Bruins’ Captaincy: Who Will Carry The Torch?

David Pastrnak celebrates with teammates Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand after scoring his second goal of the game against the Montreal Canadiens on November 26, 2019. [Photo/Ryan Remiorz-The Canadian Press-AP]

Over the past twenty years, the Bruins have had three captains: Joe Thornton, Zdeno Chara, and Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron officially announced his retirement from the NHL on July 25 after 19 seasons in Boston. A mere 20 days later, long-time alternate captain, David Krejci, announced his retirement as well.

With two leaders in the locker room stepping away, this leads fans and general management to ask who will be next to carry the ‘C’?

Charlie McAvoy
Charlie McAvoy celebrates after scoring the overtime-winning goal against the Calgary Flames on February 28, 2023. [Photo/Derek Leung-Getty Images]

It might be too early to declare the 25-year-old defenseman captain, but Charlie McAvoy is the dark horse candidate for the Bruins’ captaincy. The Long Island, NY native has shown his passion and loyalty to the city of Boston.

McAvoy won gold as the alternate captain of Team USA in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship during his time as a Terrier at Boston University. Nearly two years ago, McAvoy signed an eight-year contract extension with the Bruins locking up the star-studded defenseman for the foreseeable future.

McAvoy has proven to be the Bruins’ backbone in their defense over the past years. His puck moving ability and skating improves the Bruins’ transition from defense to offense. McAvoy has given indications that he plans to stay in Boston for the long run. Why not have a captain that is reliable, consistent, and will have a long tenure?

David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak participates in warmups with swagger before the 2023 NHL Winter Classic against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park on January 2, 2023. [Photo/Gregory Shamus-Getty Images]

Everybody loves Pasta. David Pastrnak is an underrated candidate for the ‘C’. Earlier this year, Pastrnak signed an eight-year, $90 million contract extension with the team. The 27-year-old offensive superstar is coming off his best statistical season with 61 goals and 113 points.

His statistics in the playoffs don’t disappoint either with 79 points in 77 career playoff games. Besides his on-ice performance, his personality has made him a fan favorite not only in Boston, but in the entire league. But is it enough?

Given the other candidates for captaincy on the team, is Pastrnak the choice? When taking a look at some of the past captains of the Boston Bruins, there seems to be a criteria for the captain role. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton, Terry O’Reilly. All great players but gritty as well.

The argument can be made with Ray Bourque and Rick Middleton given they made huge splashes on the scoresheet like Pastrnak however the tradition of having a statistically consistent and gritty captain fits as a tradition for the Bruins.

Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand tussles with Rem Pitlick of the Montreal Canadiens on March 23, 2023. [Photo/Paul Rutherford-USA Today Sports]

You love him if he’s on your team, you hate him if he’s not. Brad Marchand has been a key element in the Bruins’ success over the past 12 years. His consistency on the scoring sheet has made him a first-line regular throughout his career. He’s made three Stanley Cup Final appearances, winning one with the B’s in 2011.

Marchand’s grit and on-ice antics always makes Bruins hockey something to watch. He’s the obvious favorite after Bergeron hanging up his skates, but would it be the right decision?

How many more years does Marchand have left? He’s now 35 years old, which is the age Bergeron was given the ‘C’. Marchand’s leadership value is there, but how long will it be until the B’s have to find a new captain? Would the Bruins rather run with only alternate captains for a few years? How long will it be before I have to write this article again?


The Bruins name Marchand as captain until his retirement. Following that, McAvoy takes the reign.

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