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Bergeron: ‘I was going to say yes no matter what’

10.08.10 at 8:34 am ET
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PRAGUE — Patrice Bergeron boasted both a new contract (three years, $15 million) and optimism for the direction of the franchise as both he and general manager Peter Chiarelli adressed reporters in a press conference following Friday’s skate. Now 25, Bergeron will play out the last year of his current contract at a $4.75 million cap hit before coming in at $5 million in each of the next three seasons. Bergeron’s camp and Chiarelli negotiated the deal throughout the offseason, but the center made clear that he knew the outcome of the negotiations long before the agreement was reached.

” I knew it was going to get done, because at the end of the day I was the one who was going to say yes no matter what. I just wanted to stay in Boston and I think Peter and the Bruins knew it all along.”

Sitting alongside Bergeron, Chiarelli sang the center’s praises, summing hip his value to the team as being more than statistical output.

“He’s got a lot of elements to his personality, to his game, that are terrific, really,” Chiarelli said. “When you look at this work ethic in practice, look at him doing the drills, day to day showing up and getting them right and leading the charge, he’s a consummate professional and a terrific player and a terrific young man.”

With captain Zdeno Chara entering the final year of his contract, Bergeron and Tim Thomas will each have the highest salary cap hit on the team in the 2011-12 season with $5 million.

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