Waiting for Brad Marchand to re-sign with the Bruins as a restricted free agent this summer is starting to feel like the 39-year wait for Boston to capture the Stanley Cup.
Today Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com spoke with the agent for Marchand, Wade Arnott, about the dealing between he and the Bruins over last year’s Boston breakout rookie.
It doesn’t appear that there will be any grand announcement during Marchand’s Cup Day parade in Halifax at the end of August. In fact, Arnott had an interesting response when asked if he was optimistic a deal will get done before Bruins training camp begins in earnest on Sept. 16.
“[I’m] hopeful, but it’s no sure thing,” said Arnott, casting the slightest shed of doubt that Marchand’s signing is an automatic.
Now ignoring Haggerty’s improper use of the idiom “in earnest,” the quote from Arnott at least arouses the slightest bit of intrigue during a summer of mostly silence from both the agent and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli on the Marchand matter. Arnott could’ve easily said “I’m hopeful.” Instead he added the second clause which raises a sliver of doubt.
Arnott could be doing that to get everyone in a tizzy and shift a little pressure on the Bruins to concede a bit more in the talks. Or he might legitimately envision Marchand’s deal not getting until maybe late September. Perhaps that wouldn’t be the worse thing, especially if Marchand needs extra time to recover from a wild summer of celebrating.
Then there’s the scenario the Bruins have been through before with an Arnott client — an impasse that leads to a deal. This is starting to have the feel of Bruins vs. Arnott Part II. Ultimately, both sides won Round One when Phil Kessel was dealt to Toronto, where he got his money and has become the team’s marquee star. And the Bruins put the draft picks and cap space to good use. With that notch on their belt, the Bruins must feel as though they could turn this situation in their favor, regardless of the outcome.
It’s tough to tell which side has the leverage — the popular second-year winger or the Cup champs — right now in the eyes of the fans. But it might be wise for observers to lean a little toward the man who built the team that ended the drought over the player that might be putting his own interests a little bit higher than those of that team. After all, selflessness might’ve been the Cup-champion Bruins’ most important attribute last June.