Today the Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced the signing of forward Brad Marchand to an eight-year, $49 million contract extension. This potentially extends Marchand’s time in Boston through the 2024-25 season and is worth an average annual value against the cap of $6.125 million.
“Anytime you are able to keep a player of Brad’s impact level to our hockey club, I think it’s a great thing for the future of our organization,” Sweeney said before Monday’s pre-season game. “Brad was an important part and we said that all along that we wanted him to be a part of stuff going forward, so I would characterize it as win-win.”
The announcement comes after Marchand’s impressive breakout season this past year with the Bruins, that he has managed to punctuate with an absolutely spectacular performance as a member of Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, where he has tied for the most goals (3) and has the second-most points (5) of any skater in the tournament—a tournament that for the most part was seeing a different player for each goal scored, regardless of team.
“This is an extremely exciting day for me and my family,” said Marchand. “I would like to thank the Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Don Sweeney, Claude Julien, the coaching staff, my teammates, and our fans for their continued support and belief in me. I have been a Bruin since the start of my pro career and there is no place I would rather play. I look forward to doing everything I can to help our team achieve success and bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston.”
Indeed, Marchand has literally grown up in the Bruins organization. He began his professional career with the Providence Bruins in 2008-09, where he appeared in 79 games and recorded 18 goals and 41 assists for 59 points. He just completed his seventh NHL season with the Bruins in 2015-16, where he established career-highs of 37 goals and 61 points.
“It’s not easy to always play in this town; the expectations, but also that’s why the juices flow for a lot of the same reasons. And I think Brad’s, I’m not going to speak for Brad, he’ll have an opportunity when the World Cup is done, to explain why he necessarily wanted to go down this path,” continued Sweeney. “He’s got an opportunity to potentially play his whole career for one hockey club. He’s already won one Cup and he wants to win another and it says a lot about the person himself and what this organization really is all about and he wants to be aligned with that, which is great.”
Known to opponents for the way in which he can get under their skin and play the role of agitator, he has crossed a line on a few occasions resulting in three separate suspensions. However, he continues to grow both in his skills and in his understanding of just where that line is and how to steer clear of it.
Torey Krug was pleased to know that he would be around for a number of years, himself having just signed a contract with the team.
“We see what he does on the ice—he scores big goals, big time player and what he’s doing speaks for itself. What he is for this locker room, I think is just as important,” Krug shared. “He brings the energy everyday. He holds guys accountable when guys aren’t showing up to the rink ready to go. He’s shown up every single day. He’s part of this core group of players obviously and that shows with the investment that ownership’s made in him.”
“I think it’s a great deal for everyone involved. He’s continuing to get better every year,” chimed in defenseman Adam McQuaid. “It’s not fun [practicing against him]. He battles hard. When you have someone like that that you get to practice against, it helps to improve your game. He comes ready to work every day and those are the kind of guys you want.”
For now, Marchand continues to wear the colors of Canada as a member of Team Canada who will take on Team Europe in a best of three game final for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey beginning on Tuesday. All of Canada loves him right now. When he returns to Boston, and dons the Black and Gold again, most of the hockey world will experience that hard work and battle mentality—a blue collar ethic that makes him a big favorite in Boston and with his team, but seldom with opponents.