( Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer )

By: Melanie DaSilva | Follow me on Twitter: @meldasilva9

With the Boston Bruins season over, the next question is which players are going to stay, and which ones may be leaving. The answer may be sitting on Patrice Bergeron’s decision to either stay in Boston or retire from hockey.

If Bergeron stays, the Bruins’ plan seems simple, but if he leaves, some difficult decisions might be made. If he leaves, Brad Marchand, who’s been Bergeron’s linemate since 2010, could reasonably be viewed as a possible trade candidate.

However, Marchand doesn’t seem like he’s ready to leave Boston just yet. Earlier this month, Canadian-based blogger and podcast host Ian McLaren tweeted, “Medium hot take: If Patrice Bergeron retires, the Bruins should absolutely explore the trade market for Brad Marchand,” which caught Marchand’s eye.

“Tough take,” Marchand replied to McLaren on Twitter.

Marchand may be known for his “clap backs” on social media, but more importantly, he has three years left on his contract, which has a $6.1 million cap hit.

If the Bruins decide to trade Marchand, they could get players in return to help start their next era. Marchand scored 32 goals and had 48 assists this past season, continuing to be one of the top scorers on a team that’s made the playoffs the last seven seasons.

Aside from rumors, there’s no indication that the Bruins are thinking about asking Marchand a list of other teams we’d be willing to play for. If Marchand stays, he’s going to be depended on for not only his play but also his leadership, especially if the Bruins bring in more younger players.

During end-of-season media availability, it was revealed that Marchand injured his AC joint in a collision with Washington’s Garnet Hathaway on Jan. 20 at TD Garden and was initially expected to miss a couple of weeks, but ultimately did not sit out any games.

“We were able to manage it so I didn’t miss a game,” Marchand explained. “I was actually really happy with it at that time because I had expected to be out for a little while. So yeah, I hurt my shoulder there. But that’s it.”

Marchand added that he may need a procedure done “this summer or next summer” though he did not specify for what injury.

“But we’ll kind of take a look at that. I haven’t talked to the doctors yet. So, we’ll go through that today and kind of decide what we’re going to do,” he continued.

From the way he spoke to the media at the end of the season, it seemed like something had to happen and something sure did. Marchand will be out for approximately six months after his hip surgery, the team announced on Friday.

The Bruins said Marchand underwent successful arthroscopy and labral repair on both hips. The procedure was done by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

However, this means that regardless of trade talks, Marchand won’t be ready to start the 2022-23 NHL regular season.

The six-month timetable puts Marchand on pace to return around the beginning of December and would leave the Bruins without both Marchand and defenseman Matt Grzelyck as they both recover from offseason surgeries. Grzelyck had to have a shoulder procedure done.

The latest news about Marchand just adds to the uncertainty of Boston’s offseason.