Marchand wants to remain in Boston


Marchand wants to remain in Boston

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON Brad Marchand has a message for all of the bloggers, critics and haters that assumed he was shirtless, drunk and maybe even a little stupid all summer after capturing the Stanley Cup at 23 years old.

At least I wasnt the one that dropped the Cup, quipped Marchand in reference to space-shot winger Michael Ryder, who had the Cup in his possession when it fell off a table and was visibly dented.

Its good to see Marchand hasnt lost his impish sense of humor.

On more serious matters, the pesky winger did admit that perhaps he ripped it up just a little too much in the ensuing weeks following Bostons Game 7 victory over the Canucks. Perhaps all of the shirtless pictures of him celebrating atop bars in the Boston area were something he might not do again if given the opportunity.

Or then again maybe he would.

I had fun for a week or two, but I trained a lot harder after that. We won the Cup and Im 23 years old. Maybe I went a little bit harder than I should have (post-Cup win), but it's something we dream about our whole lives, assured a smirking Marchand. Thats all it was."

The diminutive 20-goal scorer was present at Ristuccia Arena for the first day of captains practice with the Bruins despite his status as an unsigned restricted free agent, and its pretty clear he has no designs on suiting up for anybody else. According to several sources close to the negotiations, Marchand wants to sign with Boston and all signs point to a deal getting done sooner rather than later.

So theres no Phil Kessel situation going on with No. 63 if anybody was afraid of the agitator shooting his way out of town just like Kessel did when he forced a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Id never thought about it. I had no idea, said Marchand. I knew that Arnott was Kessels agent, but this is a totally different situation.

Theres a hold-up on the deal given the truly disparate contracts handed out to Logan Couture (two-year deal for roughly 2.75 million per season) and James van Riemsdyk (six years at 4.25 million per season) during the offseason. Both players would have been restricted free agents like Marchand, and both players were negotiating after one truly good NHL season, just like Marchand.

The Bs have attempted to close things with a two-year deal in the 4.5-4.75 neighborhood that Tampa Bay Lightning winger Teddy Purcell settled for this summer. But Marchands camp is holding out for the bigger, better deal from the Bruins, and the young forwards value may never be higher than it is coming off the heels of a Stanley Cup victory.

Marchands agent, Wade Arnott, indicated to last month that its not a done deal that the restricted free agent signs a contract before training camp begins, but the player said on Thursday he hasnt yet truly entertained the positives and negatives of holding out.

Thats how it goes sometimes. Its been a long summer and Im anxious to get something done. I just want to be here and be on the ice with the guys, said Marchand. Im not thinking that far ahead right now. Its just day-to-day and hopefully its done before training camp.

I hope so, but well see. With the Stanley Cup win, its been a very short summer and theres a lot of stuff to do in a very short time. Some things take longer than others . . . thats all.

Its fairly hopeless that any other team is going to toss out the four-year van Riemsdyk contract offered to the Flyers forward after a 40-point regular season and a spectacular playoff performance led to a six-year commitment.

But it also doesnt seem likely that Marchand will sign the first thing pushed across his desk after waiting all summer for the Bruins to show him a little more money. The deal should get done, but feelings could begin to get bruised if things start spilling over into training camp and the anxiety heightens for Bostons spark plug rookie.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.