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Brad Marchand highlights Bruins midnight DVD release 07.19.11 at 2:58 am ET
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WATERTOWN — It probably wasn’t the craziest thing he’s done in Boston in the middle of the night since winning the Stanley Cup, but Bruins forward Brad Marchand spent late Monday/early Tuesday at Best Buy in Watertown signing championship DVDs at the store’s midnight release.

Marchand, 23, drew a crowd that wrapped all the way behind the building, and Marchand chatted with fans (sarcastically criticizing a youngster’s No. 11 jersey for sporting Gregory Campbell‘s number rather than his own) and signed the DVD sleeves as the locals thanked and congratulated him. One fan told Marchand that he loved it when the B’s rookie punched Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in Game 6 of the finals, to which he responded, “me too.”

While one fan was dressed in a bear suit, the most telling moment of the autograph session was when one fan took his shirt off to show the young winger his Bruins tattoo. Of course, Marchand is no stranger to losing his shirt, as many pictures of Marchand’s shaved chest made the rounds in the week that followed the B’s securing the Cup last month.

“I guess that’s the new thing,” Marchand said. “Everyone’s going to be shirtless at the games next year.”

Marchand reiterated that he is not concerned over the status of his contract negotiations. The restricted free agent has yet to sign an extension with the B’s, but he’s pointed to the business of the shortened offseason as the reason for why he remains unsigned. Obviously, there is something holding up the deal, but whatever it is doesn’t have Marchand worried.

“Not at all,” Marchand when asked if he had assumed a deal would be done by now. “There’s been a lot going on, obviously with the Cup and everything. That’s taking the leading role in everything, so I’m not surprised at all.

“We’re obviously very excited to get something [done],” Marchand added, “and hopefully it gets done soon.”

Here are a few pictures from the event, taken by perhaps the worst photographer in the world (send complaints to djbean@weei.com):

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Brad Marchand not hung up on negotiations with Bruins at 1:32 am ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand said at the team’s Championship DVD premier Monday that he is confident that a deal will soon be reached to keep the 23-year-old in Boston. A restricted free agent, Marchand was extended a qualifying offer by the B’s, meaning the Bruins have the right to match any offer sheet the forward could be signed to by another club.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has noted he will not issue constant updates on the progress of negotiations, but Marchand expressed optimism.

“They know I want to be back here, and they want me back,” Marchand said, “so we’ll get something done.”

Marchand pointed to the hoopla of the Stanley Cup celebration as a reason as to why he has yet to put ink on paper. He noted that he has not been involved in the negotiations, and that his agent, Wade Arnott, has handled things.

“It’s obviously been a very busy time for everyone with the Cup and everything. We know we have all summer. We’re both confident something’s going to get done here soon, so I don’t think either of us are worried. We know something’s going to get done.”

In his rookie season, Marchand scored 21 goals and added 20 assists for 41 points. He added 11 goals and eight assists in the postseason.

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Peter Chiarelli: Bruins still negotiating with Brad Marchand 07.11.11 at 1:30 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the team’s development camp that there is no news to report with regard to contract negotiations with restricted free agent Brad Marchand.

“We’ve continued to talk,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve had some discussion, and we’ll leave it at that.”

Marchand, 23, scored 21 goals and added 20 assists for 41 points in his rookie season, winning the team’s seventh player award. He finished second on the Bruins with 11 postseason goals, and his plus-12 rating put him in a tie for third on the B’s in the playoffs.

The young winger is the only Bruins’ restricted free agent. Given that they have qualified him, the team match any offer sheet Marchand signs with another club or lose him in exchange for draft pick compensation. Defenseman Shane Hnidy is the lone other unsigned player, but the B’s have told the restricted free agent that they will not be offering him a contract.

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Peter Chiarelli: Bruins letting Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder test market 06.30.11 at 12:42 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media Thursday in anticipation of the NHL’s free agency period opening Friday. The Bruins have two players set to hit unrestricted free agency in winger Michael Ryder and defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The GM said that ties have not been severed with either player, but that the B’s likely won’t be active in the early stages of free agency.

“Certainly theres no finality to our relationship,” Chiarelli said of Kaberle. “What we’ve agreed to with Tomas and his agent is that he would look into the market and we would continue to talk with him. … Let me be perfectly clear, there’s no end to the relationship because we haven’t signed him to this point.”

Chiarelli noted that if the Bruins are unable to retain Kaberle, he will look both in-house and elsewhere for his replacement on the Bruins’ blue line.

He also indicated that the B’s are taking the same approach with Ryder, and that if the players take deals with other teams, the Bruins are willing to accept that fate.

“I’m wary of the market and where it stands now,” Chiarelli said. “I said, ‘Look guys, go out there, see what’s going on and let’s continue to talk.’ The risk that we run is that they get a deal and then they can’t come back to us, and I understand that risk. That’s where those two guys stand.”

