Brad Marchand would be the first to let you know he by no means dreamed of being a captain of the Boston Bruins when he was rookie in 2010 toiling on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell.
“I don’t think Thorny and Soup would have let me think that was going to happen. They would have beat that out of me pretty quick,” stated Marchand with fun.
But Marchand is certainly the twenty seventh captain of the Bruins, introduced at first of coaching camp on Wednesday. It has been an enchanting journey for a participant who many throughout the league as soon as dismissed as a rat however one who now just isn’t solely among the finest left wings within the sport however one of many few who’re esteemed sufficient to be named a captain in a sport wherein the honour truly means one thing. And it’s clear it’s a duty Marchand doesn’t take flippantly.
“It means more to me than I think anyone will ever know, to be able to wear the ‘C’ for this team,” stated Marchand. “When you look at the leaders who’ve been here before me and the guys that I’ve been fortunate enough to be under, they’ve taken an incredible amount of pride in everything they (put) into this team … I’ve seen the work that goes into it. I’ve been vocal in the past about the ages of different captains and stuff like that and I really believe that I’ve witnessed two of the best leaders of all time (in Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron). To do that, it is a full-time job, without counting the time and effort you need to put into your own game. The effort and the time those guys put in behind the scenes every single day, they carry it home all through the night, it’s on their mind every second of the day, how to improve the team, how to find different ways to bring the group together. …There’s big shoes to fill and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Marchand has pressured all through the summer time that management just isn’t a one-man job (David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy will put on the A’s this season) and the way impressed he was by the way in which Chara and Bergeron empowered different gamers on the workforce to seize their share possession of the dressing room.
But make no mistake. Marchand wished the ‘C’ badly. That a lot was clear when he described the dinner he had with workforce president Cam Neely, GM Don Sweeney and coach Jim Montgomery on the restaurant Sorelinna within the Back Bay. It is a spot for particular events and Marchand figured one thing was up. But even then he wasn’t taking it with no consideration.
“Maybe they were going to let me down easy,” he stated of his racing mindset.
But after some small discuss and journeys down reminiscence lane, Neely knowledgeable him he would certainly be captain, permitting Marchand to breathe once more.
While the selection was the one logical one for individuals who’ve watched Marchand develop over time, there are absolutely some observers across the league who’ll ignore the 862 profession factors and deal with the eight suspensions and say, “What are they thinking?”
But Marchand has taken some pivotal steps. First, it was realizing simply how good of a hockey participant he’s. Nothing crystallized that higher than the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 when he was one third of the perfect line on the planet with Bergeron and Sidney Crosby.
From a private conduct standpoint, that crossroads got here within the aftermath of the notorious licking incident with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ryan Callahan within the 2018 playoffs. That summer time, then-coach Bruce Cassidy invited him to his dwelling for dinner and a coronary heart to coronary heart.
“That was something that was part of the discussions about what my legacy was going to be it was something Butchie talked to me a lot about,” stated Marchand.
It wasn’t the final time Marchand had discovered himself within the cross hairs of the league. His final suspension was in February 2022 when he punched Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry. But total, his thought course of was shifting to a extra constructive and accountable place, aided by his shut relationship with Bergeron and the centerman’s ascension to the captaincy when Chara left.
“He’s tried to find that fine line of being the player that he wants to be and controlling his emotions when he needs to,” stated Neely. “He’s a very emotional player so sometimes that gets you in trouble, which it has for him in the past, but he’s done a nice job the last couple of years in my opinion of controlling his emotions a little bit better while still being that competitive player that we all like and expect with Brad’s game.”
Not all Bruins’ captains have been Lady Byng candidates. Wayne Cashman wore the ‘C’ for six years and he amassed over 1,000 penalties in his profession. Cashman handed the torch to Terry O’Reilly, who topped the two,000 PIM mark. There aren’t many gamers who higher exemplify the Bruin ethos than these two within the membership’s 100-year historical past. We’re long gone the Lunch Pail AC period, however Marchand just isn’t a nasty up to date match of their mildew. And he can’t let the brand new duty change who he’s.
“That was definitely a conversation we had with Brad,” stated Neely. “We don’t want him to change his game because of it. He’s such a great player and that competitiveness makes him that great player.”
Montgomery received a glimpse of what sort of captain Marchand might be final yr, particularly through the first 4 video games of the playoffs final yr when Bergeron was damage.
“We learned that it was kind of his room. I think people looked to him, and he assumed it. That’s what we learned,” stated Montgomery. “But I think through the course of the whole season last year, I learned that he’s more than capable and he’s going to be an excellent captain.” ….
Jake DeBrusk is heading into his stroll yr, and Sweeney stated he nonetheless has to find out if the wing needs to be a long-term Bruin.
“We’re going to have communication with Jake and his representation,” stated Sweeney. “We’d like to know if Jake indeed does want to be here and hopefully we can find common ground. Besides that, you guys know me well enough to know I’m nt going to comment publicly (on negotiations). Besides that, we’d like to see Jake remain with the Boston Bruins.”
DeBrusk has stated in interviews he does need to stay in Boston, however the price ticket may have one thing to do with whether or not he stays. He might get near $6 million per season on the open market.