The Boston Bruins assured winger Brad Marchand will remain with the team for the next eight years. The two sides reportedly agree on a new contract extension.
As Team Canada is set to face off against Team Europe in the championship series of the World Cup of Hockey starting on Tuesday, Brad Marchand made headlines of his own. The Boston Bruins winger inked a new $49 million deal that will keep him with the team for the next eight years.
As he was set to become a free agent following the upcoming season, it was clear that extending Marchand’s contract was a top priority for the black and gold.
After a breakout season last year, which included leading the team in goals (37) and plus/minus (21), it was clear the B’s wanted to get the deal done prior to the start of the upcoming regular season. Emerging as one of the games top goal scorers, as well as being efficient on both the power play and penalty kill, letting Marchand reach free agency would have been risky for the Bruins.
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While the Boston Bruins are not only happy to keep Marchand around for nearly the next decade, one has to imagine they are very pleased with the contract as well. With an average annual salary of $6.125 million in relation to Marchand’s production, the new extension can actually be viewed as a value contract.
As the game’s best generally average in the eight million per year range, Marchand, who finished 6th in the NHL in goals last season, is certainly salary cap friendly. His contract not only locks him up for quite some time, it also allows the team to explore other options.
Though Marchand has been a fixture on the Bruin’s roster dating back to their Stanley Cup winning team in 2011, he has really come into his own in recent years. Early in his career, the gritty winger was regarded mostly as a pest who’s best skill was getting under the skin of his opponents. However, as of recent years, Marchand has really harnessed his skill set as a legitimate playmaker, able to make an impact on both ends of the ice.
Marchand’s emergence as an all-star caliber player is not going unnoticed, either. He is making a name for himself on a national scale during this World Cup of Hockey tournament. Playing on the team’s first line alongside fellow Bruin Patrice Bergeron and recent Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe winner Sidney Crosby, Marchand has been Canada’s most productive players. Through four games, he is second on the team behind Crosby in points with five, which includes three goals and two assists.
Crosby has been impressed with Marchand’s playmaking and versatility, as he expressed in a recent interview.
“I think the way he works on both sides of the puck. I think all three (he, Marchand and Bergeron) of us work hard to gain possession to create turnovers. He does that really well. He’s got a great shot. He’s got speed, a lot of different things,” he said. But I think just the way he competes every shift you know that he’s able to generate a lot sometimes from nothing.”
The upcoming 2016-17 season is poised to be another great season for Marchand. On a Bruins team that is lacking in elite goal scorers and recently lost Loui Erikkson to free agency, a lot will be expected of the eight-year man. Expect he and line mate Patrice Bergeron to be the B’s main source on offense, as well the team’s most effective two-year players.
There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to Brad Marchand in a Boston Bruins uniform, not just this season, but many seasons to come.