Chiarelli: Marchand is "the full package"

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Chiarelli: Marchand is "the full package"

We all know somebody like him: The guy who you love when he's on your team, but hate when he's on the opposing team.

He'll brag. He'll talk trash. He'll do whatever he can to get under your skin, and even though you know he's doing it on purpose, you can't help but let it get to you.

Meet Brad Marchand.

Bruins fans love him, his teammates love him, and now we know his GM loves him too. The rest of the NHL world? Probably not so much. Marchand and the B's agreed upon a four-year, 18 million dollar contract on Friday, locking up the pesky yet productive left winger through the 2016-17 season.

For Peter Chiarelli, signing Marchand to another extension (he signed a two-year extension last year) means keeping a player the team views as a main part of its core for years to come.

"His style of play, his persona, his timely goals and his amount of goals obviously bring a great component to the Bruins and the Bruins organization," Chiarelli said on Friday. "It's nice too when you can sign a player like Brad who has worked his way up through the organization and plays the way that we all enjoy watching him play, and that the general manager enjoys watching him play. An in-your-face game, he sacrifices his body, and he's really coming into his own as an offensive player."

He sure is. In Marchand's second full season with the B's, the 59, 183-pound native of Nova Scotia registered NHL career highs in goals, assists and points, recording 28-27=55 totals, along with 87 penalty minutes in 76 games. His 28 goals ranked second on the Bruins, behind Tyler Seguins 29 tallies, and his plus-31 rating ranked fifth in the league.

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who envisioned numbers like that out of Marchand just a couple years ago. Well, anyone aside from Marchand.

"From the start I remember him from his first camp saying that he expected to make the team," Chiarelli said. "I was a little shocked at that comment. I liked the braggadocio, I liked the confidence. So that was my first impression of Brad."

As it turned out, Marchand also walked the walk. In his first full season with the B's he played in 77 games, notching 21-20=41 totals and 51 penalty minutes. He finished the season tied for third in the league with five shorthanded goals and recorded the second highest plusminus rating among NHL rookies with plus-25.

Marchand has had to balance using his skills as an agitator with his skills as a scorer something that he's had trouble with at times. Chiarelli doesn't want Marchand to try to be a new player now that he has a shiny new deal. He signed him to be the player that he always has been with Boston.

"I like the whole package," Chiarelli said. "He went through some stuff last year with a couple of incidents and through the disciplinary process where we were in a couple of philosophical discussions with that office. So I think, and I think Brad recognizes and you'll have to talk to him about it but I think he recognizes that part of his game as being a valuable part of his game. And he's a smart enough player that as you get older and learn the ropes a little bit more you can tweak your game a little bit. And I think the last year in the NHL he had a really good year last year, but I know that he had some struggles with playing his game. So he will continue to draw that fine line. He's certainly aware of it and that the line has bloomed a bit. So, I like the whole package."

Marchand wasn't available for comment in regards to his new extension. He's out hunting moose with his father in Newfoundland, Canada.

Poor moose. Getting shot at is one thing, but getting shot at by Marchand? Talk about added insult to injury. Just ask 29 teams in the NHL.

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Matt Kalman provides his take on what the Boston Bruins should do in terms of potentially landing a top defenseman this offseason.

Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

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Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

The Lone Star Brahmas aren’t exactly a household name in the junior hockey world, but NAHL team did produce a player worth of a Bruins draft pick last weekend. A 20-year-old defenseman named Cameron Clarke showed his offensive skills and playmaking en route to nine goals and 50 points in 59 games last season for the Brahmas, and continued to add strength to a wiry 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame that still needs to be developed as he heads off to Ferris State University.

The Tecumseh, Michigan native was floored at the prospect of being drafted by the Bruins after he was selected in the fifth round (136th overall) at last weekend’s draft in Buffalo, and excited to see some results for all of his hard work over the last few years.

“It’s a feeling like no other. I was just sitting in there with my family and when it happened, it was just pure excitement, and to go to Boston, they’re an Original Six organization,” said Clarke, who described himself as a good-skating defenseman and a good puck-mover that models his game after Capitals D-man John Carlson. “It’s just — it’s something you dream of growing up and it’s a great feeling.

“I talked to Mr. Sullivan [Bruins Scout Keith Sullivan] I believe it was in December and I knew that they had come watch me play a couple of times so I knew that they were interested. I knew that they were a team that could be a possibility that could be picking me and I’ve always watched hockey and my dad used to be a Bruins fan growing up when he was little [he grew up in Ottawa and was a big Bobby Orr fan], so it’s a great feeling. Boston’s an Original Six franchise. It’s very special, for sure.”

Clarke will obviously take a big step in his development headed to the Ferris State hockey program next season, and the Bruins hope to continue seeing improvements in the size and strength department during his college hockey years.

“We knew there were teams that were there [ready to take him], and our guys really liked him,” said Bruins Director of Scouting Keith Gretzky. “He’s gained a lot of weight in a year-and-a-half, but we know he’s going to take some time. We’re good with that. Our guys really liked him, so we took him.”

The Clarke pick is a pretty low risk/high reward selection that was off the beaten path of the normal OHL/European junior league paths, but it remains to be seen if it will pay dividends later for selecting the over-age player.