Priority number one for the Boston Bruins heading into the summer was finding a way to make sure Brad Marchand remained in Boston long term. Monday they accomplished just that.
After a spectacular 2015-16 season, in which Marchand found the back of the net 37 times and amassed 61 points in the process, it was speculated that Sweeney would have to write a sizable check in order to ensure ‘Marchy’ stayed in Beantown. That wasn’t necessarily the case.
While his 6.1 million dollar cap hit over 8 seasons is more money than I could ever dream of acquiring, it’s not ludicrous either. Especially with the new payday, he’s still not in the sphere of the top 50 highest paid players in the league. In the near future, I wouldn’t bet on that to change either.
What’s noteworthy about not only his recent performances, but the contract itself is that Marchand is finally being recognized as the player fans in Boston know him for. Ever since his coming out party, in the form of the 2011 Stanley Cup run, Brad has been labeled primarily as an agitator or a pest. By all means he remains just that, but his style of play has evolved to a greater extent.
You don’t represent team Canada at any level, let alone the World Cup of Hockey, by accident. Underlining my point is the fact that he, teammate Patrice Bergeron and who many people believe is the best player in the world, Sidney Crosby have been on a line together all tournament, and produced at a startling rate.
Bottom line is that Cam Neely and Don Sweeney have swung and missed on so many young players in terms of contract negotiation that the Marchand situation feels like a victory. Regardless of whether or not he ever reaches the 37 goal plateau ever again. That being said, he is a mid to upper 20 goal scorer in his career up to this point.
Boston is going to need Marchand to tickle 30 goals a season. That is until players such as Frank Vatrano, Zachary Senyshyn and Jake DeBrusk have the necessary time to develop as full time NHL-ers.
Furthermore, that shouldn’t be an issue since the 28 year old is under contract until he is 37.
Future captain Patrice Bergeron should be happy to know that his long time line mate will be under contract until after he retires. From a fan standpoint, you should be happy as well. Considering the only reason David Backes came to Boston was because Marchand and Bergeron convinced him to do so.
After being dragged through the mud after the tire fires that were Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Alex Khokhalachev’s contract negotiations, it’s organizationally sound to see management get this done in Boston.
Make no mistake, impending free agents will see this deal and think positively about Boston. With 13 million available and with no major free agents in need of a deal, they will approach the trade deadline and free agency with big pockets and even bigger aspirations on getting this team back to the Cup Final.
-Joe Russo (@JoeyRusso12)