As part of his relationship with Twisted Tea, we were able to interview Brad Marchand about that partnership along with a number of things.
I caught up with Marchand after the team touched down in Seattle for their four-game road trip.
Marchand talked to us about the siblings’ trip, the family mentality in the room, Jake DeBrusk’s restart this season, his children owning the Boston Bruins’ locker room... and obviously Twisted Tea Frozen Cherry —the NHL’s limited-edition flavor.
What does it mean for you to have this opportunity to partner with Twisted Tea through the NHL?
Marchand: Anytime you have the opportunity to work with a company like Twisted Tea, it’s exciting. It’s not something that happens often to each guy individually. I was really excited when the opportunity was presented. I’m also a really big fan. I was introduced to it 10 or 12 years ago at Milan Lucic’s house at a year-end party and fell in love with it. It’s been one of my favorite drinks ever since.
Once they presented me with Twisted Tea Frozen Cherry, it became my new “go-to” that I stock my fridge with. It’s a great summer time flavor. We spend a lot of time around the pool and the lake so it goes hand-in-hand.
What is it about Frozen Cherry that makes it a good drink for hockey fans?
Marchand: For one, it tastes incredible.
I think with our fans especially and myself, it’s one of those things, when you are watching a game and you have a great drink that you really enjoy, it just makes it all so much better. It’s one that I can sit down and enjoy a game with and enjoy being in the moment. You can be watching a game, doing what you love to do and enjoy your time off with a drink that you really love.
Is this drink going to be cracked open after a successful hunting trip?
Marchand: We always celebrate with a drink (after a trip) and that is definitely what we will be celebrating this year. Once that all goes well and the trip’s over, then we all have a drink together and this will be it.
It seems like it would be a great beverage to compliment some postseason action, right?
Marchand: You know, it would. I try not to look too much into that.
But with the sun out shining and especially in the summer time when you enjoy the day drinking or BBQ or having friend’s over, it goes perfect in all those situations.
Was this something you and your brother were drinking during the siblings’ trip?
Marchand: It actually was! He (Jeff Marchand) came down a few days early. He popped open my fridge and it was in there. And I came over like, ‘Dude that’s mine. Give it back.’ So he got into it too and he hadn’t had it before. So he called me two days ago and was like, ‘I stocked my whole fridge up.’ He’s psyched about it as well.
How was that siblings’ trip, getting to experience things with your brother versus the moms’ or the dads’ trips?
Marchand: It was much different that a moms’ or a dads’ trip. You obviously have a much different relationship with your sibling as opposed to your parent. It’s incredible to bring your parents on those trips just for the appreciation that you have for everything they went through and that they did to get you to that point. For them to experience what your life is like day-to-day, we obviously have it very, very good. We are extremely fortunate. For them to see that firsthand is extremely special.
But then for your sibling, they pretty much went through a lot of that with you as well for a majority of them. They were at all your hockey tournaments and your games and supporting you. They don’t always get the same recognition.
But then when you’re with them, it’s like having your best friend on the trip. Your parents are watching everything you do. My dad’s like, ‘Go to bed. You have to get your sleep.’ They don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.
Then the siblings come in and they are just running rampant, having an incredible time. In Dallas we won the game and they are running by the Dallas room, chanting like ‘Go Bruins!,’ singing the goal song and their whole PR staff was just snapping because they had just lost the game.
They bring a whole different aura to the trip and we had a lot of fun. It was a blast.
Was your brother the rowdiest on the trip?
Marchand: He was one of them for sure. He just likes to have a good time and he’s very personable, gets along really well with everybody. It’s awesome too because they make such good friends with the other siblings.
With what happened with Covid the last few years, he (Jeff) used to come down all the time and knew everyone on the team, got along great with everyone. He said ‘I feel like I don’t know anyone on your team anymore because of Covid. We haven’t been able to come down, I haven’t met all the new guys.’ He said, ‘Now I feel like I’m best friends with everybody. Even all the siblings, I now know all of them.’
Even for us meeting the siblings, like Matt Grzelcyk’s brother is one of the bull gang guys and is on the ice during timeouts. Everyone is now joking with him as he’s skating up and down the ice doing that. It just made everyone bond so much more than we already had. It was an incredible experience.
Going along with that family vibe, do you feel the team itself is more of a family than ever with guys playing for each other and being unselfish?
