Bruins name Brad Marchand captain, succeeding Patrice Bergeron

Brad Marchand might still be the "Little Ball of Hate," but he now has another title: Captain of the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins announced Tuesday Marchand, who has spent his entire career with the club, has been named the 27th captain in franchise history ahead of the 2023-24 season.

"I am extremely proud of Brad and the hockey player he has become," Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in a statement. "Brad has been a Bruin for over 15 years and had the opportunity to learn from great leaders in Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. He is ready for this opportunity and our whole team will learn from his competitive nature and tenacity. I am confident he will represent our organization with heart and grit."

Marchand, 35, finished second on the Bruins in scoring last season with 67 points in 73 games.

An alternate captain for the past five seasons, Marchand was long believed to be among the candidates, if not the front-runner, to be named the Bruins' next captain. The Bruins needed a player to wear the 'C' following Bergeron's retirement at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Bergeron, who also spent his entire career with the Bruins, was an alternate captain for more than a decade until he was named captain at the start of the 2021-22 season. The decision to name Bergeron captain came after Chara, who captained the Bruins' Stanley Cup team in 2011, left the club following the 2019-20 season after captaining for 14 seasons.

The Bruins released a video on social media that shows a pair of hands stitching the 'C' onto the home sweater the club will wear in honor of its 100th anniversary. Eventually, the video shows Marchand putting on the sweater before looking into the camera, which then zoomed in on his face before doing a closeup of the 'C' on his sweater. The clip ends with a shot of Marchand flashing a giant grin.

Naming Marchand captain comes when a number of teams are sorting through captaincy options. He becomes the fourth new captain to be named before the start of the 2023-24 season: The St. Louis Blues named Brayden Schenn, the Vancouver Canucks named Quinn Hughes and the Winnipeg Jets named Adam Lowry.

It leaves six teams -- the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Seattle Kraken -- as the only teams yet to name a captain.

Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson told reporters Tuesday the team would "let it breathe for a year," now that Jonathan Toews, who served in the role for nearly 15 years, left the team at the end of last season.

"And the other part is to not put that pressure on someone else when you're coming out of a period of such -- call it greatness, right?" Davidson said. "And you want the next person to be in a position to succeed. And there's no requirement to have a captain, and so we just felt that it was best to leave that, push that decision a little bit."