Brad Marchand was named the new captain of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday — resulting in plenty of praise and some entertaining banter from hockey fans online for arguably one of the most hated players in the NHL.
The 35-year-old native of Hammonds Plains, N.S., who was originally selected by the Bruins in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, will see himself become the 27th captain in the team’s history when the NHL season kicks off in October.
“I am extremely proud of Brad and the hockey player he has become,” said Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs in a release on Wednesday morning.
“Brad has been a Bruin for over 15 years and had the opportunity to learn from great leaders in Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. He is ready for this opportunity and our whole team will learn from his competitive nature and tenacity.”
Hockey fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, had more than a few things to say after hearing about Marchand’s new role.
“This is sure to make the rest of the NHL thrilled,” wrote one user.
Marchand has a reputation for his hard-hitting playing style which saw him suspended for a total of nine games in the 2021-2022 season alone. He is also remembered for licking a player during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.
“I haven’t been the same since Brad Marchand became the captain of the Boston Bruins (twenty minutes ago),” another user wrote.
Others took a more sentimental approach — reflecting on Marchand’s career trajectory leading up to his newfound responsibilities of leading the line for the two-time Stanley Cup winners.
“From 4th liner to playoff hero and Stanley Cup Champ, to Captain. Legend,” said one user, referring to the winger’s contributions to the Bruins’ 2011 league win.
Jacobs said he believes Marchand, who’s entering his 15th NHL season with the Bruins, will continue representing the organization with “heart and grit.”
Despite the debates surrounding his aggressive playing style, the Bruins’ new captain has a resume worth noting as the 5-foot-9 winger ranks eighth in the team’s franchise history in games played, sixth in goals, and ninth in assists. He’s also proven to show up when needed most, as he ranks fourth in game-winning goals for Boston.
He’s also known for his contributions off the ice.
“Marchand is the club’s ambassador for Hockey is for Everyone, a league-wide initiative to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities through the game of hockey.
The Boston Bruins kick off their campaign on Oct. 11 when they face off against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.