For the twenty seventh time within the Bruins’ century-long historical past, a brand new participant may have a “C” stitched onto their sweater.
Boston introduced Brad Marchand as their new captain on Wednesday morning, with the longtime winger set to step into the first management position vacated by his longtime linemate and pal, Patrice Bergeron.
The Bruins had loads of worthy candidates on their roster, particularly youthful gamers akin to alternate captains Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak.
However even with Marchand’s divisive popularity in league circles, the 35-year-old ahead was far and away the most suitable choice accessible to take the reins from Bergeron on a retooling Bruins roster.
Right here’s a take a look at why the star winger is the appropriate man for the job in 2023-24.
A hyperlink to the previous
The 2023-24 season might be one in all change for the Bruins, who want to forge forward as a aggressive membership regardless of dropping two franchise pillars in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
However whilst Boston begins to pen a brand new chapter with a revamped roster in place, the tradition and accountability first fostered by veterans like Zdeno Chara, Bergeron, and others is predicted to hold on for the foreseeable future.
The way forward for the Bruins may relaxation on the shoulders of different franchise fixtures like McAvoy and Pastrnak.
However as Boston heads into uncharted territory, preserving a hyperlink to these Bruins groups of yesteryear in Marchand stands as a sound technique to hold that tradition in place.
Over his first 14 years in Boston, Marchand discovered a lot from each Chara and Bergeron, successful a Stanley Cup with each whereas serving because the latter’s understudy, particularly as soon as Bergeron took over as captain in 2020.
With these classes in management in place, Marchand was pretty much as good a alternative as any to take over as Boston’s captain.
“I’ve seen two of the very best leaders to ever lead on this recreation come via right here and I’d love for my identify to be beside theirs in that class after I’m performed,” Marchand stated Wednesday. “However once more, I’ve been lucky sufficient to see … they led otherwise and so they led in numerous methods.
“And I feel that there’s issues that you may implement in our group from each of these guys that had been very efficient and so they thrived in. However I’m additionally not them. So I can’t do what they do. However I simply need to attempt to discover our personal path as a bunch.”
Setting the tone
Each Bergeron and Chara held a commanding presence in Boston’s dressing room through the years, incomes respect with their play on the ice and the best way they carried themselves off the frozen sheet.
Marchand is lower from the identical fabric, particularly with regards to his standing as one of many prime left wings within the recreation. However past the manufacturing that he’s generated through the years, Marchand tends to let his work do the speaking with regards to his off-ice coaching and the excessive requirements he units for himself.
“I feel simply his work ethic might be the most important factor,” Jake DeBrusk stated of what stands out about Marchand’s recreation. “I feel that, clearly, all of us see it on the ice. He’s a bit of ball of hate, proper? So, he’s a kind of guys that outworks individuals and he’s bought the ability to match.
And clearly, his off-ice is identical method and I feel he leads in that class of depth and form of the identical issues like Zee and Bergy … I feel that he at all times is aware of what he must do and is aware of what we have to do to prepare. I keep in mind I used to be leaving, I feel it was like the primary or second week of the offseason. He was already skating. So he’s going to be able to go.”
There’s a motive why Marchand advanced from a fourth-line contributor to arguably essentially the most full left winger within the recreation. Anticipate that work ethic to hold over with the remainder of Boston’s roster.
A vocal presence
Bergeron’s communication model and his capacity to learn the heartbeat of the dressing room and his teammates had been broadly praised throughout his enjoying profession.
Marchand is a little more of a bombastic presence when contrasted towards Bergeron’s regular demeanor. However simply as he’s on the ice and after the whistles, Marchand shouldn’t have any situation talking his thoughts and getting the message throughout within the room when it’s required.
“What I like is his aggressive nature on the ice. And after I bought right here, I didn’t notice that that was an on a regular basis incidence, whether or not he’s in a weight room, or when he speaks — there’s emotion to the best way he speaks,” Jim Montgomery stated Wednesday, including: “I additionally suppose he’s the form of individual that may provoke, not having a problem commanding the room vocally.
