Bergeron: 'I'd like to stay in Boston'

BOSTON -- Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has made it known that he wants to stay in Boston after his contract expires following the 2010-2011 season.

Bergeron, his agent and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli have had preliminary discussions, but the sides haven’t talked in weeks, Bergeron said.

Bergeron is set to earn $5.75 million this season and he said following training camp physicals on Friday that he’s concentrating only on hockey at this point.

“I don’t worry about that because I have this whole year left,” Bergeron said. “I like Boston, so we’ll see.”

Team captain Zdeno Chara’s contract also expires after the season and Chiarelli has said he would like to retain both players. Bergeron is willing to talk during the season, but if his situation becomes a distraction to him or the team, he would rather wait until the offseason, he said.

“I never really thought about it, to be honest with you,” he said. “For now, I’m thinking about hockey and there hasn’t been [contract] talks in the last couple of weeks. I’m just thinking about hockey, but if we do come down to having conversations during the year, and I feel it’s not distracting me, I’ll keep going. If I feel like it is [a distraction], I’ll tell Peter I’d like to stay in Boston, but I’ll [talk extension] later.”

The Bruins originally selected Bergeron in the second round (45th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He made the team out of training camp and played 71 games, posting 16 goals and 23 assists during his rookie season in 2003-2004. He’s been a mainstay in the lineup ever since.

Last season Bergeron scored 19 goals and added 33 assists for 52 points in 73 games.