One door closes, another must open
With Patrice Bergeron removing his "A" patch to make room for the "C", that leaves a vacancy in the assistant captain role. Who’s best fit to fill the role? A player that hits a little closer to home. A player that sits right behind Patrice Bergeron in the lineup just about every night: Charlie Coyle. Coyle is another player who gives his all on every shift, and has a good sense of communication amongst the veterans and the young bucks on the roster as he'll be 29 in two years. Coyle also has a very high hockey IQ, which is something that I think is essential for being a captain. Coyle is also signed through the 2025-2026 season, so there's no need to worry about him still being a Bruin at the time.
A log jam of talent will effect this decision
With David Krejcis contract expiring before the start of the 2021-2022 season, I think the Bruins move on from him as he will still charge a high price at the age of 35. A price that the Bruins wont be willing to pay as the youth on the roster will also be charging a high price, as well as making a push to take up a roster spot. The center position is arguably the Bruins deepest position. With that being said, I think the Bruins will have to find themselves another new player to wear the "A" patch.
Youth will have their day
Another player who I think will fit the Bruins assistant captain role very well: Charlie McAvoy. He's got the toughness, the grit, and the hockey IQ that it takes to be a leader on the ice, in the locker room, and off the ice in Boston. Charlie is loved by fans, and he's been under the wing of current Bruins captain Zdeno Chara since his first day in Boston. He's one who I think might challenge for the "C" once Patrice Bergerons playing days in Boston are over.
The more the merrier
Having a lot of players who are worthy of captaincy is a good thing. It means you've got a lot of model players who respect the game and have a good sense of communication in the locker room and on the ice. The third and final "A" that I see being worn by a Bruin is a toss up.
David Backes's time in Boston might be running short. Between his injuries, and his unfriendly contract, I think the Bruins will move him if they have the chance. That opens up a third opportunity for a player to get an "A" patch. The first player that will come to the mind of a lot of fans is Brad Marchand. I don't necessarily think Marchand is captain material. A great player yes. Great at his role, absolutely. But the kind of player that it takes to be a captain, I just don't think Marchand is it. He's not exactly a role model on the ice as he has a history of trouble as far as fines and suspensions. While I could be wrong, im sure Brad Marchand is a name that will be talked about come time to make the decision.
Another name that pops up in my opinion is Torey Krug. That is if he's still in Boston at the time. He brings the little tough guy mentality that the Boston fan base loves. He's a multidimensional weapon that could teach a lot of players under him.
The final three names that I can see as assistant captains in Boston are Jake DeBrusk, David Pastrnak, and Brandon Carlo. Three young players that have showed leadership skills in their short time in Boston. Pastrnak of course has had the most success. He also seems to be the most favored by the Bruins fanbase. He's shown the willingness to stick up for other players even as a skill player himself. I think Pastrnak has the best shot at beating out Krug or Marchand to be an assistant captain.
Regardless of who Don Sweeney decides to put a patch on, I think the next three years in Boston are going to be very interesting as far as captaincy.