The transformation of Brad Marchand into one of the NHL’s best leaders continued this week at Boston Bruins Development Camp.
After finishing a career-best fifth in the Hart Trophy voting for the NHL’s MVP Award and being voted as a First Team All-Star at left wing, Marchand is still contributing to the present and the future for the Boston Bruins. Instead of simply, as he was asked to do, speak to Bruins prospects at Warrior Arena on the opening day of camp, Marchand trained with them as well. Seeing Marchand jump on the AssaultBike Elite with the prospective Bruins just made the players at camp not only admire him more but want to be part of the winning culture Marchand, captain Patrice Bergeron and other leaders with the Bruins have built for the past ten years.
“It was tremendous having Brad Marchand here yesterday,” forward Curtis Hall said Tuesday. “Even when we first got to the rink, we were here around 7 AM to do some testing, we had a bike test. We all see Marchand walk in the room and hop on the bike and do the test with us, and that was just a testament to how hard he works. He’s really an inspiration for all of us, all of us in the program and the prospects.”
Since his infamous licking days back in 2018, Marchand has become a backbone and leader for the Boston Bruins on and off the ice and that leadership is having an impact on the future of the Bruins’ franchise.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the organization for five years now and I’ve been around ‘Marchy’ quite a bit,” Bruins goalie prospect Kyle Keyser said this week. “But for him to just jump into the bike test, which is not an easy test by any stretch, just because he was here and he wanted to show the guys what it takes, I think that’s pretty impressive, and it speaks for itself on why he’s one of the best players in the NHL. I think it’s huge for us to see the kind of work ethic and what he brings to the rink every single day as a professional. His speech was awesome, just talking about the compete level and what it takes to be a champion at this level.”
Keyser then alluded to Marchand’s role with the 2011 Stanley Cup win for the Boston Bruins and his role since.
“He’s won a Stanley Cup here in Boston. He knows what it takes and how to push it to the end,” the 22-year-old netminder said. “I think it’s important for us, especially me, to hear from his experience on what worked and what didn’t. And him talking about not waiting for opportunities and going out and getting them, all those kinds of things touch home for us guys. It’s important to listen and have your ears open when guys with that much knowledge and experience are talking.”
Hall also expanded on his lasting impression from the 33-year-old veteran Bruins winger.
“In the meeting yesterday, he was talking about the keys to being a Bruin: being a good teammate, having courage, and being there and supporting each other and pushing each other, being competitive,” Hall said. “Even just to have him in the room with us was unbelievable. I remember a couple years ago, [Bruins captain Patrice] Bergeron came and talked to us, so whenever we get a chance to see those guys it’s really something special for us. Those are the guys we really look up to.”