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All that for this?: Marchand signs

September 14, 2011

The news out of Boston today was that on the penultimate day of the summer, before the Bruins returns for physicals on Friday, Brad Marchand, at long last, signed. The deal is worth five million, across two years. Two million in the first year, three in the second. It leaves him with two years of RFA status. This is terrific news, not only because it averts a camp hold-out crisis, but because Marchand is a great player for the Bruins, and he’s been had at the right price.

Everyone is pretty happy about it, at least about it getting done. Surely there’s nobody out there who thinks a $2.5 million cap hit is outrageous. But is two years too short?

I vote “no.” Why?

Security doesn’t matter. Not to Marchand, not to the Bruins, not now. He turned 23 earlier this year. He bounced around lots in junior. He doesn’t have a wife, doesn’t have kids. Security is a nice idea, but a longer term contract isn’t for a guy like him, at least not now. For the Bruins, they have enough happening with the current forwards and in the system. They needn’t worry about stop-gapping down the road if Marchand isn’t in the picture. If Marchand wanted a million a year for 10 years, the Bruins wouldn’t do it. Why? That leads me to my next point.

Needs to prove himself. Plain and simple. He had one stellar season. And an excellent playoffs. I appreciate his style of play and I want him to get better and better. I think he will. But his body of work is not sufficient to warrant a longer contract at this point.

No bad contracts a la Luongo and Kovalchuk. Alright, so, Marchand wasn’t in a Luongo or a Kovalchukian situation, given the stage of his career. But long contracts have a way of haunting too many teams. The more monstrous, the more risky. And that’s just not the Bruins’ style. I dare you to name a single Bruin that is overpaid. We all fretted about writing checks to Ryder for $4 million a year these last few years, but if that was the biggest of worries, then we’re really all set. Chiarelli just doesn’t sign those types of deals. Chara is the highest paid player, over $7 million, and that’s completely appropriate. Chiarelli pays fairly.

Coming out of this, what we know is that Marchand is committed to the Bruins and is thinking franchise-first. This can only be a good thing. If he blows up the NHL in the next two years, he will earn a big pay-day. If not, well, at least we didn’t get gouged and we will have gotten a decent player.

Marshmont, welcome back.

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