Marchand: Yea, the team has put a ton of emphasis on that the last number of years. Everybody they bring in, they make sure is a really good person. Hockey is obviously a big thing, but they want you to be a good person and they want to make sure you are going to connect in the room. If there’s any question that there’s going to be a bad guy, they aren’t even considering bringing them in.
Because of that, we get along so well that you don’t want to let each other down. You have so much respect for each other in the room and on the ice and that accountability piece. We can be hard on each other, but we know it’s all because we have high expectations and we want everyone to do their job and you want to do your job. It just allows everyone to be pushed a little bit more.
That can be the difference between winning and losing. Everybody gets along so well off the ice and it translates on the ice. You’re seeing that now. It’s a ton of fun. Mind you, it’s a lot easier to have fun when you’re winning. You see that stuff come a lot more when you’re winning.
But even when we’ve gone through adversity and we lost a few games, there was never any kind of pressure. No one was worried about it. We were still in a great mood. It was weird. You lose a game and everyone was like happy. You know that we are going to win the next one and we are going to bounce back better. We are going to work our way out of it. There’s no question mark with how we are feeling or guys being depressed.
It’s a really incredible feeling to have. It doesn’t happen often. It’s one you can’t take for granted because it’s not going to happen every year. When it does and we’re in it, we have to make sure that we make the most of it.
Do you feel that's something that Head Coach Jim Montgomery has created too in the locker room? Keeping things loose, but obviously doing your job?
Marchand: He's definitely been a big part of that. He’s incredible at really keeping guys accountable. The whole coaching staff is. They work great together. They have a great chemistry in the room where they are all expected to do certain things and it translates to us, but they all keep us accountable with so many little details of the game that maybe at times are overlooked, or if you are winning, they can be overlooked.
They don’t let that slip. That’s a slippery slope when little details get missed and you try to catch them once you’re losing. They just nip that right away. It’s every day. It’s practice. It’s games. It’s workouts.
He’s (Monty) really good at. He spends a lot of time talking to players getting to know them — getting to know what makes they click, what pushes them, what is too much where he can’t push them, when he has to talk to them in certain situations or show them certain video, or whatever it may be, treating them certain ways. He’s spent a ton of time doing that with everybody on our team.
It makes everybody feel valuable and important. He just finds the way to get the best out of the guys and it builds their confidence up. You’re seeing that with a lot of guys this year.
What does it mean to have Jake DeBrusk back on your line after he missed games due to injury and seeing his success right away?
Marchand: I’m not surprised. He was itching to get back. He’s such a talented player and he has so much potential. He made a lot of big strides this year. He’s in a much better mental space I think.
With the coaching change for him, it was a big mental change where he almost restarted. He started over. He started fresh and was able to build from the ground up again. He built a whole new foundation for himself and got back to enjoying the game the way he used to.
Now he’s older and more mature and starting to be a lot more consistent. He’s bringing it every night instead of the last couple years where he’d have one good game then two or three mediocre games. Now he’s dialed every night and he’s competing hard. He’s going to the net hard and he’s producing.
He’s turned out to be the player we were hoping he would. It’s a lot of fun to see. He’s a lot of fun to play with. He’s probably the fastest player on our team and it’s fun to watch him when he is feeling himself. He’s done that for the whole year so that’s been great to see. It’s been a lot of fun to play alongside. We’re going to need that to continue out of him.
Has your pregame routine changed at all over the years now that you have kids? Anything different?
Marchand: It’s more after the games. They love coming in the room after the games and they just feel like they own the place. My kids will come on the bench during warmups sometimes by themselves and just walk out there and watch. Or I’ll come out and they’ll be standing outside the room giving everyone high-fives. They literally walk around the rink like they own the place. We’ll be in the training staff room getting treatments and they’ll come flying in.
My daughter will have two handfuls of gum and tape. She’s got a hat full of tape she’s stealing from the rink and my son is in there eating food with the players. It’s incredible to see that part of it. They love coming to the games and being in the mix afterwards.
We also have a ton of kids, not just mine — it’s a lot of the team. We really opened up the room to them. It’s pretty special having them buzz around in there.
We know Montgomery is listening to Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69” to get hyped up. Is there something on your playlist that does the same for you?
Marchand: I’ve got a few songs that I like, but there’s one that I just heard just kind of reminds me of some good times – “After Hours” by Charlieonnafriday. It’s a good little song. I’m not big on listening to music before games, but I’ll throw that one on the room before I go to the rink.