There was a day, when Brad Marchand was just a little punk kid, with a big nose, and great agitating skills. Now, Mr. Marchand is leading Team Canada to it's first ever World Cup of Hockey Championship crown. His tournament leading 4 goals combined with his 3 assists puts him second in the tournament in points. The only guy ahead of him is linemate, Sidney Crosby.
Is it not remarkable that Brad Marchand and Sidney Crosby are now being mentioned in the same sentence. Just 6 years ago in 2010 Brad was in training camp trying to make a spot on the team. That year was also the rookie season of #2 overall draft pick Tyler Seguin. That year, it was Marchand, not Seguin, who made a huge impact day in and day out for the B's in route to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 39 years. Marchand scored 11 goals for the Bruins during those playoffs, including 2 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. During the regular season, Marchand scored 24 goals and added 21 assists. Meanwhile, Seguin only notched 11 goals and 11 assists during the season. In the postseason, Seguin was a healthy scratch the first two round and only saw the light of a day because of an injury to Patrice Bergeron.
That next offseason, it was Seguin who get most of the attention. It seemed like Marchand was just gonna be his partner crime in the years ahead for the Bruins. The silly little agitator who rapped "black and yellow" at the Bruins championship parade.
Throughout the next two seasons, the two were able to keep pace with each other. Marchand had 91 points, Seguin had 99. In the playoffs , Marchand had the nod over Tyler with 15 points compared to Seguin's 11. Still, it seemed as though Seguin was the guy who got talked up as "the guy" looking ahead. Then Seguin got traded to Dallas for what can only be described as behavioral reasons.
That trade killed the team (not the point of the article), but Marchand still kept playing at a high level. Putting up seasons of 24, 25 and finally 37 goals last season. He is becoming "the guy" for the Bruins just like Tyler Seguin is doing for Dallas. Marchand could have very easily fallen in Seguin's shadow in the early years, but he kept right up with him. When Seguin left, his game could have fallen without his bro and without Seguin's on ice abilities as a linemate. Whatever is has been for Marchand, he has been a consistent performer for the Bruins. A commodity that the Bruins players have been missing.
Marchand is no longer just a punk kid who agitates players. He has learned from his mistakes, and grown into goal scorer with some grit.
Tonight's difference makers pic.twitter.com/akYG9xBX91— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) September 25, 2016
Will there still be the occasional suspension for Brad, sure but that is what makes him who he is. A pesky rat with who can put the puck in the net. A guy who can talk trash, and lead Team Canada to a World Championship.
Giving Marchand 49 million for 8 eight years is a great deal. Only six million a year for someone who I think will score close to 40 goals is a steal. Look at the way he is playing at the World Cup of Hockey. As Pierre LeBrun said, he is a difference maker. Not just for the Bruins, but for a team who has a collaboration of the most skilled players in the world. 8 years is high, but for his worth after the WCH, it's a deal. Don Sweeney finally made a move that I can get behind. In fact, I think he got a steal.