WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins don’t report for their official physicals and testing for another eight days.
So there’s still time for the defending Stanley Cup champions and the agent for Brad Marchand to get a new contract done for the restricted free agent.
Nonetheless, Marchand showed up at Ristuccia Arena today for business as usual, as he was one of around 20 players who hit the ice for the first informal captains’ practice. As far as getting a contract done before the start of camp, Marchand didn’t sound too worried.
“We’re taking it day to day. I hope it’s done before then. That’s the goal. And, again, we’ll see,” said Marchand.
Both general manager Peter Chiarelli and Marchand’s agent Wade Arnott have opted to not negotiate the deal in public. While Marchand cited the shortened, Cup-celebrating summer for causing the delay in completing this deal, it’s widely believed that both sides disagree on term and value for the winger’s second NHL contract. Marchand did himself well as a rookie in his contract year with 20 regular-season goals and then 11 more in the playoffs.
“I’m anxious to get a deal done. But I just want to be here and be on the ice with the guys,” said Marchand about reporting for practice today.
Marchand said he hasn’t yet considered whether he would take part in training camp without a contract. He says he’s just focused on getting in the best shape possible for the season. Despite numerous stories and pictures to the contrary, Marchand says he did more than just party over the summer. And he worked out as hard as he ever has.
As for all the internet reports and photos of him tearing it up, he doesn’t pay them much mind.
“It comes up every now and then. But we won the Stanley Cup and I’m 23 years old,” he said. “Maybe I went a little harder than I should’ve, but it’s something that we’ve dreamed of all our lives. So that’s all that was.”