“I don’t suppose it’s going to be one thing that’s pressured, I feel it’s gonna be pure. I don’t suppose it’s going to be overdone.”
Bringing gamers into the combat
Marchand is extra than simply an elite generator on offense and a pesky penalty killer.
For years now, Marchand has asserted himself as Boston’s on-ice shot of epinephrine — jolting his teammates throughout prolonged lulls by means of a thunderous verify, momentum-seizing shift or a ferocious scrap.
In fact, a few of that depth and emotion has additionally hampered Marchand and the Bruins — particularly earlier in his profession. Over the span of his time within the NHL, Marchand has been suspended eight occasions for a complete of 28 video games, whereas getting fined on 5 further events.
“It’s one thing that … it’s gonna be proceed to [be a] work in progress,” Marchand stated of preserving his feelings in verify. “I positively don’t anticipate to step in and be excellent off the hop. I do play with a sure kind of ardour and emotion. I gained’t lose that. That’s simply who I’m.
“And I’ll have to proceed to do this to be a great participant on this league. It’s allowed me to achieve success and I don’t need to get away from that. I simply alluded to it, the blokes that I’ve seen put on the C for this group, the trouble that goes into it — you are able to do it many various methods.”
Having an emotional chief like Marchand who can jolt his bench with an impactful shift holds loads of worth. The important thing might be ensuring Marchand doesn’t blow a gasket throughout important conditions, as was the case previously.
Marchand’s brief tenure as Boston’s de-facto chief in the course of the begin of the 2023 first-round collection towards Florida ought to supply a blueprint for the ahead to comply with.
Regardless of being goaded by the likes of Matthew Tkachuk and others, Marchand not often put his group in a foul spot by means of an pointless penalty or split-second lapse in judgment, opting to make his presence felt as soon as the puck was dropped.
“We don’t need him to alter his recreation due to it,” Cam Neely stated of Marchand. “He’s such an awesome participant for us. And his competitiveness makes him an awesome participant. It was a protracted dialogue about him not making an attempt to be anyone that he isn’t, however simply to manage his feelings as he’s performed the final 12 months or two, however nonetheless be that aggressive participant, and to lean on the management group.”
Cognizant of tradition and setting a basis
As a former checking-line common who elevated himself right into a top-line star, Marchand is aware of of the trials and tribulations that await youthful gamers as they attempt to carve out roles within the NHL.
Anticipate Boston to harp on Marchand’s personal profession path and his classes discovered because the group tries to push extra youthful gamers as much as the NHL ranks in the course of the 2023-24 season.
“I hope that everyone can establish — I imply, Brad is without doubt one of the finest gamers within the Nationwide Hockey League,” Don Sweeney stated. “He had prolific numbers in junior, had nice numbers within the American Hockey League. It took him a short time to determine himself.
“He began out as a fourth line sporting a merlot jersey and wore it with pleasure. He by no means put himself in that classification of that’s simply the place he was gonna play. He at all times had this larger aspiration, as each participant ought to. Simply get your foot within the door, ingratiate your self and be the very best participant you may be.”
Marchand may be targeted on setting the muse for the 2023-24 season with coaching camp underway. However fostering a sustainable, successful tradition within the years forward just isn’t misplaced on the veteran, particularly given the lasting legacy of different Bruins captains akin to Chara and Bergeron.
“You’re not simply constructing one thing for at the moment and tomorrow,” Marchand stated. “We’re making an attempt to construct one thing for the subsequent group of fellows to proceed to guide on. So we’re constructing a tradition and need it to remain and to stay the identical. I’ve a variety of pleasure in that.
“So it’s going to be an unbelievable quantity of labor. And there’s a variety of strain, not simply from the group and the expectations of the group, however for myself … However I wouldn’t have it another method. That’s what comes with sporting a letter on this group, particularly the C. So it’s one thing I’m trying ahead to determining and making an attempt to work via as your group.”
Join Bruins updates🏒
Get breaking information and evaluation delivered to your inbox throughout hockey season.