Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand has seen his legacy redefined during his 14-year NHL career.
Early on, he was hockey’s main pest, earning his “Little Ball of Hate” moniker with hurtful plays and trash talking that was equally dangerous to opponents.
He’s still an elite mover — no one in the NHL can make headlines with pregame remarks or off-day tweets like Marchand. But after 928 games, 370 goals, and team achievements with the Bruins, Marchand has cemented his place among the best wingers of his generation, both offensively and defensively. With Boston on a record pace for NHL regular-season success, he is looking to add a second Stanley Cup ring to his collection.
ESPN chatted extensively with the 34-year-old Marchand during a recent Bruins road trip as he promoted a partnership with Twisted Tea Frozen Cherries, which feature cans of limited-edition black and gold jerseys emblazoned with the NHL logo.
“I was actually brought back in 2012 or 2013 at the end of the season,” he said. ,[Milan] Lucic kept it in his condo after the season, and it became an instant favorite. It wasn’t in a minifridge. It was in a big fridge. Big man; Big fridge. I demolished some cases that day.”
We learned a lot about him on and off the ice. enjoy!
Note: The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
ESPN: There was a recent rumor that the 2025 NHL All-Star Game would be held in Seattle, Edmonton or Detroit. on social media, you thought How many players can boycott those cities.
I mean it’s true https://t.co/G2HzORnv4r
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) February 21, 2023
The previous two All-Star Games took place in Las Vegas and South Florida and were well attended by the players. Should the NHL only hold the event in places where players want to spend their break?
Marchand: Listen, I was just playing around. Everyone gets a little sensitive on social media. This is a big problem of the society, but we will not get into it. Seattle has really beautiful scenery. Edmonton has paranormal hunting, that’s why I love Edmonton. And then there’s Detroit… you know, the skeptics.
The All-Star Game is headed in the wrong direction. Boys want to be in places that are fun. They want to live in nice cities or hot cities. It’s a long season. The game itself is only a small part of that weekend. You want to have some fun with it. When everyone else is going on a trip and enjoying themselves during break, you don’t want to be stuck in minus-30 in Edmonton or minus-30 in Detroit. You want to be able to enjoy it.
It was a bit funny, but it’s true. If you want the big superstars to go every year and be a part of it then you should put them in places where they really want to be and enjoy it. But it’s not fixed for me. I’d probably be out of league anyway. So I’m not really too worried about it.
ESPN: Your All-Star comments were made on social media. I’ve always been curious about your usage. Do you have a game plan when you’re dropping bombs on Twitter? Or is it like you’re on a flight and the phone is there, so why not?
Marchand: No, it’s just like you get bored at some point and it pops up. I really try not to be on social media too much. I think it’s hilarious how people get in there and they start to walk away, but then when you put anything back on, they lose their minds. They are not used to it.
I also think it’s fun because, you know, pro athletes don’t really get into situations like that. I think it’s good for the game. I think people enjoy it and it’s funny. It’s a different way to interact with fans. I find it very comic relief because when you go there people go sideways. It’s fun to watch the destruction happen.
ESPN: You have a talent for this. If you’re good at it, then go ahead and do it, right?
Marchand: I think it’s enjoyable. You have to have some thick skin to get there. But it’s a good way to kill 5-10 minutes when you’re on a flight or you have a long day in a hotel room or whatever. It’s nothing it takes too seriously or it’s more for a good laugh every now and then.
ESPN: The Bruins have been incredible this season, challenging the regular season record. What is it about this team that clicks so well?
Marchand: The biggest thing for us is that we have people with great depth who are really buying into the roles. For us, I think it always starts with snow. Something that our management and organization have put a lot of effort and emphasis on is bringing in people who want to be a part of a winning culture. They want to compete, they want to work and get better and they’re just good people. I think it starts from there.
Together [coach Jim] Montgomery coming in and giving a fresh new look to the group, I think some of the young guys have relaxed a bit and are feeling good about themselves. To be a good team that can make a good run, that’s what you always need: young people who are capable of flourishing and performing well. We have it this year, with people who have really come out of their shell. [Trent] Frederick’s had a really good year and [Connor] Clifton has come into his own. So the depth that we’ve got has really led us to win a lot of games.
then you have [Linus] Ulmark and [David] Pasternak has those years. then you have a boy [David] Krejci is coming back and filling the holes we have. [GM Don] Sweeney made an absolutely incredible deal for [Hampus] Lindholm last season. Absolutely stole him from Anaheim and he’s become an absolute stud.
