Why Patrice Bergeron is excited for NHL players to return to Olympics

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Here's why Bergeron is excited for NHL players to return to Olympics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Ice hockey promises to be one of the most exciting sports at the 2022 Winter Olympics now that NHL players will be competing.

The NHL did not send its players to the 2018 Olympics. It was the first time since 1994 that NHL players didn't compete at the Winter Games.

With these players back in the fold, we should see some of the most competitive hockey possible next February. One of many players very excited about the league and NHLPA striking an agreement with the IIHF is Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.

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“The Olympics is the greatest sports event in the world,” Bergeron told reporters earlier this week. “And you want to have the best athletes competing in that event. It’s been an honor personally to be there twice and to compete with my teammates and try to represent a country to the best of your abilities. It’s obviously great news that as NHL players that we’re going to be there and compete.

“I think it’s some of the best hockey you can watch. The fans always seem to be very excited about it. I’ve heard a lot about it from the last few Olympics where in Sochi and Vancouver a lot of people have told me that it was some of the best hockey that they’ve seen, It was entertaining and fun to watch. So I think it’s exciting for everyone, for the fans, for the players. As a player, you want to compete at your best in those tournaments."

Bergeron represented Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics and won the gold medal each time. He's also one of 11 Canadians in the prestigious Triple Gold Club.

Hockey Canada has not yet announced its roster for the upcoming Olympics. It would be foolish of management to not include Bergeron. Even though he's 36 years old and Canada has an abundance of excellent centers, Bergeron remains one of the league's top players. He's the best two-way forward in the sport, one of the most effective on faceoffs and has a history of coming through in the clutch.

In fact, a line of Bruins left winger Brad Marchand, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Bergeron would be one heck of a trio capable of dominating in all three zones and any situation. It worked in the 2016 World Cup, so why not bring it back?

Bergeron isn't the only Bruins player who could star at the Olympics. First-line right winger David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) and top defenseman Charlie McAvoy (USA) could play prominent roles for their respective teams, too.