Marchand's goal: Silence his detractors

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Marchand's goal: Silence his detractors

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- Brad Marchand has heard the criticism and hes got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder.

The pugnacious winger had always been a successful blend of hockey skill and sandpaper grit coming up through the junior hockey ranks and the AHL, but nobody could have foreseen the offensive explosion during his rookie year with the Bruins.

The 23-year-old forward popped in 21 goals and 41 points along with a plus-25 and five shorthanded goals for the Bruins last year, and then really spiked in the playoffs with 19 points in 25 playoff games along with some memorable performances against the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The image of Marchand using one of the Sedins as his personal punching bag in Game 6 at the Garden is one of the overriding moments from the Cup Finals, but its also one of the reasons the pesky winger is despised by anyone outside of Boston. Marchand is the perfect love him if hes on your team and hate him if he plays elsewhere kind of player, and that can spark some serious criticism.

Some around the NHL mostly in Vancouver, naturally felt that Marchand was a bit of a one-year wonder and that the recent two-year, 5 million contract was unjustified given his lack of track record.

Marchand has heard all of that and set on proving everybody wrong a key part of rabble-rouser continuing to play on the edge he consistently needs to be an effective player.

You always want to get better every year and you dont want to be personally satisfied with anything that youve done, said Marchand. The biggest thing for me to prove is that last year wasnt a fluke and that I can keep my consistency up. I need to prove I can bring that level of energy every game.

Ive been told plenty of times this summer by former players that its a lot tougher coming in for your second year because guys know who you are. They know your tendencies a little bit and goalies have studied you a little bit and know what youre going to do. Its a little tougher in your second year so thats something Im aware of.

Many hockey observers are wondering if Marchand is the kind of player that can be counted on for 20 goals each and every season, or if it was just one magical rookie season with seemingly everything going right for him.

It looks like hockeys version of the Honey Badger doesnt care about any of that, however, and hes just going to keep doing his thing. Marchand and the Bruins wouldnt have it any other way.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.