Depending on what the B’s do with Ryder, Kaberle, restricted free agent Brad Marchand and what happens with Marc Savard, the team could be in good standing with the league’s salary cap (set for $64.3 million next season). Despite the fact that they should have money to spend, allocating resources to multiple years could make things difficult for the Bruins, as both David Krejci and Tuukka Rask will see their current contracts expire after the coming season. Tyler Seguin‘s deal is up in two years, and one would have to assume all three players will see increases in pay.

“It certainly impacts it,” Chiarelli said of knowing they have future raises to give. “I’m a little wary of the market, first and foremost. The cap is high, and the cap is certainly going to come down in some shape or form, so generally speaking, I’m wary of the market and where I think it may be going.

“Two, and a close two, is that we do have guys that we warrant to re-sign, and they’re going to command raises. I’m really not in a position to go out and give a guy a big-term contract. I think thwart we can find that help elsewhere other than a big-term contract and still be in a good position to re-sign our guys as they come up the next year or two.”

The Bruins qualified restricted free agents Marchand, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Stefan Chaput. Chiarelli said that negotiations with Marchand have not yet begun.

The GM also said that the team will not re-sign defenseman Shane Hnidy, who served as a healthy scratch/depth player during the stretch run and postseason. Hnidy, 35, played three games in both the regular season and postseason.

“We’ve told Shane that we aren’t re-signing him,” Chiarelli said. “I think he’ll be a good addition somewhere else, and I told him that. Certainly I’d help him along the way for that.”

As for whether the list of Bruins’ targets may be shrinking, Chiarelli admitted that some players have been taken out of consideration in recent days. The rights of players set to hit free agency have been traded, which may factor into that.

“I have a big whiteboard in my office and I have our interest list and I have our secondary list,” he said. “Yes, there are names knocked off. Just because they’re on our interest list doesn’t mean we’re going to go off and sign them, but certainly we’re going to explore them. And I’ve crossed off names.”

One thing that came up time and time again was Chiarelli noting how “wary” of the market he was. He assessed the crop as being less than outstanding, which may be a reason why he would have reservations about making a big splash.

“I look at my board and I see the number of players and the quality of players,” he said. “And the numbers may be the same, [but] the quality is … there’s just not the high end players. Then of course you’ve got the floor of the cap and teams have to spend, so you’re going to get contracts I think that, maybe that, they’re generally higher in the unrestricted market, but I even think they’ll be that added premium because teams have to spend. … That’s why I’m a little cautious going into this market. There’s not the supply that there normally is, and I think the demand is greater because of the cap floor and teams have to spend.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder
Peter Chiarelli says Bruins have qualified Brad Marchand 06.24.11 at 7:21 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters in Minnesota Friday that the team has qualified restricted free agent Brad Marchand, meaning the team has retained negotiating rights with the 23-year-old and can match any offer sheet that another club may sign him to.

Should Marchand sign an offer sheet with another team, the Bruins will have seven days to either keep Marchand under those terms or see him walk. The Bruins would receive draft pick compensation if they were to lose Marchand, but given his importance to the club and how much cap space the B’s have, the chances of him not returning are extremely slim.

As a rookie Marchand scored 21 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in the regular season. He scored 11 goals in the playoffs, including two in the Bruins’ Game 7 win over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals.

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Bruins year in review: Top rookie 06.22.11 at 3:09 am ET
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Each day this week, WEEI.com will be taking a look back at the Bruins’ historic 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship season. So far, we’ve looked at the goal of the year, fight of the year and save of the year. Up today is the Bruins’ rookie of the year, a no-brainer for anyone who followed the championship season.

BRUINS’ TOP ROOKIE

Brad Marchand: 21 G, 20 A, 41 points (regular season); 11 G, 8 A, 19 points (postseason)

“I was impressed with with Marchy from the moment I saw him play. I obviously wasn’t too familiar with him, but having seen him early in training camp… then just build his way up and keep getting better and better, to be honest with you, he was so important to our team. When we were successful, usually Marchy had a big game or played well.

“Playing with Marchy, I enjoyed it a lot… He deserves everything that he’s gotten. He’s worked for it. He had the opportunity. He made the team and he started with us and worked for his ice time. Rightfully so, he’s an important part of this team. To even do what he did in the playoffs, that’s even more important, and says more about him as a player that he can step up in those big games.”

- Gregory Campbell

Brad Marchand was a pleasant surprise and key contributor for the Stanley Cup champs. (AP)

At the beginning of training camp, Tyler Seguin was a household name in Boston. He was perhaps the only Bruins rookie a Bostonian could pick out of the very lineup Seguin assured he had yet to crack. By the end of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run, people were talking about a few Boston rookies. Seguin’s goals got him the hype and Adam McQuaid‘s mullet got him the cult following and customized t-shirts from Andrew Ference, but no Bruins rookie came close to bringing it the way Brad Marchand did.

