|Bruins have begun negotiations with Brad Marchand on extension||07.15.16 at 1:27 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Following the Bruins’ July 1 signings, general manager Don Sweeney said he would take a bit for the organization to catch its breath before proceeding on another key front: signing Brad Marchand to a contract extension.
Speaking at the end of the team’s annual development camp at Ristuccia Arena, Sweeney confirmed that he has indeed began negotiations with Marchand’s agent. Marchand, who is entering the final year of a contract that pays him an average of $4.5 million annually, will be 29 when his next contract starts in the 2017-18.
He won’t come cheap, as the 2006 third-round pick has established himself as an elite two-way player. Last season, Marchand finished sixth in the NHL with a career-high 37 goals. For an estimation of what Marchand might command, click here.
While former general manager Peter Chiarelli believed in signing players before they entered their walk years (with Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci serving as examples), Sweeney’s first year as GM saw him negotiate with free-agent-to-be Loui Eriksson throughout the season before the team ultimately opted to let him walk in free agency.
Asked whether he was inclined to get something done quickly with Marchand (which would mean signing him at the highest point of his career) or waiting, Sweeney was noncommittal but stressed his intentions to keep the player, who would be an unrestricted free agent next July without a new deal.
“I think I’ve been pretty up front that I’d like to be aggressive in trying to identify from what we have, I’ve identified March as a core guy and we want to continue down that path,” Sweeney said. “It always takes two sides to make a deal, and I would envision that he’d like to be part of this organization for what could be arguably his whole career, but Brad has a say in this as well.”
Marchand said in November that his hope would be to stay with the team that drafted him for his whole career.
“When someone has played in one place as long as I have — and I know there’s guys that have been here longer than I have — it would be a dream come true to play here my whole career,” he said. “I understand the game and the business of things, but I think as long as I continue to work hard and hold up my end of the bargain, hopefully I can be here for a while. It is something that crosses my mind. I know that I have a year and a half left on my deal, but it is something I think about and I would obviously love to be here for a long time.”
|Roberto Luongo wishes Brad Marchand a happy Father’s Day||06.19.16 at 3:18 pm ET|
Remember when Brad Marchand scored five goals in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and set up the series-clinching goal? Twitter legend Roberto Luongo does.
Happy Father's Day daddy……….. pic.twitter.com/GgG1Kzx7FO
— Strombone (@strombone1) June 19, 2016
|Brad Marchand named to Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey roster||05.27.16 at 7:23 pm ET|
Eight Bruins were selected to preliminary rosters for this fall’s World Cup of Hockey, none more notable than left wing Brad Marchand.
Marchand will join Bruins linemate Patrice Bergeron in representing Team Canada. His selection comes after he followed years of stout production as a first-liner and penalty killer with a career-best 36 goals.
Other Bruins who will play in the Toronto-hosted tournament are goaltender Tuukka Rask (Finland), defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg (Team Europe), David Krejci and David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) and winger Loui Eriksson (Sweden).
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Zac Rinaldo voted dirtiest, Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara voted biggest pains in National Post NHL player poll||03.29.16 at 1:54 pm ET|
The National Post polled both NHL players and fans on a number of NHL-related topics recently, ranging from who they felt would win the Stanley Cup to which Canadian cities in the league they liked and disliked.
The Bruins were well-represented in the responses from players. On the subject of who was the “biggest pain in the ass to play against,” Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand tied for the most votes, as Chara, Marchand, Corey Perrt and Ryan Kesler each received 11 percent of the votes. Three-time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron got nine percent of the votes.
As one might have expected, the Bruins were also popular in the dirtiest player vote, as nearly half of the votes cast went to players in the Boston organization. Zac Rinaldo, who is currently playing in Providence but will serve a five-game suspension when he returns to the NHL, got 25 percent of the votes. Just behind him was Marchand at 22 percent. Marchand and Rinaldo tied for the most votes in last year’s poll.
Former Bruin Phil Kessel was voted the most overrated player in the NHL, getting 29 percent of the votes. To see the complete results as well as the fan vote, click here.
|Brad Marchand hopes to snap scoring slump while helping Bruins secure playoff spot||03.25.16 at 4:04 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Here’s how widespread the Bruins’ goal-scoring woes are right now: Even Brad Marchand has gone seven games without a goal.
Seven games (a span in which he also has just one assist) hardly presents reason for a player to panic, but in a season like Marchand’s — 34 goals in his first 64 games — the Bruins’ leading goal-scorer admits that it’s felt like a while.
“It is a long time, especially at this time of year when it’s so important,” Marchand said Friday. “It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to stick with it and eventually it’s going to go in.”
Like linemate Patrice Bergeron, any statistical speed bumps for Marchand tend to get overlooked because they rarely mean the player is actually performing poorly. To that end, Marchand and his linemates have only had one particularly bad game possession-wise in that stretch (Thursday against the Panthers on a night that saw Vincent Trocheck’s line with Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith do very well against Boston’s top line). Over the last seven games, the Bruins have attempted 24 more 5-on-5 shots on goal with Marchand on the ice than they’ve surrendered.
So Marchand doesn’t feel particularly bad about his game right now, as he noted his 11-game stretch without a goal from Dec. 16 to Jan. 13 (with a suspension wedged in there) was the only time this season in which he’s truly felt that he had cooled. Still, the team needs the scoring a lot more than he does.
