On Jones & Mego earlier this week, Adam Jones suggested the Bruins should move on from Patrice Bergeron even if he wants to return in an effort to shake up the team and jumpstart the inevitable transition to the team’s next core.
All three of us on The Skate Podcast (myself, Bridgette Proulx and Brian DeFelice) strongly disagree with that idea; if Bergeron wants to return for cheap money again, you absolutely take him because there is a 0% chance you’re finding another center that good for that cheap.
That said, there was a second point that Jones & Mego raised that might warrant more discussion: What do you do with Brad Marchand if Bergeron’s done?
On that question, The Skate Pod crew was a little more divided. (Listen to the full discussion in the clip below.)
Brian would be open to it.
“If he [Bergeron] doesn’t come back, this Bruins team is not winning a Cup next year. You don’t have a number one center,” he said. “And I promise you they don’t have the resources to go get another one and still have a great team around him. In that situation, if you’re not winning and Bergeron’s gone, I would sell high on Brad Marchand. Why? Because you need to start collecting draft collateral and prospects and anything that you can for the future of this team. … I would be very open to trying to sell high on Brad Marchand and a couple other older, veteran players if you find out your number one center isn’t coming back and your team’s strapped for cash anyway.”
Bridgette and I were more opposed to the idea.
“Without Bergeron, who’s your next leader?,” Bridgette said. “Maybe they’re grooming Charlie McAvoy a little bit, but when Bergeron was out in the playoffs, it was Marchand. Marchand was the guy… he’s the guy in the room everyone’s respecting and listening to. If you want to keep the same culture, and I do think they like the culture that they have – I don’t necessarily think they need to blow up the culture aspect of it because it’s a hard-working culture, it’s an accountable culture of players – Marchand has taken over and matured into one of those roles.”
“I think there’s value in having Marchand as the next captain to kind of bridge things to the next era,” I added. “I wouldn’t want to trade him this offseason. I could be open to it if they’re really struggling, like they’re not even hanging around playoff contention, looking at it either this trade deadline or next offseason. He has a very tradeable contract, $6.125 million. … There would be a lot of buyers, so I do think you could definitely get something for him. But for the Bruins, I think there’s real value in having him as the next captain, as the next leader to sort of bring along this next group. Because I’m also not sure, whether it’s McAvoy or Pastrnak – I think those guys are growing into more leadership roles year-by-year, but I don’t know if they’re really ready to be captains yet. So, I would not trade Marchand. I would be looking at other pieces, like we’ve touched on multiple times with Taylor Hall or Linus Ullmark.”