WILMINGTON, Mass. --
The lack of a new contract didn't prevent Bruins forward Brad Marchand
from reporting to the team's Ristuccia Arena practice facility Thursday for the first of the team's informal captains' practices in preparation for next week's official start of training camp.
Marchand was one of around 20 players who hit the ice for a little more than an hour of drills. He became a restricted free agent July 1 after the expiration of his entry-level contract, and talks between the Bruins' brass and Marchand's agent Wade Arnott are ongoing.
Marchand didn't have much in the way of a progress report about those talks when he got off the ice.
"I'm anxious to get a deal done. But I just want to be here and be on the ice with the guys." -- Brad Marchand
"I'm anxious to get a deal done. But I just want to be here and be on the ice with the guys," he said.
Marchand stressed there's no animosity right now between him and the organization. He continued to point to the short summer, caused by the Stanley Cup celebrations, as a main factor in delaying his deal getting done.
But there has been speculation that the team and the agent have had disagreements about term and value of the next contract for the second-year forward. Marchand scored 20 goals this past regular season and added 11 more along with 19 points in the postseason.
The Bruins are scheduled to report for physicals and testing next Friday and then hit the ice as a full squad for the first time the next day. Marchand said he hasn't yet considered whether he would participate in camp without a contract.
"I'm not thinking that far ahead right now. It's just day to day, and hopefully it's done before then," he said.