Loui Eriksson

Brad Marchand on Loui Eriksson uncertainty: 'We all want to contend'

DJ Bean
February 22, 2016 - 8:25 am
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Like a lot of current Bruins, Brad Marchand has never seen his team trade a key player at the trade deadline. It'€™s no secret that such could be the case this season as the Bruins weigh their options with Loui Eriksson leading up to next Monday's trade deadline. If the Bruins are to trade Eriksson, their best winger not named Marchand but one whose contract expires at the end of the season, they will be selling a key piece despite being in playoff position. As David Krejci said earlier this month, Bruins players don'€™t want to spend the stretch run -- which features 23 games, 15 of which are against opponents currently in playoff position -- playing meaningless games as a team that moved players and fell out of it. Speaking Monday, Marchand avoided the subject of the Eriksson situation as much as possible, but said that he was encouraged enough by the team'€™s recently concluded 4-2-0 road trip that the team shouldn'€™t feel forced to sell. "Right now, with the way the standings are, everybody'€™s very close. If we continue to play good hockey and come together and play well, then we have the opportunity to stay in a playoff spot. We all want to contend," Marchand said. "We all believe in our team in here, but obviously whatever the management does, that'€™s their job. We'€™re not going to worry about that. We'€™re just going to come prepared to play every night." Eriksson is third on the Bruins with 21 goals this season. This is his sixth 20-goal season and second consecutive season reaching that mark with the Bruins. He is one of Claude Julien's most trusted players and the Bruins would go from having a chance at making noise against non-Washington teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs to a potential fringe-playoff team if they traded him for futures. Of course, Eriksson is also in the final year of a contract that carries a cap hit of $4.25 million. He'€™s due a big raise from that number, with it still unknown whether the Bruins will be the team to give it to him. If Eriksson agrees soon, the team obviously won'€™t lose one of its best players down the stretch, which would help this season'€™s odds. "That'€™s not up to us," Marchand said. "Obviously Loui'€™s a big part of the team and he'€™s been playing very well lately. Every night he helps our team and that'€™s what we need him to do."

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