Jul 11, 2023
Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)AP
The Bruins have a decision to make when it comes to selecting their next captain after Patrice Bergeron retired from the NHL. Boston has options, including Brad Marchand, who’s spent his entire 14-year career with the Black and Gold.
Marchand isn’t a lock to be the next person to wear the C, but his ex-coach Bruce Cassidy believes he’d be a great option to help fill the void because he’s “the perfect mix of everything.”
“I do,” Cassidy said during his appearance on “The Cam & Strick Podcast.” “Not that many guys are the perfect kind of mix of everything, right? I think Bergeron was good at that. He led by example, he’s still the hardest worker in practice.”
Marchand doesn’t have a perfect past and has a history of getting fined or suspended for his play on the ice. He’s cleaned up over the years, though. And it was Marchand’s off-ice behavior that Cassidy highlighted that would make him a viable candidate for captain.
“Off ice, he made sure that everyone felt welcome and was a good teammate to one another and set some of those rules that Zdeno (Chara) had put in place,” Cassidy said. “But Brad will be a great leader in terms of leading by example, will to win, been there, done it.”
Chara was the Bruins’ captain for 14 seasons before he signed with the Washington Capitals for the 2020-21 season. He helped create a new culture during his tenure there — one that Marchand was part of and grew into. And one that Bergeron helped continue during his time as captain.
But Cassidy — who won a Stanley Cup in his first year as coach of the Vegas Golden Knights this summer — believes Marchand would face some challenges, too, particularly when it comes to the younger players on the team.
“He’ll just have to learn how to deal with the younger players that are coming into the league and still haven’t found their traction, right?,” Cassidy said. “That would be the one challenge for Brad because he’s got high expectations of everybody. And that’s just the way he is. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“But how he communicates with those guys would probably be, my guess, would be his biggest challenge if he’s the guy and the direction they go,” he added. “Now, they may go younger. They’ve got some core pieces there in (David) Pastrnak and (Charlie) McAvoy that I’m sure they’ll consider. But at the end of the day, they’ve got good choices.”
President Cam Neely said after Bergeron’s retirement press conference that there hadn’t been discussions about who the next captain will be. The Bruins don’t need to name anyone a captain, either. But they have a slew of good players who have been around for a while — and are locked up for a while — that would make for a good captain.