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If Bergeron Retires, Who Will be the Next Boston Bruins Captain?

( Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press )

By: Lauren Spencer | Follow Me on Twitter: @laurenspenc

As this offseason continues without a signing from Patrice Bergeron, it is starting to sink in that he may not be returning. While this leaves a massive gap in the on-ice depth chart, it also hurts the Bruins in the locker room. As a member of the Bruins and current captain, Bergeron has become one of, if not the most, respected players in the league. Losing his leadership can be a massive issue for the Bruins, and finding someone who can live up to the example he has set is a huge task.  

Though there is no one quite like Patrice Bergeron, there are other members of the Bruins that would be viable options for the captaincy if it were to open. The Bruins are lucky to have multiple players that would successfully fill the role of captain. These players are all team leaders already and would help ease the team through the transition period they have found themselves in. 

Brad Marchand

One player who would be a candidate for the next captain is Brad Marchand. While this would have been inconceivable a few seasons ago due to his reputation as a pest, Marchand has grown and matured in recent years. This was especially clear during the first round of the playoffs as the Panthers continued to target him, but he kept his composure.

However, he will still stick up for his teammates when necessary. In a regular season game against the Canadiens, Bergeron was hit with a cheap shot by Rem Pitlick, and Marchand immediately jumped in to defend him. Having a player who is always willing to stand up for his team is one of the most essential qualities that a captain can display. 

Marchand is also a long-tenured Bruin who spent his career in the locker room led by Zdeno Chara and Bergeron. Learning from two of these great players has helped Marchand understand the culture and levels of respect that the Bruins exhibit on and off the ice.

As Marchand approaches the 1000-game mark, it would be touching for him to reach that milestone with the C on his jersey. A far cry from the player who used to lick others on the ice, Marchand has grown into someone that would be a great choice to represent the club. 

Charlie McAvoy

Another player that would be a strong candidate for the 21st captain in Bruins history is Charlie McAvoy. Though less senior than Marchand, McAvoy has been a massive piece of the team throughout his six seasons with the Bruins. At only 25 years old, McAvoy has established himself as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. He is also locked up for the Bruins long-term, with his contract lasting until the 2029-2030 season. Having a young captain can help the Bruins in the long run, as it can ensure that the team keeps the same principles for many years. 

McAvoy has also become a staple in the Boston community throughout his time here. He has spent the last two Thanksgiving holidays giving out pies and socks to local organizations. He took up this tradition following the departure of former captain Zdeno Chara.

In addition, McAvoy walked in the Boston Pride parade in June, sharing how he feels that hockey is for everyone and that everyone should feel comfortable in this environment. Having a captain that shows his compassion for people off the ice and is a dominant player would be a positive for this Bruins team and their fans. 

Brandon Carlo

Though he is not as obvious of a choice as Marchand or McAvoy, Brandon Carlo is another player that has the potential to be the next captain of the Bruins. At only 26 years old, Carlo spent seven seasons in the NHL. In his first few seasons, he was often the defensive partner of Zdeno Chara, who taught him how to improve on the ice and how to be a good leader in the locker room. Anyone who has that guidance up close will surely benefit from it and can push others into the same belief system.

Carlo has also worn the “A” on his jersey during recent seasons, with one notable time being during the outdoor game in Lake Tahoe in 2021. He was given that distinction in an iconic game such as that one shows how much the team and front office value his contributions. Carlo will also reach the 500-game mark next season with 478 games under his belt. If the captaincy were to open up, Brandon Carlo is one player who may be a surprise pick for it but certainly has earned it.

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak is no doubt one of the best players in the NHL. As a Hart trophy finalist, he has cemented himself as one of the elite players of this generation. He has also placed himself into Bruins history as the first Boston player to score 60 goals in a season since Phil Esposito. Despite his accolades, Pastrnak has remained humble and kind, qualities for a successful captain to display. He also shows quick chemistry with most players, allowing others to elevate their game to a higher level. Having a player that improves everyone as your captain can be a strong strategy.

Pastrnak has also signed a contract extension to keep him in Boston for the next eight seasons. Having someone in the black and gold long-term will help ease the transition when Patrice Bergeron steps away. Pastrnak has been in Boston for almost ten seasons, allowing him to learn from past team leaders such as Chara, David Krejci, Torey Krug, and the returning Milan Lucic. The combination of knowledge that these players can give would allow anyone to be a successful captain and someone that the Bruins would be proud to have represent their club.


  1. William Barry

    Brad marchand

    • Raymond Ramsey


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