With former Boston Bruins center David Krejci gone, will the Boston Bruins have a new permanent alternate captain or will they alternate the ‘A’ during the 2021-22 regular season?
With maybe two or three roster spots available when the Bruins arrived for training camp mid-last month, there haven’t really been too many mysteries surrounding the roster for the 2021-22 Boston Bruins. One of the biggest question marks though has been who would don the vacant ‘A’ on their jersey and replace Krejci as the team’s second alternate captain. Brad Marchand of course will retain the other ‘A’ and Patrice Bergeron is entering his second season as captain of the Boston Bruins after replacing longtime Bruins captain Zdeno Chara who departed via free agency prior to last season.
During the preseason, defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, and winger David Pastrnak each wore the coveted ‘A’ for a game and on Friday, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that he will indeed alternate between that young trio that has developed into leaders on and off the ice over the last three years.
“We’re gonna rotate and I think it’s all situational,” the Boston Bruins bench boss explained. “If there’s an obvious one – like to me, ‘Marchy’ I think when [David] Backes had left, it was like bang, he had certainly earned it and was in a place where he could handle it – right now, I think there’s a lot of guys that could handle it, that part. It’s just we want to grow it a little bit because as I said before, I think there are different guys that can grow into that, and eventually, we’ll decide if it’s permanent or not, but right now, as I said, I think there are different guys that can handle it and should have it.”
So why did the 2020 Jack Adams Award winner think this is the right time for all three players to take the next step into being the new core leadership group of the Boston Bruins?
“So in the preseason, we put an ‘A’ on different guys,” Cassidy said. [Pastrnak], Charlie and Brandon,” Cassidy explained. “Those are three younger guys that have now been here for a while. So listen, I can’t predict where they’re going to be in. …let’s assume that contract-wise and all those things that they’re here, they’re the next wave of the leaders in the core group of this team and they’re already kind of pushing their way into that group if they’re not already in it. I would say they are but the younger core I guess, let’s put it that way, and the older core, it’s more ‘Bergy’ [Bergeron], ‘Marsh’ [Marchand], and etcetera.”
Another factor in the timing of McAvoy, Carlo, and Pastrnak needing to morph into even better leaders, is that like it or not, Bergeron is not going to be around forever. In fact, while Boston Bruins fans may not want to read this, there is a very good chance that Bergeron could retire when his current contract runs out after this upcoming season. This alternate captain trio, according to Cassidy, are all strong candidates to replace him as captain of the Boston Bruins sometime in the near future.
“To ask them to lead a little bit now, I think will help them down the road because there’s a pretty good chance, I don’t want to speculate, that they might be a captain of the Bruins down the road,” Cassidy said before making a quick quip about Boston Hockey Now reporter Joe Haggerty. “Now ‘Haggs’ thinks Bergy’s gonna play forever, we don’t know but I hope he’s right, but at the end of the day, those are guys that we’re gonna rely on down the road. As I said, that’s about things falling into place otherwise, and David’s still in that mix to me.”