Bergeron on O'Donnell's time in Boston

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Former Boston Bruins defenseman, and 17-year NHL veteran, Sean O’Donnell announced his retirement on Wednesday.

O’Donnell, 41, told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun that he’s been thinking about this decision for a while, and when he did not receive any interest from NHL, O’Donnell thought it best to call it a career.

O’Donnell played three seasons for the Bruins from 2001 to 2004 and he made a strong impression on then-rookie Patrice Bergeron.

O’Donnell was a 32-year-old veteran at the time and Bergeron was only 18.

“He was a classy guy, a real leader and he was really good to me my first year,” Bergeron said after the team’s practice Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena. “The whole team was, but O’D was one of the assistant captains and he really showed that right away, he made me feel comfortable and helped me throughout the year.

“A few times he and Marty [Lapointe] had me over for dinner and just taught me and showed me the ropes on how to handle yourself. I was 18 and they were in their 30s, so they didn’t have to do that, but they did and I really appreciate everything they did for me that year.”

Bergeron, now 27, is entering his ninth season in the NHL. He’s impressed with the fact that O’Donnell played for 17 years.

“That’s impressive,” he said. “If you play half that then you’re satisfied with your career. That’s very impressive and even at the end he was helping teams on and off the ice. I wish him all the best and he can be proud of his career.”