For some, watching Zdeno Chara glide into the corner, throwing his full weight into David Pastrnak in an attempt to slow down the Bruins attack was a sight that many Bruins fans never wanted to see.
For some, Tom Brady throwing touchdown passes to a diving Rob Gronkowski down in Tampa Bay was a painful watch.
With those uneasy moments in mind, for Bruins fans, there was a real fear of seeing Patrice Bergeron firing a puck past Jeremy Swayman, doing so in a jersey that didn't have the Bruins spoked-B on the chest. Or a fear of seeing Bergeron win faceoff after faceoff against whatever lackluster center the Bruins would throw out against him.
While that was a real possibility in the minds of many, it never was in the mind of Bergeron who on Monday, made official the summer's worst kept secret, inking a one-year contract to return to Boston for at least one more year.
"I’m extremely excited to be back for one more year with the Boston Bruins. Obviously, it’s an organization that means the world to me," Bergeron said.
"I’ve started here and been extremely loyal, and I’ve learned a lot over the years, being a part of the organization. I feel like I’ve grown immensely. Boston is my home, my family is excited to be back alongside myself in Boston."
Shortly after the announcement of Bergeron's contract, the organization announced the signing of David Krejci who returns to the Bruins and the NHL after spending the previous season in the Czech Republic. Like Bergeron, the contract is a one-year deal.
"Super excited that we could make it work. As we all know, I keep Krech in high regard here. I think he’s an amazing person, first and foremost, but also an amazing player that still has it in him. I think he wants it," Bergeron said of Krejci's return.
"I think he was in the same situation as me as far as family decisions to make and what he really wanted for this coming year. But we had a few conversations, we’re obviously great friends and we go way back. I’m super excited to get going with him, but also the rest of the guys."
After getting things done with Bergeron and Krejci, the Bruins and newly acquired Pavel Zacha avoided arbitration, as Zacha signed a one-year contract worth $3.5 million. The contract will take the 25-year-old into unrestricted free agency next summer.
Both the Bergeron and Krejci deals come with team-friendly cap hits, and an easy way to earn incentive money, allowing the Bruins some cap flexibility in the coming season.
Bergeron and Krejci will carry a combined cap hit of $3.5 million with the ability to earn $2.5 million in incentives, Krejci $2 million.
"The dollar sign obviously, I’m not going to say that we’re not well paid. We are extremely and beyond what I ever dreamed of, as far as salary goes. That being said, I think leaving a few on the table to make sure you’re a competitive team and you’re a good team and that it carries on for years, I think that to me makes a big difference," Bergeron said.
"And I think that’s how we want to play the game. You want to play the game to win. You want to play the game to be successful. You want to play the game to have friendships and memories. And I think that’s the one thing that you hope people buy into. And I think this team and guys, even the younger guys, have been really buying in."
With Bergeron and Krejci back in the mix, it's a clear sign the Bruins are gearing up for one last Stanley Cup run, pushing any talk of a rebuild back a bit.
Bergeron and Krejci surely fill two massive holes the Bruins were facing down the middle and with the return of Krejci and the addition of Zacha, the Bruins should be a better offensive unit than they were a season ago.
If Brad Marchand returns to a healthy lineup, the forward lines should look something like this:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Pavel Zacha-Charlie Coyle-Craig Smith
A revolving door of Tomas Nosek, Oskar Steen, Marc McLaughlin, Trent Frederic, Nick Foligno and Jack Studnicka. Maybe even at some point, Fabian Lysell.
The Bruins biggest question mark remains on defense, especially with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk expected to miss time at the start of the season.
New head coach Jim Montgomery has a lot of decisions to make with who is in and who is out, and where they fit into the lineup.
Decisions made easier by having Bergeron and Krejci in his deck of cards.
“We’ve had some great conversations. Just going over what we thought of the state of the team, but also, as far as coaching, Montgomery’s way of thinking and how he saw it, I guess. How he wants things to be run and the system and whatnot," Bergeron said of Montgomery.
"So, there’s a lot of conversations that way that went from one subject to the next. It was just a great conversation; it was also just getting to know him and each other so that it wouldn’t be an unfamiliar face when we got going there in September. It was to get to know each other and starting to work on things.”
The Bruins will need to work on a lot of things to end up where they ultimately want to be. Bergeron and Krejci, know what that work entails.
No. 37 and No. 46 won't be here much longer, not past this coming season, perhaps.
Enjoy it folks.