The Boston Bruins enter this offseason with their current roster somewhat in a state of flux.
Patrice Bergeron’s future with the organization is in doubt, David Pastrnak will head into a contract year next season and the Bruins also have to make decisions on a handful of unrestricted free agents who are fringe roster players.
None of this comes as a surprise as roster changes are inevitable during the NHL offseason. But it isn’t always easy to deal with as Bruins star forward Brad Marchand told reporters at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday during his final interview of the 2021-22 season.
“It’s always nerve-wracking whenever there’s going to be changes because you don’t know how it’s going to affect it (the roster) negatively or positively,” Marchand said as seen in team-provided video. “I think the one thing we have going for this group is that our management staff and our ownership. They want to win so much and so bad that they work tirelessly around the clock to try to improve the group and do what’s best for the group.”
For Marchand, he believes one of the keys for the Bruins in putting together a successful roster moving forward is the development of the organization’s younger players.
“When guys move on it opens the door for other guys to come in and take on bigger roles, and draft picks to come up and kind of do their thing,” Marchand said. “We got some good, young prospects that are going to come in the next couple of years that hopefully can make some big strides to come in.
“That’s what makes teams good these days is when you have young guys that are on entry-level contracts or bridge deals that can make a huge impact. And then that allows you to sign guys like Pasta and Charlie (McAvoy) to the deals that they deserve.”
Even with all the roster possibilities swirling around the Bruins, Marchand, who just recently turned 34 and has three years remaining on his contract, sees Boston constructed as a team that can still win at a high level.
“I’m looking forward to whatever challenge comes,” Marchand said. “Again, you never know which teams are going to come in and dominate. There’s always kids that step up and have great years that you don’t expect them to and hopefully we have some of that.
“With whatever happens with Bergy in the next couple of years and Pasta’s future deal then I still think that we have a lot of depth in this group, in this organization, especially with (Hampus Lindholm) coming in and some of the younger guys that took big steps this year. I think that we have an opportunity to be a competitive team at least until my contract’s through and hopefully we can make a few good runs in that time.”