Brad Marchand evidently was among that group, having reached out with an important message that highlights the Bruins winger’s mindset ahead of the 2022-23 NHL season.
“The day that I was announced, (Marchand) called me,” Montgomery said on the latest episode of “The Cam & Strick Podcast.” “I think he was in the Bahamas, I think he has a place. I don’t know if it was Bahamas or Bermuda, I forget. But again, it just goes back to the same thing: Everybody I’ve talked to talks about what it’s like there (in Boston). The impressive thing that he said to us is, ‘We’re ready to be coached. Whatever you demand, we’ll do.’
“You don’t hear that in your first conversation all the time. My first conversation usually isn’t about hockey, because players don’t want to talk about systems and what we’re going to be doing in the middle of the summer. Their minds are (usually), ‘This is my free time. Let’s connect and I’ll see you in training camp.’ “
Marchand underwent surgery on both hips in May, a procedure that comes with an expected six-month recovery time and thus likely will sideline him to begin the upcoming campaign. The 34-year-old remains an integral piece of the Bruins’ quest to bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston, though, and his impact extends beyond the ice and into the dressing room, where the B’s have a veteran-laden group.
“I do feel I’m really lucky in the situation I’m going into in Boston,” Montgomery said. “It’s a really good team. But the leadership is, I think, unparalleled. And this is from everybody I’ve talked to.”
Montgomery is entering his first year as Boston’s head coach, as the Bruins moved on from Bruce Cassidy following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. Marchand, meanwhile, has been donning the spoked-B since 2009-10.