Joe Haggerty reports that the Bruins and forward Brad Marchand are inching closer to a deal and that all signs point to something getting done sooner rather than later. While on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub with Toucher and Rich, Haggerty indicated that while the asking price is hefty, Marchand and the Bruins have a strong mutual interest in one another. He points to Marchand’s recruitment of David Backes, as a paramount reason Marchand is in no hurry to leave Boston. Further, Haggerty writes that the Bruins wouldn’t want to let go of a player who plays in any situation on the ice and is still in his late 20’s. He also points out his knack for goal scoring as 37 of his 61 points last season ended up in the back of the net. While he won’t come cheap, Haggerty expects the B’s to pony up.
In other news around the league:
- Larry Brooks reports that Chris Kreider is approaching the 2016-17 season with a new mindset–one that will get him more on the scoresheet and less into his own head. Brooks writes that Kreider says he “knows the type of player he wants to be.” Brooks recalls a NY Post article last season where Kreider lamented his inability to play well on a given night, revealing a bruised psyche.
Too often, Brooks reports, Kreider was not on the scoresheet and failed to play with “authority,” on the ice. Brooks points to the crease crash with Carey Price during game one of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals as a possible turning point in Kreider’s net presence. Kreider injured Price on the play when he slammed into the goaltender after being tripped on a breakaway. Brooks wonders, as he puts on his amateur psychologist hat, if that moment scared Kreider away from driving harder to the net.
Despite the psychological concerns, Kreider didn’t fall off in goal production (21) and only slightly fell below his 2014-15 numbers, where he had 46 points (21-25) compared to his 43 points (21-22) in 2015-16. Perhaps the four-year, $18.5MM investment the Rangers made with him could serve as another buoy to Kreider’s confidence.
- The Calgary Flames are still trying to put deals together for restricted free agents Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan writes NBC’s Joey Alfieri. Calgary general manager Brad Treliving says that there is “no real update there” and that the Flames will keep plugging away to get a deal done. Both forwards are considered the foundation of the Flames offense and will not come at a cheap price, though Monahan did indicate he would take a discount from the fair market price. What should excite Flames fans is that both Monahan and Gaudreau are seeking long term deals–guaranteeing a pairing of high scoring forwards in the Calgary fold for years to come.