BOLTON, Mass. — So far, Brad Marchand has done everything expected of a signed member of the Boston Bruins — except sign a new contract.
The second-year winger came back into town early to skate in informal captains’ practices at the team’s practice facility starting last week, and today he showed up to play in the club’s annual charity golf tournament at The International.
However, a new deal for the restricted free agent with the defending Stanley Cup champions is still a work-in-progress.
“We’re working at it every day,” said Marchand about his agent, Wade Arnott, and the Bruins’ brass before teeing off at the tournament. “So hopefully there’ll be something to report soon.”
“I am part of this team. There’s no reason not to be,” Marchand continued when asked about acting as though he was a signed played. “I want to be here and I want to show them I’m in shape, I’m ready to go this year, I’m excited to get back into action. Again, we’re just waiting to see to get it done here.”
Bruins players are expected to report to TD Garden for physicals and off-ice testing Friday. Then they’ll hit the ice for their first official sessions of training camp Saturday. Marchand says he still hasn’t decided whether to report without a contract, but he certainly seems eager to get on with the job of defending the Cup title.
“Obviously I’m anxious to get it done. But sometimes there’s things that take longer than others,” he said.
For the most part, Marchand’s teammates aren’t too worried about him not being part of their title defense.
“I’m sure they’re going to get something done,” said forward Milan Lucic. “That doesn’t concern me that much. I know he wants to remain a Bruin and that’s the main thing.”
Added defenseman Johnny Boychuk: “We know that they’re going to get something done. So we’re not really too worried about it. He’s still one of our team members. Even though he’s not signed, we’re not going to treat him any different.”
While Marchand is among a handful of unsigned RFAs around the NHL right now – a group that includes defensemen Drew Doughty of Los Angeles and Toronto’s Luke Schenn – he says he hasn’t paid much attention to what’s going on with those guys. Even the extension Philadelphia forward James van Riemsdyk signed with Philadelphia (six years, $25.5 million) didn’t cause Marchand to raise a brow.
“Everyone’s in a different place and they have a different team, a different dynamic. He’s a great player, he’s going to have a great future,” said Marchand. “It’s a great deal for him. But, again, that isn’t really any of my business. I’m not too worried about it.”