That’s all we believe. We have guys who want to win and a lot of old players in the team who want to do well. Everyone is just excited.
ESPN: One of the things I’ve heard from you guys when I’ve covered you this season is that Montgomery brought a level of accountability to the team, but also a sense of joy back to the Bruins.
Marchand: I mean, it’s easy even when you’re winning as much as we are. It’s always fun knowing that you have a good chance in every match. But it didn’t start that way. We came into camp and we weren’t really sure how it was going to play and what kind of team we were going to be. But once we start winning, you get into the rhythm.
What a dangerous thing confidence is in this game. If you don’t have confidence it can be really detrimental and if you do, it can demotivate you. We got to it early and it bleeds through the team.
You brought up that accountability piece. It started really early. The gym holds people accountable every day. And this is everyone. A lot of coaches will talk about third, fourth line players, but he is ready to take care of the details of everyone. It’s good because those things matter when you go into the playoffs and can win or lose the match.
ESPN: Let’s talk about overconfidence for a second. The last time we saw a team do what the Bruins are doing in the regular season, it was the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019 and they were bounced in the first round by Columbus. One reason he gave: that he hadn’t played a worthwhile game in a while, but played the bottom seed [meaningful games] For about a month to come in. How do you avoid something like this happening?
Marchand: We are clearly aware of this. [Nick] Foligno was part of that series and we saw it happen when it happened. It has been brought up. We don’t put a lot of time or effort into that conversation. We just want to try to focus every day. We don’t really look at the standings.
People have talked a lot about some of these records that we could potentially hit or that we have hit. Nobody cares about the people living in this room. We could care less about any of these regular-season records. Because they don’t really mean anything.
Before we got through this season, if you asked anyone on this team who held any of these records, no one would know because no one cared. Because it’s not about the regular season. Nobody cares if you win the President’s Trophy but don’t win the Cup. This is what we know about this team. As soon as one picks it up, it is in one ear and goes out the other. We’re just totally focused on trying to get better.
We want to win every match. Being ready to do that will set us up for the playoffs. But this is also the time of year when teams are pushing for the playoffs and spots in the standings. Every game is precious for them. It’s going to prime us to play some really intense playoff games and we’re looking forward to that challenge.
ESPN: Do you think the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Ryan O’Reilly because they think he knows how to beat the Bruins?
Marchand: I think it was a good pick for him. He is a good player in every way. Really good in tight. Good at penalty kill, good at draws. I guess that’s just another way to be free [Auston] Mathews is against certain matchups and things like that.
We’ll see how it plays out. Obviously, you can’t predict the future and everyone is in a similar situation right now. There are really great competitive teams. Trying to weed out people who are going to push your team over the edge is tough. I would never want to be a GM. It is very difficult work. But it was a good move for him.
ESPN: As a reporter, I’d love it if you were the GM. You’d be like Brian Burke 20 times with candor.
Marchand: [Laughs] I mean, it would be fun. But it would be stressful.
ESPN: Let’s talk about something less stressful. I’m curious about this with you: What’s the most re-watchable movie you have?
Marchand: I probably have two. I’m still a kid at heart. so every time, i’ll throw [“Teenage Mutant] Ninja Turtles” on. Mostly in the background. The first and second movies. I don’t watch much movies. I like them. But if I’m going to sit down, if I really want to watch a movie, I’ll watch The Patriot. Will watch. It’s probably my favorite movie of all time. I can watch it anytime. So I’ll just throw it in occasionally.
ESPN: Has your kid been around Ninja Turtles movies?
Marchand: I’ll put it on when I’m on the road alone, yes.
ESPN: And do you prefer The Oz Movie or “The Secret of Oz”?
Marchand: You know what, I go back and forth. Sometimes it depends on how I feel. I really like “The Secret of Oz,” but I mean, you can’t even beat the original. So, uh, I’ll do both. I usually go back to back.
ESPN: Do you have a favorite Ninja Turtles? Because I have one in my head for you.
Marchand: Yes, it’s Leonardo, by the way.
ESPN: What?! Aren’t you a Michelangelo guy?
Marchand: no I know. I thought you were going to say that. But Leo’s always been my boy. I love swords. That’s why Leo always gets my vote. If you put the swords in Mickey’s hands, it would be Mickey.