The NHL regular season is less than a month away and the Boston Bruins begin a new era heading into training camp.

Boston announced Wednesday that Brad Marchand is the new sheriff in town as he was given the honor of captaincy for the Bruins.

That isn’t the only change the Bruins are facing entering their centennial season — they also have several holes to fill in the lineup with the retirements of longtime centermen Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

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While it’s expected that Charlie Coyle will surrender third-line center duties he’s become accustomed to and Pavel Zacha will move to center full-time after splitting last season as a wing, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery will be tasked with filling out the rest of the forward group.

“We’re gonna put people in situations with lines and especially in games and we’ll move people around to give people different opportunities to show us what they have,” Montgomery said at the Marchand introductory press conference, as seen on NESN.

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“We’re trying to give every player an opportunity, and there’s tons of opportunity this year to become a Boston Bruin. The players that perform the best are going to earn the right to wear the Bruins jersey starting on Oct. 11.”

Montgomery added that being a veteran in the Bruins’ locker room or in the league itself is not going to earn the player an automatic bid on the roster.

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“A young guy is not going to be denied an opportunity if he’s the best player that’s going to help us win on opening night,” Montgomery said. “Same thing with a vet. If they’re showing that their game has the best qualities that’s going to help build our game, because in the end, especially when we’re looking at third and fourth line players.

“You need guys that are going to build your team game that continues to play our team game, build it, create momentum for us. And the same thing with defensemen. Who are going to be the ones that can make plays that help us offensively and defensively be a real good team?”

It’s not just about making the team either. Montgomery is looking at existing players wanting to take on bigger roles.

“I always go into camp very open-minded. We’re looking for surprises, right?” Montgomery asked. “And it’s not only surprises this year with who’s going to make the team but it’s also who’s going to be able to handle more minutes. There’s minutes to be earned here within the guys that we all expect to be on the team.”

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Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said when he spoke with the players on Wednesday he reiterated his comments from July about not blocking prospects from the NHL roster.

“Training camp is the ultimate opportunity for every player in that room, whether you’re on a PTO, whether you’re an established player,” Sweeney said, as seen on NESN. “Jakub Lauko was a great example last year. A.J. Greer is another great example last year. They just made sure the decision was really hard on us and rightfully so. They played well and everybody in that room should realize that they can be next and know that internal competition is the best thing for a hockey club to have to withstand injuries that may or may not count, but also push each other to be better.

“The fine line is, people talk about leaving spots open or opportunity; man it’s hard to keep a player out of the National Hockey League. They’re good to play here, anywhere. That’s what needs to resonate with each and every player that they’re good enough to play, they’re going to play for the Boston Bruins because we want the best team in the world.”

Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images