Those who love and hate Brad Marchand might point to the same moment upon reflecting on when their respective feelings were confirmed: When the Boston Bruins winger licked then-Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Now entering his 15th season with the Black and Gold, Marchand acknowledged how that instance was one he learned from.

Marchand on Wednesday was named the 27th captain in Bruins history. When speaking to reporters at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday, Marchand reflected on how he changed from a young instigator into a veteran leader deserving of the “C.”

“It’s funny you ask this question today because I kind of really thought about it pretty hard this morning when I was driving to the rink, about kind of how this all happened. Again, it’s not something you ever expect,” Marchand told reporters, as seen on NESN.

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“My brother said something to me when I told him, he said something along the lines of, ‘Four or five years ago everybody hated you. And now you turned it around and you’re the captain of the team.’ It’s pretty incredible the way things change.

“Perhaps that incident with (Ryan) Callahan was kind of those moments where I realized it was kind of getting away from me a little bit,” Marchand continued. “At the time, I don’t think that really kicked in and made me change at that point in time, but I think over the next couple of years, it definitely was part of the discussions about changing and what my legacy was going to be. It was something (Bruce Cassidy) talked to me a lot about.”

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Marchand expressed how learning under former Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara beforehand, helped him find that path. Those leaders are part of the reason why Marchand is so proud and honored to wear the “C.”

“When I got to see really to another extent what he (Bergeron) was doing as a captain and how he carried himself and the things he was making important for himself to focus on every day that were going to benefit the group, then I realized there were some things I needed to work on myself if I ever wanted to be at that level,” Marchand said.

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“Because everyone looks at the guys around the league and there’s a reason guys like (Sidney Crosby) and (Bergeron) and (Chara) and guys in the past that have played 15-20 years, that have accomplished everything, there’s a reason for it. It’s because of the effort they put in away from the rink that nobody sees, every little detail of their life and and it translates into their game and what they accomplish at the rink. So as I started to see more and more of that, I started to care more about it, and realized that I needed to implement that to.”

For the opposing fans who might still dislike Marchand due to his prior antics, well, the Bruins aren’t too concerned.

“I would say that he’s ours and we’re happy to have him,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters Wednesday, as seen on NESN. “We don’t concern ourselves with (outside) opinion or their thoughts. We love what we have, and so do our fans.”

Marchand and the Bruins begin training camp this week with their first preseason game scheduled for Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

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Featured image via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images