Patrice Bergeron

Bill Belichick compares Patrice Bergeron to key player in Patriots dynasty

"Everybody’s raved about him and what he’s meant to the team and the organization."

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Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron called it a career earlier this week when he announced his retirement from the NHL after 19 seasons.

His career with the Bruins began in the 2003-04 season, which was right around the time the New England Patriots were on their way toward winning Super Bowl XXXVIII -- their second title in three seasons.

Bergeron's career overlapped with most of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's tenure in New England so far. When asked about Bergeron's retirement before Thursday's training camp practice, Belichick compared the Bruins center to a Patriots legend.

"Obviously great,” Belichick told reporters, as seen in the video above. “All the coaches that have been here — Claude (Julien), Bruce (Cassidy) and Jim (Montgomery) now -- everybody’s raved about him and what he’s meant to the team and the organization. ... Sounds like he was kind of their Devin McCourty. Just did everything right, great leader and player. So, congratulations on a tremendous career."

McCourty retired earlier this year following a 13-season career with the Patriots that included three Super Bowl titles.

There are definitely some similarities between him and Bergeron. Both players performed at a high level in pressure moments, they were great leaders, they were so consistent in every face of their respective sports, etc. Every great team needs guys like them who can always be relied on to make the right play and make sure the rest of the team knows what to do in any type of situation.

A couple Patriots players were asked about Bergeron's career this week.

Patriots captain and special teams ace Matthew Slater had effusive praise for the newly retired Bruin.

"I think he should be celebrated as an icon for the city of Boston and Boston sports," Slater said Tuesday. "Consistency is a thing that stood out to me about him. I probably was about five or six years into my career before I really started looking at what those guys were doing, and obviously, he was a guy that just gave that organization and gave our city so much consistency, and I think that's something to celebrate."

Patriots center David Andrews had plenty of kind words for Bergeron, too.

"What an amazing career he's had, and how fortunate that he got to play for such a great organization," Andrews said Tuesday. "A lot of respect for the way that he's carried himself. I can't really tell you the ins and outs of hockey, but I know he's a great player. And just the way he's carried himself in the community and led that team, I think it's been really impressive. I wish him all the best."

Tributes and well wishes have been pouring in for Bergeron from all over the sports landscape in Boston, and throughout the NHL. That's how much of an impact Bergeron made on the city and his sport overall.

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