The Bruins have managed just six goals over the last six games. David Krejci is not at his best and Ryan Spooner’s five-on-five play has dropped off. That leaves Bergeron and Marchand’s line to carry the weight for the Bruins as they try to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Though these numbers are more of a sign that Marchand’s teammates need to pull their weight more than he does, he’s the best they’ve got. If anybody is going to singlehandedly score enough to help the Bruins out of their slump, it’s Marchand.
“Any time you go through a tough stretch and you’re on a scoring line or you’re positioned to score, you definitely feel that pressure,” he said. “You want to produce, you want to help the team, but collectively we all have to be a little bit better. We’re still giving up too many goals in wins. If we can be a little bit better defensively, that will help us out, too.”
|Brad Marchand hopes he’s still a candidate to make Team Canada||03.03.16 at 11:56 am ET|
When the preliminary roster of Team Canada was chosen for the World Cup of Hockey, general manager Doug Armstrong called the members of the 2014 Olympic team that had not yet been named to the roster. It was a classy thing to do, not only to soften the blow but to remind the players that they could still be in the mix for the June 1 final roster.
The question then becomes whether a similar call was placed to non-Olympians who just missed the cut. Did Armstrong call the other fringe-players not yet named to Team Canada?
“Nope,” Brad Marchand said with a laugh Thursday. “Not me, anyways.”
“You’d have to talk to Bergy about that,” Marchand added when asked about having contact with the Hockey Canada folks. “He would know a lot more than me.”
Marchand was one of many capable players not included on the preliminary roster of 16, which was revealed Wednesday. While teammates past and present such as Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron were named to the squad, Marchand will now join Canadians such as P.K. Subban, Mark Giordano and Claude Giroux as those hopeful to eventually make the team.
Perhaps a longshot to make the team at the beginning of the season, Marchand’s career-high 32 goals and counting have entered him into the discussion. After twice winning the gold in representing Canada in the 2007 and 2008 World Juniors, Marchand would like to once again compete internationally. With that said, he hid any disappointment in not making the initial 16 well.
“I think when you look at the team, there’s a lot o phenomenal players on that roster,” Marchand said. “I was very happy for all the guys, [having] played with Segs and Bergy, it was great to see them on that list. I’m very happy for both of them.”
Claude Julien will be an assistant coach under head coach Mike Babcock for the team. Though Marchand joked that he thought he was on Julien’s good side, Julien was diplomatic in not showing his bias.
“We’ll see with time,” Julien said. “There’s obviously a lot of names out there. As you often hear, Canada could probably make a couple of teams and still be pretty competitive. He’s definitely a guy that’s on the radar, but the top 16 have been named and there’s a lot of guys that could have been named too on those top 16s. We’ll see how the rest of the season goes here. A lot of players are still on the radar.”
Bergeron was less guarded, giving Marchand his full endorsement.
“It would be great,” Bergeron said. “I think he’s proven himself over the years, and especially this year, how good he is and competitive he is every game. He always makes something happen every time he steps on the ice. Right now, he’s on pace for getting to close to 40. He’s been very impressive this year and has been a huge part of helping me be a good player every game.”
One glaring difference between Marchand and the 16 players who did make the team: supplemental discipline. Though there are players on Team Canada who have been suspended by the NHL in the past (Duncan Keith twice, as well as that badass Jonathan Toews who was likely out doing badass things when he committed the suspendable act of declining to play in the All-Star Game this year), none have the reputation of Marchand, who has been suspended four times for a total of 12 games over the course of his NHL career.
“I don’t think that how you play against other players on the ice is going to affect how a team or your chemistry’s going to be,” Marchand said. “Guys in this league know that every day you go on the ice, you’re doing a job. We all go out there to do the same thing. That’s to help our team win, however you do that. Guys play harder than I do or dirtier than I do. I don’t think that has any affect on it. I think it’s more about who they think is going to help the team win.”
|5 things we learned: Tuukka Rask stays hot, Matt Beleskey continues to score in win||02.26.16 at 9:41 pm ET|
Back before the go-to goaltending concern was whether Tuukka Rask was going to have to play every game, the biggest one was making sure Boston’s goaltender — whether that happened to be Tim Thomas or Rask — would turn it on down the stretch.
If the last five games are any indication, the B’s are getting good news in that regard. In stopping 39 of the 40 shots he faced in a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes Friday, Tuukka Rask has a .951 save percentage in his last five starts. The Bruins have gone 4-1-0 in that span.
The Bruins have one more game prior to Monday’s trade deadline, as they’ll host the Lightning Sunday at TD Garden. Both the Bruins and the Bolts have 74 points on the season, though Boston has played 62 games to Tampa’s 61.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
BELESKEY STAYS HOT, MATCHES CAREER-HIGH
With another two-goal game — his second in his last three games — Matt Beleskey tied his career-high in points with 32. Beleskey put up 32 points a season ago in 65 games for the Ducks and has done so in 60 games this season.
The third-line left wing is currently enjoying his best offensive stretch as a Bruin. He has six points (five goals and an assist) over his last four games. The 27-year-old is on pace to finish the season with 43 points.
Until the Hurricanes got some chances against them late in the second period, Patrice Bergeron‘s line dominated play over the opening 40 minutes. The trio was on the ice for 13 shots for and three shots against over the first two periods, with Bergeron leading all players with an 84.21 Corsi For percentage in the opening 40. He and Brad Marchand finished the game tied with a game-best 74.07 mark.
One of those shot attempts went in off Bergeron’s stick, as Brett Connolly’s pressure forced a turnover that made its way to Bergeron, who beat Cam Ward for the game’s first goal. With the goal, Bergeron moved into a tie with Loui Eriksson for second on the team with 23 goals this season. Read the rest of this entry »