When it comes to the Boston Bruins and their leadership, they’ve been incredibly lucky to have some greats over the years.
Zdeno Chara spent 14 seasons as the team’s captain before signing a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals prior to the 2020-21 NHL season. Patrice Bergeron, to the surprise of no one, then was given the C.
Bergeron has been a leader on the Bruins for several years, even as an alternate captain before being promoted. His teammates respect him and people want to play for someone like him.
Bruins fans know the captain’s contract is up at the end of the season, and it’s anyone’s guess what his next move will be. For Brad Marchand, who’s played alongside Bergeron for his entire career, he doesn’t want to think of what the future will be like without Bergeron when that time ultimately comes.
During his media availability Friday, Marchand gushed over Bergeron via Zoom from his leadership skills to the way he plays the game when asked if he or the Bruins have thought about life after Bergeron.
Here’s what he had to say.
I almost feel I’ve seen it all but then you remember how long he’s been doing this and how dominant he still is. And I guess when you kind of look at it, that sense, it’s even more impressive. I still kind of forget the query side just because I’ve been beside them for so long now and I have had a front-row seat to the majority of it.
You know, to be able to put your body on the line the way that he does every night and to compete the way that he does every night — there’s a lot of guys that can play a long time in this league, but they don’t play hard, necessarily. They kind of stay with the dirty areas and don’t compete, don’t block shots and battle the way that Bergy does. But the way that he uses his body and beats his body up for the last 20 years, I think those are the guys that you really get impressed with and he still continues to do it every night. And he leads every night is always the hardest working guy on the ice.
Every every team really would love to have him as their leader and to be able to bring that culture to their group. But we’re very fortunate that it’s our team and we get to learn from them is a huge part. Him and Zee are why this organization turned around and is what it is today.
Two of those guys have been staples on this team for a long time, are like I said, Zee and Bergy. And those guys, they completely turned this organization around obviously the management staff and everyone, but in the room and on the ice, those are the guys that did it and loses he was a huge piece of that puzzle that the culture it’s hard to change. And Bergy … you can’t place guys like that.
You know what he brings to the table on and off the ice, his leadership values, the way he controls the room and the bench. The way he’s able to kind of have a pulse and a feel for how guys are feeling off the ice and how he can approach them and stuff like that.
He’s the guy that we’re not going to be able to replace when that time does come, but we’re not thinking about that right now. That’s hopefully a long time down the road.
And in the meantime, we get to cherish the time that we have him here and take advantage of that.
Is someone cutting onions?
Marchand and Bergeron have undeniable chemistry on the ice, and it’s clear Marchand looks up to his linemate as a hockey player and a friend.