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BOSTON — Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said he’s uncertain about his NHL future after Boston’s crushing Game 7 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.

Bergeron, 37, is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Bruins players had talked openly about sending off Bergeron and fellow veteran center David Krejci, also 37, with a Stanley Cup win. Bergeron just finished his 19th season. Krejci, who is also a free agent, has played 16 seasons.

“It hurts. You compete hard and battle all year for that, so it’s hard,” Bergeron said. “I’m going to take some time and talk with my family and then go from there. Right now, it’s hard to process anything. We’re shocked and disappointed.”

That might be an understatement. The 2022-23 Bruins were the most successful regular-season team in NHL history, setting league records for wins (65) and points (135) in a single season. They were favored to defeat the Panthers, a wild-card team, and at one point held a 3-1 series lead. But the Panthers rallied to force a Game 7, rallied to tie the game with a minute left in regulation and then eliminated the Bruins on an overtime goal by winger Carter Verhaeghe.

Bergeron missed the first four games of the series. Initially, the Bruins said he was suffering from an illness that had swept through their locker room. But eventually, his absence was clarified as being due to injury. After Game 7, Bergeron revealed he has been playing with a herniated disk in his back and said he was unsure about offseason treatment for it.

The Panthers won all three games Bergeron played in the series, including overtime wins in Games 5 and 7 in Boston.

After Boston was eliminated Sunday night, Bergeron stood at the bench with his teammates, motionless, processing what had just transpired. Finally, he motioned to the Bruins to join him at center ice for a stick salute to the fans at TD Garden. After that, Bergeron skated to the Bruins bench door and embraced each of his teammates as they left for the dressing room.

Last in line was Brad Marchand, his longtime linemate. They hugged on the now-empty rink, as the Boston fans cheered to acknowledge the emotional moment.

“The friendship that we’ve built and the relationship that we have has been special. Hopefully it’s not the end, but that’s up to him to make his decision. Whether he continues to play or not, our bond will last a lifetime,” Marchand said.

The Bruins winger said he’ll forever be indebted for what Bergeron did for him as a player and a person.

“He’s just, like, the perfect person on or off the ice. Such an incredible leader, so driven, incredible family man, great father and great friend,” Marchand said. “That wore off on me a lot. It really changed the way that I approach my day-to-day life and the way I approach the game. He allowed me to play alongside him for a long time. We’ve been lucky to have him as part of this group for a long time. I’ve tried to be like him and lead the way he did. I’ll forever be grateful for him.”

During his post-series media availability, David Pastrnak wore a hat with Krejci’s name on it. Both players are originally from the Czech Republic, where Krejci played last season before rejoining the Bruins on a one-year contract. Krejci has served as a friend and mentor to Pastrnak.

“I can’t say enough about them. Krejci’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had and one of my best friends. I’ll always be thankful for that,” he said.

Coach Jim Montgomery praised Bergeron throughout the season for his leadership and savvy, helping Montgomery in his first season with Boston. When he was injured, Bergeron was in the coaches’ room to help with the game plan for the Panthers.

“It’s been an incredible experience just because of his awareness, his maturity, his ability to communicate, his ability to listen and then just how great a hockey player he is,” Montgomery said. “I learned a lot from him this year. Hope to learn more next year.”

Bergeron was asked whether the stunning way in which the Bruins’ historic season ended could compel him to return for one more run at the Stanley Cup with this team.

“Again, it hurts right now,” he said. “I’m going to have to step back and give it some thought with my family.”

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Patrice Bergeron undecided on future after Bruins’ season ends