September 23, 2023


“I imply, he is the perfect two-way participant to ever play the sport. There isn’t any changing him on the ice or within the room.”

Brad Marchand and the Bruins returned to the ice at Warrior Ice Area on Tuesday morning. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Workers)

Brad Marchand shared a well-recognized sentiment hovering over the 2023-24 Bruins on Tuesday morning.

Whether or not it’s his sterling play on the ice or his commanding presence within the dressing room, the Bruins don’t have a singular avenue accessible to switch a participant like Patrice Bergeron.

“Clearly the on-ice stuff — I imply, he’s the perfect two-way participant to ever play the sport,” Marchand stated of Bergeron following the Bruins’ first captains’ follow of the preseason. “There’s no changing him on the ice or within the room. A variety of day-to-day stuff and the way he helps guys all through completely different moments and hard occasions, we’re gonna miss him a ton there.”

Bergeron’s potential to each drive play within the offensive zone and snuff out scoring possibilities down the opposite finish of the ice made him a useful asset throughout Boston’s sustained standing as a Cup contender over the past 10+ seasons.

However with Bergeron and David Krejci each hanging up their skates this summer season, the Bruins have extra on their plate than simply accounting for the absence of their two top-six pivots on the ice.

Bergeron constructed a repute as probably the most revered gamers within the NHL over his 19 seasons with the Bruins, most of which noticed him take to the ice with an “A” or “C” stamped onto his sweater.

For Marchand, Bergeron’s knack for studying the room and communication expertise made him a useful useful resource through the years as a steadying presence for the remainder of the roster.

However although the Bruins don’t have the means to completely exchange Bergeron’s intangibles within the room, Marchand believes that the Bruins have a blueprint in place so far as carrying his message transferring ahead.

Very like Boston’s technique for shoring up their vacancies on the ice, Marchand acknowledged that the Bruins’ hopes of addressing Bergeron and Krejci’s loss within the room will take a collective effort.

“What the blokes previously have achieved is that they did it as a gaggle,” Marchand stated. “They have been so good at bringing a gaggle of fellows collectively, having everybody consider the identical aim, having a standard aim collectively and believing in it. … There’s no group in any sport that may have one man dictate what a group does, however it’s how they’re capable of carry a gaggle collectively. And once more, that’s what our captains previously have achieved and our management teams previously have achieved, is that they’ve been capable of lead by numbers and energy in numbers.

“Once we had Bergy and [Zdeno Chara], we had two captains for some time and that simply bleeds by way of the lineup. With Bergy … everybody had a ton of respect for him. So everybody would comply with what he did and what he stated, however he introduced a whole lot of guys in collectively and gave them a whole lot of accountability and allowed them to really feel like they’d a voice and that happened once more by way of the lineup.

“So we’re gonna have to do this once more this yr. You’re not going to switch guys like that within the room. However collectively as a gaggle, we simply have to return collectively and discover out what our objectives are, what our beliefs are for this season and construct on that collectively.”

Regardless that each Bergeron and Chara casted a commanding presence in Boston’s dressing room for near twenty years, Marchand pressured that the Bruins have had no scarcity of extra leaders through the years — no matter whether or not or not they’d letters on their sweaters.

Regardless of the quantity of turnover on the 2023-24 Bruins roster, Marchand famous that Boston’s revamped management core remains to be stocked with gamers who’ve donned a black-and-gold sweater for a number of years now, together with David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo.

In fact, there nonetheless must be a singular conduit in place on the prime of Boston’s management pyramid.

Given Marchand’s prolonged tenure with the Bruins (14 seasons), his designation as Bergeron’s understudy over that prolonged stretch and his evolution from pest right into a poised chief, the 35-year-old winger looks like the favourite to tackle the mantle as captain in 2023-24.

However Marchand as soon as once more didn’t harp a lot on the person challenges that await Boston’s reworked dressing room.

“It’s not one thing that I actually take into consideration an excessive amount of,” Marchand stated of the Bruins captaincy. “Clearly it’s an enormous honor to be within the management group on this group whenever you have a look at the blokes which were there earlier than. However we’ve at all times achieved it collectively as a gaggle, so no matter who wears it, it’s a collective factor and even guys and not using a letter step up a whole lot of occasions all year long.”

Given Marchand’s early repute as an agitating scraper with a prolonged rap sheet of suspensions and fines, assuming the captaincy in Boston might need appeared like a far-fetched situation at one time limit.

However at this stage of his profession, Marchand is trying to take a web page out of Bergeron’s e-book, and grateful for the chance {that a} new 82-game slate presents.

“I believe as you become old, you mature. I’m not saying I’m mature. However then you have got children, and also you’ve been round … and simply how exhausting it’s to win — what it takes to actually have a legit group and even whenever you do, how exhausting it nonetheless is,” Marchand stated. “Have a look at final yr, it’s an ideal instance.

“You simply can’t take any second with no consideration. For those who assume you’re owed something or something is simply gonna work out in your favor.. We’re all chasing the identical dream. … Just one group will get to win.”