The Boston Bruins have announced that they have named veteran winger Brad Marchand as the 27th captain in franchise history.
“I am extremely proud of Brad and the hockey player he has become,” Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in a press release.
“Brad has been a Bruin for over 15 years and had the opportunity to learn from great leaders in Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. He is ready for this opportunity, and our whole team will learn from his competitive nature and tenacity. I am confident he will represent our organization with heart and grit.”
The Boston Bruins announced the captain appointment with a terrific tweet that built curiosity throughout and culminated with Brad Marchand donning the Bruins’ new home Centennial jersey with a white ‘C’ on the left side of his chest.
The Legacy Continues. ©️ pic.twitter.com/hBpDIvOrB0
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 20, 2023
Marchand joins a prestigious list of Bruins captains that includes the recently retired Patrice Bergeron (2021-23) Zdeno Chara (2006-20), Joe Thornton (2002-05), Jason Allison (2000-01), Ray Bourque (1985-2000), Rick Middleton (1985-88), Terry O’Reilly (1983-85), Wayne Cashman (1977-83), John Bucyk (1966-67 and 1973-77), Leo Boivin (1963-66), Don McKenney (1961-63), Ferny Flaman (1955-61), Ed Sanford (1954-55), Milt Schmidt (1950-54), John Crawford (1946-50), Ralph ‘Cooney’ Weiland (1938-39), Aubrey ‘Dit’ Clapper (1932-38 and 1939-47), George Owen (1931-32), Lionel Hitchman (1927-31), Sprague Cleghorn (1925-27).
Ever since Patrice Bergeron retired in July, it seemed like a fait accompli that Marchand would become the next captain. The 35-year-old winger is now the longest-tenured Bruin and has been an alternate captain since the 2018-19 season. He was also a member of the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team and of the teams that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 and 2019. He has been an integral part of the Bruins culture and identity that has been building since Chara was named captain in 2006.
However, whenever he was asked about what it would mean to wear the ‘C’ this offseason, the crafty Marchand has deflected the attention and, as a true captain does, focused on the team and what he believes is still a strong leadership core.
“That’s not something that I really think about too much,” Marchand said after captains’ practice two weeks ago when asked if he wanted to be the next captain. “Obviously, it’s a big honor to be in the leadership group of this organization when you look at the guys that have been there before. But we’ve always done it collectively as a group.
“So regardless of who wears it, it’s a collective thing, and even guys (without) letters step up a lot of times throughout the years. So, again, when you lose Bergy and (David) Krejci, leadership is going to come from a group, not from one certain guy or a couple of guys. It’s got to be from a big collective group, so that’s what we’re gonna rely on this year.”
Marchand ranks eighth in franchise history in games played (947), fourth in game-winning goals (71), sixth in goals (372), ninth in assists (490) and seventh in points (862). The 5-foot-9, 176-pound winger also ranks fifth in playoff games played (146), second in playoff goals (53), fourth in playoff assists (75) and second in playoff points (128).
Among active NHL players, Marchand ranks first in plus-minus (plus-290), seventh in game-winning goals, 10th in goals, 18th in assists and 12th in points. Marchand also ranks 11th among active players in playoff games played and sixth in playoff goals, playoff assists and playoff points.
Marchand is also the club’s ambassador for Hockey is for Everyone, a league-wide initiative to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities through the game of hockey.