Brad Marchand has established himself as a fan favorite in Boston over the last four years, anchoring down the left wing position on one of the best two-way lines in the NHL. Since the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in 2011, the team hasn’t be able to get over the hump in the postseason. As a result, there have been cries for a roster shakeup.
One of the names that has constantly appeared in trade rumors is Brad Marchand. Would Peter Chiarelli really be willing to part with the feisty winger?
Marchand has been one of Boston’s most consistent scorers since his rookie season, netting 20 or more goals per season. In 2013’s lockout shortened campaign, Marchand scored 18 goals in 45 games, putting the young forward on pace for a personal best, 32 goals. Marchand has managed to record at least one shorthanded goal each year, including five this past season, good enough for a share of the league lead. Between his offensive skills and the chemistry that he has developed with center Patrice Bergeron, Marchand has been an integral part the Boston Bruins top six.
So why would the team consider trading him?
After bursting onto the scene as a rookie, Brad Marchand has struggled to maintain his offensive touch into the postseason. In his rookie campaign, Marchand tallied 11 goals and eight assists in 25 games. Since that season, he has scored just five goals (0 in the 2014 playoffs) to go along with 15 assists. Although the team is built to rely on a balanced scoring attack, Marchand’s struggles have proven to be more than the Bruins can overcome.
At just 26 years of age, Marchand is entering the second year of a four year deal, registering an annual cap hit of $4.5 million. The reasonable price, as well as his valuable skill set, ensures that there will be no shortage of suitors if the Bruins make Marchand available. It will really boil down to whether or not the team can improve without Marchand.
The team is currently facing a cap crunch, potentially motivating them move a higher priced player, like Marchand. While $4.5 million can buy an above average second line winger, it is hard to imagine the Bruins finding a significant upgrade over Brad Marchand, especially when you factor in the role of team chemistry.
By listening to trade offers for Brad Marchand, Peter Chiarelli is doing his job and searching every avenue to find ways to ice the best possible team. In that sense, almost every player on the team is technically available. With that said, Brad Marchand’s spot on the Bruins appears to be safe for the time being.
What do you think? Will Brad Marchand be dealt this summer? What kind of return would Chiarelli be able to demand for Marchand? Let me know what you think in the comments below or on twitter.