It wouldn't be unprecedented for the Boston Bruins to go into the 2023-24 NHL season without a captain, but head coach Jim Montgomery said Thursday that the franchise expects to give someone the "C", but there's currently no exact timeline on when that announcement would take place.
“I think we're trending in the right direction towards having someone be our captain (this coming season),” Montgomery said at the Boston Bruins Foundation golf tournament in Plymouth, Mass. “We’ve had internal conversations and I think decisions will be made. I don’t know if there’s a timeline yet decided. I think we have enough real good leaders, where we could have a captain that would be leading us.”
Patrice Bergeron's retirement in the offseason has left the Bruins without a captain. The longtime B's center was the captain for the last three years. Prior to Bergeron, veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara wore the "C" for the Bruins for 14 seasons from 2006-07 through 2019-20.
There are plenty of candidates the Bruins could choose from.
Brad Marchand is the most obvious and best choice. He made his B's debut in 2009-10 and has enjoyed a Hall of Fame-caliber career in Boston. He has won a championship here and his leadership abilities have improved significantly over the last five or so years. The Bruins could also choose to make one of their younger franchise cornerstones -- defenseman Charlie McAvoy and right wing David Pastrnak -- the captain. There's really not a bad choice within that group of three.
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What makes a good captain in Montgomery's opinion?
“Someone that is confident in who they are, someone that isn’t afraid to put his arm around a teammate and also hold a teammate accountable,” Montgomery said. “And also not afraid to come in my office and hold me accountable to what he believes in and make sure I’m doing the right thing for this organization.
“He’s the go between, between the players and the coaches, and he’s got to be comfortable communicating with everyone."
The Bruins' first regular season game is Oct. 11 against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. They will be celebrating their Centennial Season throughout the 2023-24 campaign.