“I couldn’t see myself go through the grind and the schedule,” Bergeron told Irizarry. “It’s demanding, it’s hard on the body, it’s hard on the family life.”
Happy to be the Uber driver for his kids in post-retirement life, Bergeron seems to be keeping plenty busy. While it’s unclear if his future plans include running a marathon with Chara, he still is cheering on his former team from afar.