With the Boston Bruins now in the full swing of the offseason, beyond the draft and development camp and awaiting captain’s practices, there is little left to do but wonder about the future of the team.
This week on Bruins Beat, host Evan Marinofsky and guest Mike “Trags” Petraglia of CLNS Media considered how the team may look to make room in the future, and Petraglia pointed to first-line winger Brad Marchand.
“If there’s one guy that I think could be dealt, and you could get a lot in return for, it would be Brad Marchand.” Petraglia said on Tuesday’s podcast.
“I think Marchand’s a bargain and I think other teams would see him as a bargain,” Petraglia said. “He’s also a trading chip.”
Marchand’s contract was signed in late September of 2016, right before the season started. The contract is for eight years and is worth $49 million, giving Marchand an annual cap space of $6.125 million.
“At 6.1 million, if he continues to produce, I think teams would take that on in a heartbeat.” Petraglia said.
Given the way the paychecks have consistently risen for higher-caliber players, with contracts this offseason hitting north of $10 million each year like Artemi Panarin’s seven-year contract with the New York Rangers, worth $81.5 million, Marchand’s $6.1 million already is a bargain. Even players like Anders Lee, who scored 51 points and 28 goals this past season, is making $7 million a year now under his new contract with the New York Islanders.
“It’s a fascinating contract because he’s 31 and he’s under club control for the next six seasons,” Petraglia said. “When you’re under club control and cost control, there’s a cost certainty that appeals to a lot of general managers in pro sports.”
Petraglia acknowledged people may think he was crazy for the thought, but urged listeners to look at his contract.
“Brad Marchand is a terrifically gifted player, I don’t think anybody disputes that,” he said. “But at some point, if you’re going to really remake your roster—look no further than the way Bill Belichick does it in Foxboro; he’s not afraid to make deals.”
Petraglia even suggested that Belichick would’ve traded Tom Brady had a situation been right, saying that no veteran player that can earn a return is untouchable.
For Petraglia, the only player on the Bruins roster who is “untouchable” is David Pastrnak, although he later added that he felt Patrice Bergeron was more untouchable than Pastrnak. Marchand was not at all exempt.
“I’m just saying; he’s certainly in the prime of his career, and [if] a team is willing to give you a boatload in return, you could remake your roster in one trade.”