Brad Marchand has for long been known as the perhaps biggest rat in hockey. But since this October, he added a brand new title to his profile: Captain of the Boston Bruins.
Marchand had been an alternate captain for five seasons. Patrice Bergeron, who spent his whole career with the Bruins, was named captain after Zdeno Chara, who captained them when they won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Chara captained for 14 seasons before leaving following the 2019-20 season, and Bergeron was often praised as one of the great leaders in the NHL.
Brad Marchand doesn’t have as great of a reputation as Chara and Bergeron, given his track record with controversial actions on the ice, but he’s still a great leader in the locker room and on the ice, and it didn’t come as a huge surprise that he was named.
Marchand, the 27th captain in franchise history, has calmed down the last year, maybe trying to be a better fit in his new role.
But in the early days of his career, he was wild. Marchand has always played with a temper, and Zdeno Chara remembers it well. In the podcast ’Cue the Memories,’ where Bruins digital reporter Eric Russo welcomes Bruins alumnis to talk about their 2011 Stanley Cup championship, Chara shared a great story about watching Marchand play hockey for the very first time.
”I remember watching him first time on television. I still remember that moment. I was in the locker room, getting ready for the game and watching the World Juniors, and there’s this kid who scores goals, throws his stick over the glass, jumps the glass. And that’s like a 7-1 goal,” Chara said.
Chara turned to the conditioning coach at the time, John Whitesides.
”Johnny is right next to me and I was like, ’Who’s this kid?’ And he’s like, ’He’s ours …’” Chara said, laughing.
”I was like, ’It’s going to be some work.’ But he competed since day one. He really wanted to be on our team. He got cut, or sent down, but they kept him for a few days and somebody got hurt. He got the chance to play, and there was something about him. He wanted to prove to everyone that he belonged.”