When the B’s opened the regular season in Prague, Marchand was a fourth-liner who got around 10 minutes of ice time. When the season ended, he had assisted the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and scored two of his own. When all was said and done, Marchand hoisted the Cup having scored 11 goals in the postseason, one behind David Krejci for the postseason lead. He worked his way from being a famed member of the Merlot Line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton to forming perhaps the team’s most consistent line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, and aside from missing time after being rocked on a beautiful P.K. Subban hip check in December, the 5-foot-9 Marchand looked invincible in the process.

The story of Marchand’s preseason confidence has been well-documented. He told both Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien that he would score 20 goals (the very number Milan Lucic was optimistically aiming for prior to the season) in his first full season. Chiarelli told him to think about what he was saying. While thinking may never be Marchand’s game, he certainly backed up his words by popping 21 in the regular season.

The downside with Marchand is that with the good, you must take the bad, but depending on how you look at it, the bad isn’t all that bad. He crosses the line often, whether it be with his on-ice actions or words. He was suspended for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the head, but at the end of the day he’s a far cry from a dirty player. He’s one of the Bruins who have been guilty of embellishment, but with Marchand, it’s nowhere near the point of some of the players the B’s saw in Montreal and Vancouver. If anyone wants to deem Marchand’s feistiness a problem, it’s a problem every team in the league would love to have. He’s a special type of player, and the B’s are fortunate to have someone who’s just as good in all three areas of the ice and at killing penalties as he is at getting under opponents’ skin and scoring goals.

Now, after a rookie year in which he became a hero in Boston, Marchand will get paid. A restricted free agent, Marchand couldn’t have asked for a better time to be due a raise, as it should be a big one. He had a salary cap hit of $821,667 last season and could now get upwards of $3 million.

Just a note before we get to the honorable mention section: While McQuaid was a far more mature player in his rookie campaign and provided far more stability than Seguin did (it’s an apples and oranges comparison anyway given the difference in age and position), the argument could be made that the B’s could have won the Stanley Cup without him. In this scribe’s opinion, the Bruins would not have won the Cup were it not for Tyler Seguin. The youngster may have singlehandedly changed the Eastern Conference finals with his performance in the second period of Game 2. As a result, if we had to make this thing a list, Seguin would be the runner up to Marchand.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin, Adam McQuaid

Read More: Adam McQuaid, Brad Marchand, Bruins Year in Review, Gregory Campbell
Shawn Thornton on The Big Show: Bruins used Canucks’ comments as motivation 06.20.11 at 6:28 pm ET
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Shawn Thornton

Bruins forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner Shawn Thornton joined The Big Show Monday to review the Stanley Cup finals and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, check out The Big Show audio on demand page.

Following Game 7, rookie forward Brad Marchand said that he hated the Canucks given how “cocky” they were throughout the series. Thornton wouldn’t use Marchand’s words, but he did share the same feelings.

“No, I mean I don’t want to talk bad about them and be a sore winner, but I will say some of the comments that were made and kind of the way everyone had us dialed in,” he said. “They were planning the parade on Monday and they hadn’t even won the game yet. Stuff like that motivates the other team. We did a good job of toeing the line and not letting anything get out into the open. Even though we were a confident bunch as a group we weren’t out there talking about it as much.”

Even though Thornton’s line, the fourth line did not score much during the playoff run, Thornton knew what their role was and how it changed from series to series.

“Our line, when we played over a certain amount we did a good job getting the puck deep, and creating energy,” he said. “That’s our role. In different series’ our line was used in different ways. The Montreal series not as much, they are run and gun, the Philadelphia series we were used a little more and Tampa not as much again because they are built a little different, but that Vancouver series the first couple games they came out and were really physical, so our line did the same thing and we wanted to push that and be physical.”

Thornton did not play in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, but was inserted into the lineup for Game 3.

“Right before warm up I found out,” Thornton said. “That was tough, I’m not going to lie. I thought he [Claude Julien] was going to make the change, but you are never 100 percent. I was ecstatic. I prepared like I was playing, but it’s different when you’re not sure. You’d rather know, but I guess it was a last minute decision and it worked out just fine.”

After going down dropping the first two games in Vancouver the Bruins knew that they weren’t out of it.

“We knew we were in them, we were a goal away in each game,” Thornton said. “We knew if we got back playing the way we needed to play we could win. We did a good job all year of not letting the highs get too high and the lows too low, and we did a really good job after that game of just focusing on the next game and the game after that. That was our main focus going into those games.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Shawn Thornton, Tim Thomas
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