The black and yellow spoked B is the only sweater Brad Marchand has worn since being called to the NHL for the first time in October of 2009, but is it time for a change? Well, statistics and common sense would say, indeed it is.
The fiery 5’9 winger has quite the reputation around the National Hockey League, but I’ll let you decide if its a good one. He’s one of those players fans love to hate, unless of course he is skating for your team. He has walked the line like Johnny Cash when it comes to questionable hits and plays, but with the help of the veteran core of the Boston Bruins he has, for the most part, stayed on the better half of that line. The combination of the agitator role, mixed with a deadly arsenal of scoring moves for goaltenders, has made him a household name for hockey fans. Things have been different as of late for ‘the little ball of hate’ however, with a decline in numbers, and a tendency to cross the line more often then not, it may be time for Marshy to be shipping out of Boston.
Marchand was a 25 goal scorer last season, however seemed invisible come playoff time, having no goals and a mere five assists to show for his 12 postseason appearances. He was also among many Bruins to lose their temper in the embarrassing seven game series against the Habs, ultimately leading to Boston’s elimination. Lethal scorers, as Marchand used to be, are hard to come by in the NHL, and with the Boston Bruins in desperate need of some help in the goal column, Brad might be the next casualty of the 2014 off-season.
Former Bruins first-liner Jarome Iginla found himself a new home in Colorado after signing a three year 15 million dollar deal. His departure leaves a gaping hole in the Bruins stable of forwards. A deal involving a young, talented player like Marchand could potentially cork that hole. With the loss of locker room leader Shawn Thornton, who more than occasionally kept Brad Marchand under control, Marchand will be more of a liability now than he ever has been. A change of scenery could work out best for both parties involved, much like it did for Tyler Seguin and the Bruins last summer. With a few minor line shuffles and a couple call-ups by Peter Chiarelli, Marchand’s spot will be filled by a more than capable player (possibly the recently resigned Jordan Caron). If the Bruins were to package Marchand with a couple promising prospects, they could get a first line forward looking for a cup contender as a new home. Not only would the move allow for a big name to come to Boston, but could also set the stage for a major signing, as Marchand’s contract is a 4.5 million dollar cap hit next season.
Marchand has been rumored in trades involving names like Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets, and any player close to that caliber would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the recovering B’s. Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin are the most recent examples of how a trade can change the direction a team is headed in, for better or worse. If the the Bruins do decide it is time to send Marchand packing, it would undoubtedly be a win for Boston and everyone involved.