Marchand joining Bruins legends
Captain collects 500th career assist
WILLY PALOV firstname.lastname@example.org @Willypalov
The company Brad Marchand keeps on the Boston Bruins' all-time lists says a lot about his undeniable status as a growing franchise legend. The 35-year-old from Hammonds Plains hit the 500-assist milestone on Saturday to put him eighth on the team's career list. The names ahead of him read like a roll call for the Hall of Fame – Ray Bourque (1,111), Johnny Bucyk (794), Bobby Orr (624), Patrice Bergeron (613), David Krejci (555), Phil Esposito (553) and Wayne Cashman (516). Marchand's historic helper came in a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. It also happened to be on one of the team's Era Nights, which are part of the franchise's 100year celebration and designed to honour legendary players from previous generations. Several stars from the 'Big Bad Bruins' of 1960-76 like Orr, Bucyk and Ken Hodge were on hand to witness Marchand's latest accomplishment and he told reporters that getting to interact with them never gets old. "It's incredible," he said. "Obviously a lot of them are legends and the teams are ones we've talked about a lot throughout the years. Seeing the pictures and the highlights from those Cup years and to have those guys in the room and to have the history and the culture that we try to uphold every single day and to see the guys that built it and started it all, it's incredible to have them around and to hear their stories. "You hear the way things were back in the day when they played and the different rivalries they had. It's been great to hear from a lot of the guys and to hear about their experiences in the league and how different it is now compared to when they played. It's a great experience for us." Marchand is now in his 15th year with the organization and is closing in on 400 goals and 900 points for his illustrious career. But his association with the franchise dates way back to his childhood. Marchand's father Kevin has always been a diehard Bruins fan so Brad grew up soaking up the team's history. "A lot of my dad's family loved their Bruins," Marchand told reporters. "I knew a lot of the names from watching the Canada-russia series. So (with) as much time as I've been a part of this organization and the guys that have come through and how often we talk about the players of the past and the teams of the past, we have a real appreciation and respect for those guys." CAPTAIN’S ROLE Now that he's team captain, Marchand is also elevating his reputation as one of the NHL'S most respected spokesmen. He faced the difficult task of commenting on teammate Milan Lucic's arrest for a domestic incident on Saturday but navigated the delicate situation with poise and maturity. "We're obviously aware of what happened last night with Looch," he said during a media session. "The biggest thing for us is we care a lot about their family. We're a family in here and we're all very, very close so we're obviously very concerned and upset for them for what they're going through. We have a lot of support for (Lucic's wife) Brittany and the kids and for Looch himself. Because of that and out of respect for them, that's going to be it (for comments) for now. "We don't really have any details and we don't really know a whole lot about what's happened and what's gone on so it's very hard to comment on much of it. I've obviously known Looch for a long time and he's a very good friend so it's tough to see your teammate and your friend going through stuff like this and their family. We're definitely worried about Brit and the kids and Looch himself but they have all the support in the world. Anything they need, we're going to be here for them." Lucic is facing assault and battery charges on a family member and was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. He is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team while he works through his troubles. "The Boston Bruins are aware of the situation involving Milan Lucic Friday evening," the Bruins said in a statement. "The organization takes these matters very seriously and we will work with the Lucic family to provide any support and assistance they may need." Marchand is now the third Nova Scotian with 500 or more assists. Sidney Crosby has the most with 962 and Al Macinnis is next with 934. Marchand is second in Bruins scoring and 28th in the NHL this season with 19 points in 18 games.